Your Top Three is a series here at Movies.com where we choose a topic and you give us your top three picks.
This weekend sees the release of Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, a sequel codirected by Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller filled with more fascinating characters from the pages of Miller’s noirish, distinctly stylized series of graphic novels. Even if you’re a fan, you’ll probably come away remembering these characters in all ways except maybe by name.
Apparently that’s a common thing with Rodriguez movies — outside of the characters who star in features named after them, such as El Mariachi, Machete and The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl, his work is populated by some really crazy individuals who are more memorable for what they look like and what they say than what they’re called.
Perhaps the roles in From Dusk till Dawn (which was scripted by Quentin Tarantino) are more easily referenced today thanks to there being a new spin-off TV series on Rodriguez’s own cable network, El Rey. Maybe you grew up with the Spy Kids movies and can rattle off the names of the Cortez kids.
As for me, I had to look up the monikers of each of my three favorite Rodriguez characters. But that doesn’t mean each of them didn’t immediately stick out in my mind as I was considering today’s discussion topic. They don’t need names for me to appreciate them. They’re best known for what they look like and what they act like.
My Top Three Robert Rodriguez Movie Characters:
Sands (Once Upon a Time in Mexico)
Everyone thinks I’m nuts for preferring this installment of the Mexico Trilogy, over both El Mariachi and Desperado, especially since my main reason is that it’s got Johnny Depp stealing the show in his best, most ridiculous role of the past 15 years. Sands is already amazing before his eyes are drilled out, but afterwards he became a legend in my mind.
Cherry Darling (Planet Terror)
If there’s any reason to prefer Rodriguez’s half of Grindhouse, it’s Rose McGowan’s go-go dancer, who loses her leg to a zombie and makes the best of it — first with a table leg and then, quite iconically, with a machine gun. How anyone can think Jessica Alba’s role in the Sin City movies is the better exotic dancer is beyond me.
Mendez (Machete Kills)
This one isn’t so much a character but a performance, I guess, but Demian Bichir won me over so much with his part in the Machete sequel that I’ve wanted him cast in every bad movie since. Rodriguez isn’t known for having great acting on display in his works, so Mendez stands out immensely.
Your Top Three Robert Rodriguez Movie Characters:
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