Fantastic Fest 2013 Photos: 'Machete Kills'


Touted as the largest genre film festival in the country, Fantastic Fest wrapped Thursday for its ninth year of subversive entertainment in the new Alamo Drafthouse Lakeline. This was the first year since its inception in 2005 that the eight-day festival was not held at the Alamo on South Lamar, causing some annual festivalgoers to reminisce about their glory days bowling and drinking at The Highball, located in the same strip center as the theater. This was part of the first-day chatter overheard while people waited to get in the theater for Machete Kills, the Fantastic Fest opening-night film making its world premiere.

Despite the venue change, festivalgoers and industry insiders alike seemed to live in the moment, wearing their badges or holding their tickets with pride. Helping the mood was one of the cars from the film, on display outside the theater (pictured at top). The post-film Q&A was also energizing.

"I'm so proud to be a part of this," actor Danny Trejo said during the Machete Kills Q&A, talking about his participation in the film and Fantastic Fest. Trejo stars as the eponymous character, which he's played in several films. 

In Machete Kills, Trejo was not only reunited with co-writer/director Robert Rodriguez, but his Spy Kids co-star Alexa Vega, who plays the scantily-clad KillJoy. The filmmaker and both actors were at the Q&A.

Vega noted the role of KillJoy was, at first, a difficult transition for her.

"I had to literally beg this guy [Rodriguez] to be a part of it," the 25-year-old actress said. "He did not see me that way at all. To him, I was still very much a kid."

Trejo agreed, remarking that his fatherly instincts kicked in when Vega first stepped out on set because he has known her since she was 11 years old.

U.S. audiences can catch Trejo, Vega and the entire Machete Kills cast, which also includes Austin native Amber Heard (who returns as Miss San Antonio), beginning October 11. 

In Austin, you can attend the cast-and-crew screening of Machete Kills tomorrow night (Tuesday, Oct. 1) at the Paramount, with an afterparty at The Rattle Inn. Visit the Austin Film Society website for more information and tickets. And enjoy the trailer below.

[Photo credit: Katee Boyd. Used with permission.]

Great pic of Alexa Vega.

Great pic of Alexa Vega. That girl is all growns up.