Best Danny Trejo Movies

Danny Trejo, oil painting of the actor staring into camera intensely with hands in hair.

Image Credit: peterpulp on Deviant Art.

Danny Trejo’s impressive transformation from ex-con to icon cemented his place as the leading man of the B-movie industry. With nearly 400 acting credits to his name, he shows no signs of slowing down.

While it’s tough to pick any favorites from his staggeringly high catalog, here are nine of the best Danny Trejo movies of all time.

 

 

20 Ft. Below: The Darkness Descending (2014)

This 2013 American horror film takes place underground in the abandoned subway tunnels of New York City, where an entire subculture exists—including the dangerous revolutionary, Angel (Trejo).

Inspired by a web series created by Marc Clebanoff, this movie follows a documentary filmmaker, Chelsea, as she tries to shed light on the invisible homeless.

Violence and deaths ensue when the crew encounters Angel and his anarchist gang, who are intent on starting a war with the people still on the surface.

Stream this film on Peacock here.

 

Rise of the Zombies (2012)

A zombie outbreak in San Francisco forces a group of survivors to seek refuge in now-defunct Alcatraz. When the prison and island are overtaken, the remaining survivors have no choice but to return to the dangerous mainland.

Meanwhile, Dr. Arnold, a scientist with a bit of a grudge, attempts to create a vaccine before it’s too late.

This Syfy Original is your typical zombie fare, complete with lots of gore and killing.

Rent or buy this film on Prime here.

 

Dead Again in Tombstone (2017)

Danny Trejo reprises his role as Guerrero De la Cruz, a betrayed bank and train robber turned devil’s reluctant servant. This time, it’s to protect a stolen book and relic, and keep them out of Jackson Boomer’s (Jake Busey) hands.

Guerrero learns his father was forced to serve Lucifer in the same way. He struggles with whether he should keep his deal with the devil…or seek redemption for his battered soul.

Stream this film on Netflix here.

 

Bad Ass (2012)

Inspired by the true story of Frank Vega, this 2012 American movie stars Danny Trejo, Charles S. Dutton, and Ron Perlman.

A Vietnam vet, Vega became an online sensation after he saved a man from two skinheads on a city bus. Caught on camera, the heroic act quickly went viral.

Now known as Bad Ass, Vega takes matters into his own hands when his best friend is killed—and the police seem to be protecting the person, or persons, responsible for the murder.

Stream this film on Amazon Prime here.

 

Bad Ass 2: Bad Asses (2014)

This sequel to Bad Ass finds Frank Vega mentoring young boxers in the ring, as well as in their personal lives, at the community center he opened in east LA.

After one of his star pupils gets mixed up with the wrong crowd, he ends up dead.

Vega recruits former hockey player, Bernie Pope (Danny Glover), to help him clean up the streets of Los Angeles—and defeat a larger-than-life enemy with political connections.

Find it on IMDb here.

 

Machete (2010)

Machete is Danny Trejo’s first full-length movie, based on a character created by his cousin, Robert Rodriguez.

The titular character was first seen in the Spy Kids movies, then in a fake trailer in Grindhouse.

Like quite a few Danny Trejo movies out there, this one’s full of guns, gore, and girls. Its cast includes heavy hitters like Robert De Niro, Jessica Alba, Don Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Steven Seagal, Lindsay Lohan, Cheech Marin, and Jeff Fahey.

Machete is a Mexican Federale, on a mission to save a kidnapped girl. Suddenly, things go awry: Machete is betrayed, and his wife killed.

This revenge flick is fun to watch, and includes plenty of action and violence.

Find it on Amazon Prime here.

 

Dead in Tombstone (2013)

Dead in Tombstone is a 2013 direct-to-video, action-horror Western.

Trejo stars as Guerrero, a gang leader double-crossed by his fellow members. Striking a pact with the Devil after entering Hell, he resurfaces to the earthly world to avenge his own death.

The film was released in home media on October 22, 2013, and was followed by a sequel, Dead Again in Tombstone (2017).

Find it on Amazon Prime here.

 

Grand Daddy Day Care (2019)

Drawing inspiration from the Daddy Day Care franchise, Grand Daddy Day Care is a fun romp about senior daycare gone wild.

When author Frank Collins’ father-in-law Eduardo (Trejo) comes to stay with him—while Frank battles a bad case of writer’s block—he decides to run a senior daycare. Frank hopes to give Eduardo something to do, and earn enough money to save his family’s home.

Soon, this motley crew takes on a mission to save one of their own…and take on social services in court.

This funny and touching movie includes lovable characters, an errant horseshoe, some special candy, and lots of clowns.

Watch this movie on Netflix here.

 

Machete Kills (2013)

Machete Kills is just plain fun. It starts in typical Robert Rodriguez fashion, complete with the garish ‘70s Feature Presentation background and a trailer for Machete Kills Again…In Space.

Filled with big names like Jessica Alba, Lady Gaga, Sofia Vergara, and Mel Gibson, Machete Kills is a wild ride with great acting, lots of violence, beautiful women, and a pretty awesome strap-on.

The President of the United States (Charlie Sheen/Carlos Estevez) recruits Machete to stop a bomb aimed at Washington, DC.

Machete discovers there’s a much bigger plan in the works, however.

It’s up to him to find out who’s hellbent on destroying Earth—and put a stop to it.

Stream this film on Netflix here.

 

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Danny Trejo may not have tons of blockbuster movies under his belt, but his impressive filmography still rivals that of any A-lister. His polificity in acting is eclipsed only by the incredible feats of his personal life: he’s gone from convict to drug sponsor, to boxing coach, to consultant—and, finally, one of the most beloved and recognizable actors of all time.

For more movie recommendations, check out the best Simon Pegg or Sid Haig movies, or the top action films from the 1990s.