Back in the early 90’s, before Robert Rodriguez became a household name with genre films like Desperado, Sin City or the Spy Kids franchise, he was raising money for his first feature, El Mariachi by subjecting his body to experimental drugs in a Medical Research Facility.  25 years later, Rodriguez is at it again. This time however, he’s behind the camera for RED 11, a new horror/thriller based on the director’s experiences.  


Adapted from a script written 25 years ago that was based on Robert Rodriguez’s experiences in a Medical Research Facility, RED 11 is a Horror/Thriller set in a dark, twisted version of the Legal Drug Research world. At these Facilities, young guys become Lab Rats to make quick money, but our hero RED 11 is here to buy his way out of a huge debt to the tune of $7,000. This story shows the quirks, characters, and comedy of Robert’s experiences of being a human Lab Rat, but with a sci fi and horror twist, because while under the influence of experimental drugs, Red 11 doesn’t know if what’s in front of him is fact or fiction.

Co-written with his son, Racer, RED 11 was an experiment of another kind for Rodriguez. While working on the recently released, big budget adaptation of Alita: Battle Angel with James Cameron, the famed DIY director challenged himself to make this new film for only $7,000, just like he did with El Mariachi, almost 3 decades earlier.  


On top of that, Rodriguez had a film crew filming the making of the new low-budget film, which was then turned into a docu-series of six 30-minute episodes called Rebel Without a Crew: The Robert Rodriguez Film School. Speaking with Indiewire, Rodriguez said, “All of it was just too fantastic and way too big a task and logistics to do for no money. It needed to be more like a television series or something, but I thought, ‘Why don’t I go ahead and be ambitious? If I fail, it’ll be better behind-the-scenes footage.’ It ended up working out great.”

Red 11, along with the docu-series, will premiere at SXSW on March 12th. Check out the poster below and let us know what you think about Rodriguez’s tireless work ethic on Twitter, in our Official Subreddit, or over in the Fiend Club Facebook Group!