Danny Fucking Trejo
Man. I make the mistake of watching Desperado, and right after that, Bad Ass. If you’re sensitive in any way about your own growing old, I implore you not to. Desperado is much better than I remembered, it holds up almost all the way to the end (it somehow seems like Robert Rodriguez wasn’t that interested in the love subplot, which, with Salma Hayek in play, might have qualified him for psychiatric care). And our bad motherfucker of all bad motherfuckers, Dan God Damn Trejo, projects anger in a way that you’d hesitate to let your worst enemy get caught in its path. If you’re brought up on comic books and cheap movies, you feel it’s a bit sad that such violence doesn’t have a place in our normal, decent, human existence.
Then there’s Bad Ass, where you get to see exactly how old even bad motherfuckers get in time. And it’s such a sad movie. I’m alone for the weekend, so I drink the beers she left me and watch stupid movies. And I cry for Danny Trejo, because somewhere I hoped that he was an Eastwood, or a Depp, or even a Demi: that he almost never would grow old. If there’s one thing I can’t take when I’m not entirely sober, it’s old men sobbing.
Now, Danny Trejo was a convict before he got picked for Runaway Train, so he learned to fight in a… um… authentic manner. (If I’m going to write about men for their adorably violent behavior, I’ll have to do it towards a hypothetical academic audience.) He’s probably much more comfortable nowadays, and he’s obviously getting a lot of work. But if you work as a movie actor, you’ll have to deal with your persona, and what visions your fans project onto your imagined existence.
Bad Ass is about an old man who kept some of his fighting ability. But he’s all alone (I haven’t watched it all, I wanted to write this down first). Walking into that convenience store, a bit embarrassed for looking so old. All the times I’ve… never mind. And when he dies, no one will see him off. And then he’ll just be a neighborhood story, then a joke, then forgotten.
Unless, of course, someone takes notice and gets inspired.
Background: amber lamps.