The movie won't be out for months, but already it's whipping up publicity and stoking anticipation.

No, it's not the new "Twilight" installment, but Robert Rodriguez's gritty Mexploitation flick "Machete," due for release Sept. 3.

The cheapo-style action film, starring character actor Danny Trejo as a Mexican day laborer turned assassin, began in 2007 as a mock trailer within "Grindhouse," the double feature directed by Quentin Tarantino and Rodriguez. That film flopped, but "Machete" is benefiting from a perfect storm of current events.

One is Arizona's controversial new law giving police broad powers over suspected illegal immigrants. On May 5, Rodriguez, who is of Hispanic descent (as are cast members Cheech Marin, Michelle Rodriguez and Jessica Alba), released a new trailer in which Trejo growls, "This is Machete with a special Cinco de Mayo message - to Arizona!" That's been enough to grab headlines during a time of heated public debate over a touchy issue.

The other media generator is Lindsay Lohan, seen in the trailer licking a gun. She's been making news again, this time for a blood-spattered photo shoot (also involving a gun) and for being dropped from an indie film (reportedly because of nervous investors). Rodriguez, however, has publicly come to her defense.

"Lindsay isn't any different from any girl her age," he told the celebrity magazine In Touch Weekly. "She has the same problems that a lot of our daughters have, but she's in the public eye all the time. I've seen them carry some other girl the same age out of that same club and nobody cares a damn."