Technology with attitude

Robert Rodriguez Dominates the ATX ‘From Dusk Till Dawn’

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Co-founder of Troublemaker Studios and singer in the Mexican rock band, Chingon.

Although originally from San Antonio, Robert Rodriguez has become an Austin darling by consistently shooting dynamic movies, even just in part, in Austin. With the exception of the Mariachi series, Rodriguez has filmed a dozen films in this eclectic city. Regardless of denying Austin a part in Desperado, R. Rod remains in my heart as a great director, editor, producer, musician…the man does it all! The most impressive thing about this one man crew though, is his ability to work quickly, cheaply, and with remarkable results. From 1991’s Bedhead to 2005’s The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl, Austin has seen a lot of action at the hands of Robert Rodriguez.

Who could forget the Christian classic, From Dusk Till Dawn (1996), where Jacob Fuller, played by Harvey Keitel, has his faith revived on a family road trip that eventually ends in exotic Mexico! This touching story shows the power of family and prayer, especially when faced with the danger that is Cheech Marin. And just how creepy Quentin Tarrantino can be.

Then there is R. Rod’s early millennium espionage trilogy (soon to have a fourth installment), Spy Kids. Rodriguez once again stays true to his cast and his home, featuring familiar faces such as Danny Trejo and Antonio Banderas and, of course, Austin. Be advised that Spy Kids might not be appropriate for some audiences because of its action intensity and more Cheech Marin treachery.

Alexa Vega and Daryl Sabara star as kids who are also spies!

But Robert Rodriguez’s cinematographic diversity doesn’t end there. He has done everything from teen drama, The Faculty (1998), to graphic novel adaptations, Sin City (2005), and even a political commentary/feel good picture, Planet Terror (2007).  All of which were filmed in Austin; the latter once again features Cheech Marin.

Rodriguez’s next upcoming venture is the much awaited action flick Machete, which will be upon us on September 3. Swooning and screams of joy are allowed at this point–you can’t get much better than Steven Seagal and Robert DeNiro. As per usual, Rodriguez filmed in Austin at such locations as  Troublemaker Studios and St. Mary’s Church on East 10th Street. It is nice to see that even a major Hollywood player still returns home.