, the bloody, gory, spoofy film by Robert Rodriguez, has become the latest mini-scandal de jour for conservatives.
Why? Because it might get tax breaks from Texas, and it portrays a race war that favors immigrants over right-wing politicians like the one portrayed by Robert DeNiro.
Alex Jones, the radio host who never met a conspiracy theory he didn't heartily endorse, was ranting about it on KTRH this morning, in the few seconds he wasn't ranting about Mexico being a failed narco-state that will bring about the doom of mankind, or something.
Machete was filmed in and around Austin, like most Rodriguez movies, and is expected to apply for the tax breaks from the state.
But it hasn't yet, Texas Film Commission head Bob Hudgins tells Hair Balls.
Until they submit the paperwork -- and Hudgins sees the film -- no decision will be made.
"Our rules require them to submit the final documentation within 60 days after they stop spending money in Texas," he says. "And they are still spending money -- paying bills, that kind of thing."
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Typically it will be three to four months after a film is released before the production settles up all its local bills and applies for the tax breaks to the TFC, he says.
And when Machete does, Hudgins will see the film. There are no strict guidelines as to how he should judge whether it deserves the breaks -- nothing that says a film can be rejected if it is too violent, say (although porno is a no-no) -- so it's a subjective thing.
If it had portrayed actual Texans, he could take it account how truthful the movie was. That was the case with Waco, a proposed movie about the Branch Davidians, which has been cited by conservatives who said the TFC refused to give it tax breaks.
Hudgins says he reviewed the script and advised producers to change the names of some of the actual Texans portrayed in the film, but in the end the Waco producers never applied for the tax breaks anyway.