When Robert Rodriguez gave Ain't It Cool News the first (real) trailer for Machete, a mexpoitation Grindhouse throwback film, on Cinco de Mayo, I had no idea that people would freak out over the (quite brief) special introductory message to Arizona preceding the trailer. And that's not because I live under a rock, either. I'm up to speed on Arizona's increasingly controversial policies toward immigration. I simply thought people would take that dedication as the joke it was considering how intentionally outlandish everything that follows it is. The trailer ends with Danny Trejo flying through the air on a motorcycle that has a Gatling gun attached to the front of it, for crying out loud. Rodriguez's film isn't exactly taking itself too seriously and all that trailer is doing is telling the Aristocrats joke in reverse.
Not long after the trailer released, however, I started to see signs that not everyone saw the humor in the topical jab. Over at Hollywood.com, Chris Cargill wondered whether or not that barb was a terrible bit of extraneous marketing, "Can the progeny of Grindhouse, a film that itself notoriously underperformed at the box office, really afford to become a film that a segment of the population wants to write off because they don't want to feel like they're being lectured to?" And that's an excellent point; if your film clearly isn't a "message film" why even bother poking that bee hive? The pure futility of it only added to how uncommitted of a comment it was, I found.
A few days after that, Cargill then shared a video that stopped me dead in my tracks.