The cousin of a wealthy plantation owner in Puerto Rico plants seeds of jealousy in the man's mind concerning his new wife and the handsome foreman.

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Cast

Credited cast:
Mari Blanchard ...
Jean Montoya
Ruth Cains ...
Rita
...
Don Luis Montoya
Juano Hernandez ...
Bernardo
Carlos Rivas ...
Carlos
...
Miguel
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The cousin of a wealthy plantation owner in Puerto Rico plants seeds of jealousy in the man's mind concerning his new wife and the handsome foreman.

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December 1958 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Nas Selvas das Caraíbas  »

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The Plantation of Passions, Pilfering and Poison.
27 May 2014 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Machete is directed by Kurt Neumann and Neumann co-wrote the screenplay with Carroll Young. It stars Mari Blanchard, Albert Dekker, Carlos Rivas, Lee Van Cleef, Ruth Cains and Juano Hernandez. Music is by Paul Sawtell and Bert Shefter and cinematography is by Karl Struss.

Set at and filmed in Aguirre, Puerto Rico, Machete is a sort of jungle noir mixed with melodramatic oddities. Plot essentially has Blanchard sticking her chest out and marrying Dekker's plantation owner purely for financial security. Upon arriving at said plantation, she quickly gets the hots for Hernandez's hard working and honest Bernardo, which puts everybody's nose out of joint, not least the scheming Miguel (Cleef). Who promptly sets about spreading the poison to feather his own nefarious laden nest.

Blanchard gives her all for the femme fatale role, but everyone else is either subdued or bogged down by the silly scripting. This in turn produces some very uneven performances by the rest of the cast, which in Dekker's case is unusual. Struss' night time photography is a plus, though there's nothing particularly striking or any atmosphere enhancement going on. The fight choreography is also very poor, rendering the machete symbolism weaker than I'm sure the makers intended.

As a Dekker fan I'm just pleased to have been able to see it and strike it off my "to see" list, while Blanchard's exuberant efforts always keeps it watchable. But it's a hard one to recommend with any sort of confidence. 5/10


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