I started with a top 10 list and decided what the hell lets see how far I can go. Top…
He didn't come looking for trouble, but trouble came looking for him.
El Mariachi just wants to play his guitar and carry on the family tradition. Unfortunately, the town he tries to find work in has another visitor...a killer who carries his guns in a guitar case. The drug lord and his henchmen mistake El Mariachi for the killer, Azul, and chase him around town trying to kill him and get his guitar case.
A case of mistaken identity leads to a heap of trouble in Robert Rodriguez's shoestring budget directorial debut. High-tech air conditioning. Tippy toes. The opening jailhouse scene proves Robert Rodriguez spent many years at John Woo's VHS film school. Guitar case. Speedy turtle. Shoe shine. You know you're in a great town when you get free coconuts. Giant sombrero. Barroom fiesta. Teléfono rápida. Rolling head. Catching the bus. El Mariachi cost around $7000 to make. I think Robert spent $6500 hiring the cool as fuck pit bull doggie. Found on road dead truck. Freaky pussycat. Domino the sexy camarero. Moco's manicure. Bubble bath. Mariachi swag. Azul ain't no joke. Desperado-esque dreams. Real motherfuckers drink beer straight from the bottle. Switcheroo.…
Made on a shoestring budget of $7,000, Robert Rodriguez managed to get a lot of bang for his buck out of his feature debut, El Mariachi. The budget constraints are obvious, but it's a damn good film considering it would have cost Roriguez more money to buy a decent used car.
El Mariachi (Carlos Gallardo) is a kind-spirited guitar player who simply wants to do as his father and grandfather did, wander through life with his guitar in hand and a song in his heart. He wanders into a small town with his guitar case looking to make a little money as a Mariachi, but is soon mistaken for a viscious hitman named Azul (Reinol Martinez), who is known for…
There was once a guy who had a passion for films. He wanted to make a film, but he was basically broke. With the very few pesos he had in his pockets, got a cheap camera, and made a film that would change his career forever. His name was Robert. The film was about a mariachi player...
The film was made cheap as hell and it looks cheap as hell, but that's one of the reasons why I love this film. He took what little money he had (about $7,000 if I'm not mistaken) and he made quite an impression. Even as an inexperienced director, he provides some inventive shots that are quite impressive coming from a rookie director. He…
Rodriguez's debut feature, shot in two weeks for $7,000, is a heady mix of grisliness, wry humour and charm, as a travelling guitarist (Carlos Gallardo) is mistaken for a ruthless killer, turning him from lightning-fingered balladeer to lightning-fingered desperado.
It's an excitingly rough and ready mission statement, with bloody action scenes, a touching romance and a great use of voiceover, as our hero harks back to the mariachis of old, lending the film a timelessness and cultural relevance.
Rodriguez allows some cheesiness to creep in when slimy '80s-style villain Peter Marquardt is on screen, but it's a minor shortcoming in this excellent little film, which milks the mistaken-identity plot for all its worth, aided by Gallardo's considerable charisma and likeability.
There's even time in its 82 minutes for us all to stop and listen to a nice song.
Brilliant. Expertly crafted. A truly inspiring and groundbreaking peice of independent filmmaking.
El Mariachi is all around a one of a kind masterwork!
This was my first watch of Robert Rodriguez's debut feature. I only really decided to watch it as I flicked through Netflix on my phone in bed, just to check what was new or had recently been added and I just happened to notice that El Mariachi was on there; so too was Desperado and Once Upon A Time In Mexico (his 'Mexico' trilogy.)
El Mariachi is quite clearly a low-budget project, with its obscure/unknown actors and low production values, but in a weird sort of way it all works to El Mariachi's favour. The relatively plain settings play off the poor Mexicans. There's no work for our Mariachi friend, played endearingly by Carlos Gallardo, and even when he gets…
This sort of thing really inspires me as a film student.
This film is famous for its extremely low budget of $7000. Knowing that, it's pretty impressive what Robert Rodriguez was able to accomplish. The film does look low budget, but still really damn good for $7000. Anyway, the story follows a mariachi looking for work in a small Mexican town, but the same day he's looking a killer rides in also carrying a guitar case, thus the mariachi unknowingly becomes a target. It's a solid set-up, and Rodriguez crafts a number of suspenseful action set-pieces. I also liked amateur actor Carlos Gallardo in the lead role. He works well as a young and idealistic guitar player, and is turn to a desperate hero is pretty believable too. The film also…
Serie B de la buena buena, como solo un director como Rodriguez en sus primeros años puede hacer. Es la misma historia que cuenta siempre, sí, pero hay algo especial en verla representada con tan poco presupuesto y en su forma más básica. Maneja sus arquetipos con confianza (aun cuando es imposible no reírse por las actuaciones) e incluso se permite experimentar a nivel visual.
A stranger so smooth that he speaks Spanish steps into the wrong place at the wrong time in the thrilling beginning of Robert Rodriguez's "Hombre with No Nombre" trilogy! It's a tortilla western, "A Fistful of Pesos", or, as I prefer to call it, "Le Mariage"! I thought it would be cute to note that the word "mariachi" supposedly derives from the French word for "marriage", and at any rate, I'm not especially fond of the Mexican dialect of the French language, so I just had to go French after this film. Yeah, if you're like me and get annoyed when Mexican-Americans walk upon and enjoy this soil while speaking Spanish so fluently that it's as if they've never heard…
A surprisingly quiet, personal indie film with some action in it. You wouldn't expect the sequels that followed.
This was a pretty awesome debut from Robert Rodriguez. Cool little mix-up gang warfare storyline, an awesome little allegory about a turtle and creative use of a guitar case to drive the story.
I think it was pretty apparent early on that this guy was gonna go on to do great things!
Low-budget, gritty, Rodriguez...
It was great to see where he stared and how his style came about. I had a lot of fun with this movie. It's over the top and everything I love about his movies. Some of the acting was so bad it was funny; take into account this was his first movie and they were probably barely actors, this critique turns into nit-picking. Loved it.
A simple little story of mistaken identity. But infused with Robert Rodriguez's keen eye for violence and dialogue. Little humorous touches really help keep the story interesting from the get-go. Short and to the point, El Mariachi goes down easy.
I wonder how Robert Rodriguez would feel about this being shown in a film class.
This movie is best summed up with the following sentence:
"Not bad for being basically the cheapest movie ever made"
- Once Upon a Time in the West
- Assault on Precinct 13
- The Good, The Bad, The Weird
- Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia
- Hard Boiled
- The Pitfall
- The Night of the Hunter
- Dead Man's Letters
- Reservoir Dogs
What are the great directorial debuts?
To be clear, I am talking about feature debuts - they may have worked…
- Men, Women & Children
- The Bling Ring
- The Poughkeepsie Tapes
- Magic Magic
Films that I find to be (either only a bit or way too) lowly rated on Letterboxd; these are just…