All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1177. An easy way of seeing how…
The Definitive Cult Spaghetti Western
El Topo decides to confront warrior Masters on a trans-formative desert journey he begins with his 6 year old son, who must bury his childhood totems to become a man. El Topo (the mole) claims to be God, while dressed as a gunfighter in black, riding a horse through a spiritual, mystical landscape strewn with old Western movie, and ancient Eastern religious symbols. Bandits slaughtered a village on his path, so El Topo avenges the massacred, then forcibly takes their leader's woman Mara as his. El Topo's surreal way is bloody, sexual and self-reflective, musing of his own demons, as he tries to vanquish those he encounters.
Erm...I'm going to put down in this review what I thought of this film as I was watching it, and see what I come out with:
In Western times, being 7 years old was considered to be the age at which you become a man?
Massacre, massacre, massacre, massacre.
He actually made his 7 year old son conduct a mercy killing. He's the world's worst dad.
Yep, shooting shoes.
Yep, slicing bananas.
Yep, making a naked woman out of seeds, then eating it.
Balloons were invented in Western times?
Bang bang, splat splat.
OK, how can he still walk after being shot with a high-powered rifle in both knees?
The New York Times contacted me today for background about my review of El Topo that was published in the L.A. Free Press on April 23, 1971. They provided me with a scan of the article, and I'm reposting it here. Maybe 43 years later its verbiage is a little embarrassing; but I stand by what I wrote back then. How often do we get an opportunity to view what we thought about films through the prism of the far past experience? Let this be a lesson for all you younger reviewers on letterboxd...chances are in the far future you might be confronted with your writings, since nothing on the internet is truly ephemeral...just the way that nothing in print…
A couple of months back I introduced myself to the mad world of Alejandro Jodorowsky with his sadistic, poetic Santa Sangre masterpiece. To say I wasn’t prepared for it would be an understatement, but it truly changed the way I see horror cinema in more ways than one. Intrigued to see if Jodorowsky could top the insanity of Santa Sangre which is oddly deemed tame in its symbolism when compared to El Topo – a bold statement to say the least – here I find myself witnessing something not as irrepressible in its mystical, bloody beauty, but more so a film that is as far detached from any other western I’ve ever seen.
El Topo is brutal. Immediately Jodorowksy drowns…
Things Jodorowsky loves:
- Disabled people
- Hurting animals
Things Jodorowsky hates:
- The Illuminati
Film #22 in Around the World in 50 Movies!
Alejandro Jodorowsky’s El Topo is an utterly insane, surreal, and bizarre acid western that helped redefine one of America’s oldest film genres. The film is rich with symbolism, full of controversy, and is one of the most unique films ever crafted. Jodorowsky cemented himself as an underground legend with the release of this film and has since become one of the most influential independent filmmakers ever.
I can't begin to figure out how to review this film other than to say it so far ahead of its time and so experimental while also being deeply spiritual and personal at the same time. Not for the casual movie watcher but a MUST for any film buff.
Wow, I've seen some weird movies but this might take the top spot. It's extremely violent, explicit, sexual, and disturbing at times (sometimes a combination of all those qualities) and features lots of striking religious imagery and symbolism. I'm going to have to see it again to give a detailed review, but (from what I can tell) basic idea of searching for meaning and facing the difficulties of enlightenment was very interesting, and was elevated by the creative ways it was expressed. Solid performances and AMAZING costumes and set design. Really fascinating movie.
It's hard for me to write a thorough review for this film. It's still a film I'm trying to comprehend. It's definitely a film that's visually stunning, it's full of beautiful imagery. It has scenes I'm never going to forget. It can also be very brutal and disturbing at times. But El Topo is a film that's just so unique, abstract and avant garde, you can't take your eyes of off it. It's a film like no other. It truly has to be experienced and is a film I won't forget.
This film is very artsy and full of symbolism. Clearly it's split into two halfs that follow the journey of a gunslinging cowboy looking for enlightenment. It's a western at is core but it's not really a wester either. It has many elements of several genres. It a gorgeous film and the director truly puts his heart into this. I would have rated it 5 stars but I have to mark it down because the movie takes a completely different path in the second half. It's dramatically different and I would say that it is almost a completely different movie than the first half of the film. I truly believe if this film were to ever be remade they should literally drop the second half and extend the story in the first half.
A mysterious black-clad gunfighter wanders a mystical Western landscape encountering multiple bizarre characters.
Great film. It's a strange engrossing film which is a bit rough around the edges. One problem I have is that at some points during the movie the sound quality raped my ears. The rest of the movie is great though and it leaves a bit to the imagination. Every duel has a weight to it and feels very thought out and fluid. I feel that many loose ends were left untied, but the editing of the story was so rough that you don't really care for the extra characters. At the end of the day the movie is intriguing,blissfully violent and intelligent.
This was quite the enlightening experience.
I really liked hearing Jodorowsky spout off about his crazy ideas in Jodorowsky's Dune; actually seeing the craziness onscreen, not so much.
Recently, I've become aware that certain films are able to transcend the medium by being completely self-assured in their atmospheres…