Original Release Date: December 18th, 1970
Re-release Date: December 13th, 2006 (IFC Center) by Abkco Films.
The Cast: Alejandro Jodorowsky, Brontis Jodorowsky, Mara Lorenzio, David Silva, Paula Romo, Robert John, Héctor Martínez, Juan José Gurrola, Víctor Fosado, Agustín Isunza, Jacqueline Luis, José Legarreta Alfonso Arau.
Directed by Alejandro Jodorowsky.
BASIC PREMISE: El Topo (Alejandro Jodorowsky) must defeat four master gunmen of the desert who massacred a town and must dig a tunnel to free cave-dwellers.
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Full of both depraved and symbolic images with a consistently bizarre, unpredictable plot, El Topo is an enigma wrapped up in a riddle wrapped up in an enigma with many additional layers of madness and no coherence. It’s like a crazy western directed by Terry Gilliam on a heavy dose of drugs. At first, it seems like El Topo comes upon a town full of massacred people and, along with his naked son, hunts down the gunmen responsible. The violence is rather stylized, though, with the hue of the red blood too bright to be real. Eventually, the film becomes a very strange, somewhat darkly humorous parable full of religious and sexual symbols, some of which can be easily missed if you don’t pay close enough attention to the details. The crazy plot does feel a bit tedious and tends to drag, but at least the striking visuals provide some eye candy. The character of El Topo becomes somewhat irritating as the film progresses. Ultimately, El Topo should be shown in film class to be studied shot-by-shot for its cinematography or, if you’re in the mood for unconventionality and can stomach depravation, it’s worth repeated viewings at midnight showings while marveling at its madness.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: Plenty of religious and sexual symbols, i.e. a fruit which is cut into the shape of a female sexual organ and eaten inappropriately.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: None, as long as you suspend your disbelief.
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 4
IN A NUTSHELL: Bizarre, depraved, unpredictable, mysterious and very unconventional with exquisite cinematography.
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater (1st Run- Late shows only)
The "T" Menu