El Topo

El Topo

DVD - 2007 | Spanish
Average Rating:
13
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After coming upon the scene of a horrifying massacre, roaming gunslinger El Topo demands justice. He learns that the atrocity was committed by someone named The Colonel, and after tracking down the villain and his equally vile men, the mystery man murders them all. A young woman is so grateful to be released from the Colonel's bondage that she agrees to ride with El Topo. But she does not love him and will only pledge her devotion if he kills the four greatest guns in the desert. One by one, El Topo finds the fiends and destroys them. But he is eventually double-crossed, finding himself left for dead among an underground collective of deformed freaks. Vowing to change his ways, he commits to building a tunnel between the cave and the local town. Little does he know that the people in the surrounding village purposefully shunned these lost souls and will do anything--including murder--to keep them away.

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j
jimg2000
Oct 13, 2017

Enjoyed Jodorowsky’s 1989 “Santa Sangre” very much and found this 1970 film that exhibited similar blizzard imagination but without Sangre's bigger budget for sets, costumes and sound track. Per wiki, it is generally recognized to have "ignited the theatrical midnight film movement;" also hailed as ground breaking and enjoyed universal acclaim as an original creative work. Wiki’s description said it best: El Topo (English translation: "The Mole") is a 1970 Mexican western drama film written, scored, directed by and starring Alejandro Jodorowsky. Characterized by its bizarre characters and occurrences, use of maimed and dwarf performers, and heavy doses of Christian symbolism and Eastern philosophy, the film is about the eponymous character – a violent, black-clad gunfighter – and his quest for enlightenment.

7.5/10 IMDb
4/4 Roger Ebert
78% Rotten Tomatoes

p
patch666
Feb 24, 2016

Stoned out masterpiece >>

j
jchrisc
Feb 17, 2016

Probably far better if I were on hallucinogens ... in the '70's ... hanging out with John & Yoko. Tedious watching. Lots of fast-forwarding.

a
akirakato
Jan 22, 2016

This is a 1970 American-Mexican western written, scored, directed by and starring Alejandro Jodorowsky.
It is supposed to be the landmark cult film that began the whole Midnight Movie phenomena of the counterculture-crazy 1970s.
Nowadays, that sort of crazy film seems to be the thing of the past.
It appears to be a nonsensical piece of junk.
I quit viewing halfway through simply because it was just disgusting.

m
missingchicago
Dec 28, 2015

Kreachyr, it's an odd coincidence mentioning that John Lennon and Yoko Ono saw this movie and convinced the Beatles' scumbag manager to fund Jodorowsky's next movie. That's because I saw this very violent Zen Western on the day that John Lennon was murdered. And yes, this is a great movie.

k
KREACHYR
Dec 26, 2015

My favorite movie to this day. John Lennon and Yoko Ono saw this at a midnight showing when it was relatively unknown, and convinced the Beatles' scumbag manager Alan Klein, to fund his next venture, also amazing and epic, The Holy Mountain. There are a lot of allegories here, definitely to Christ, but it's far from preachy or a Christian film. Violence, occult, redemption, surreality and genius. The character reminds me VERY much of Roland from Steven King's Gunslinger/Dark Tower series. He says he got the idea for the first book and series from some poem, but there is NO doubt in my mind whatsoever that this film must have contributed, perhaps very much so. If you like "The Gunslinger", you should like this movie. If you love both, we could probably be friends

rufus_red4 Jul 07, 2015

This film is very much a product of it's times, the counterculture of the late '60's. I can understand kids tripping out on LSD while watching this. Every scene is meant to shock with not much consideration for storytelling. I admit I was often left saying, "Oh no he/she didn't!" But they did and they do. The director is fond of blood that is very fake looking, splattered or coloring clear water. He also has a penchant for using disabled or deformed people and gives them prominence in the film. It adds up to a mess of over the top indulgence. There's much violence though it's amateurish by today's standards and there's also much misogyny and sexism of the women are nude while the man are fully clothed type. I didn't want to finish it but I did, it was tedious and rather like torture. Sort of if Ken Russell made a Western.

j
Jsmackenator
Jun 03, 2015

Pretty great. They don't make them like this anymore (if they ever did). Truly art on film. Won't probably be for most people. In my opinion Jodorowsky is one of the true masters of film.

a
ANTHONYZEDAN
May 31, 2015

Without a doubt, a masterpiece of cinema, an esoteric Western that probes deeply into Eastern mysticism. The film open with an iconic moment of a all black-clad gunslinger and his nude son riding a horse together in the desert, a symbolic pairing of Naked Justice which was not uncommon in the Old West, but how Justice is subverted into a blood third for power and knowledge, the film takes us on a spiritual journey that will stay with you for a long time. The film touches on many moral questions, including, how we are ultimately responsible for the life we have chosen to lead.

n
Nursebob
Dec 13, 2014

The grandfather of all midnight movies, Jodorowsky's spiritual allegory owes more than a passing nod to Catholic voodoo, 60s drug culture, and the director's pathological relationship with his own father. God, Messiah, Avenging Angel, and Sacrificial Lamb all rolled into one, El Topo's journey towards the light is at once an emotional catharsis rife with sex and violence, and a series of inner revelations (cue mystical bunnies and subterranean resurrection). But mostly it's just a lot of artsy tableaux and quasi-mystical banter which gives the appearance of tremendous depth depending on how long you hold the smoke... Like far out man!

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