Movies => Good Movies => Topic started by: The Burgomaster on June 09, 2007, 08:29:31 AM

Title: EL TOPO (1970)
Post by: The Burgomaster on June 09, 2007, 08:29:31 AM

If Sam Peckinpah, David Lynch, and Ken Russell all got together and made a western, the result would be EL TOPO.  This is a relentless, visually impressive, and sometimes shocking film that was a midnight movie hit in the U.S. in the 1970s.

The movie starts out with El Topo ("The Mole"), dressed in black, wandering the desert on horseback with his (naked) son whose mother has died.  They ride into a village, the inhabitants of which have been massacred by bandits (this is a particularly bloody scene with dead bodies everywhere, disemboweled animals, and wide puddles of blood in the streets).  El Topo eventually meets a woman who challenges him to seek and kill four master gunfighters living in the desert.

The first half of the movie is sort of like a cross between HIGH PLAINS DRIFTER and the KUNG FU television series, but with a lot of extreme symbolism, unusual characters, and striking images.  The second half of the movie is more like a biblical epic (in a western setting).  Because of the heavy symbolism and religious overtones, this movie certainly isn't for everyone.  However, I found it to be interesting and fast paced.  The 2 hour and 4 minute running time moved along very quickly.

If you were to watch this movie 20 times in a row, you would probably get something new out of it every time.  There is far too much symbolism and religious allegory to catch or understand it all in one viewing.  But whether you love it or hate it, it contains moments that you won't forget for a long time.

I purchased this as part of the Alejandro Jodorowski boxed set.  I rate EL TOPO a strong 8 on a scale of 1 to 10.

Title: Re: EL TOPO (1970)
Post by: RCMerchant on June 09, 2007, 02:06:33 PM
Always wanted to see it...though never have. I read about it in old CASTLE of FRANKENSTEIN mags (Cof was like FAMOUS MONSTERS for adults...) as a kid...but wasn't interested untill I grew up. Bought an old (1972) copy of Cof on ebay,with an interview with Alexandro Jodowrysky, where he goes into detail about the ideas behind the film...which are all very esoteric and strange. Really need to see it,as all of you guys are recommending it...and youv'e all been preety much on the mark!!! :thumbup:

Title: Re: EL TOPO (1970)
Post by: Scott on June 11, 2007, 09:44:58 PM
This film has been on my list for so long that I can't believe it's now on DVD. Will pick up the box set once I find a copy locally.

Title: Re: EL TOPO (1970)
Post by: The Burgomaster on June 12, 2007, 05:37:17 AM
Scott - the box set has 6 discs in it:  EL TOPO, THE HOLY MOUNTAIN, FANDO Y LIS, another DVD that I think is a documentary or maybe a short film, and 2 soundtrack cds.  I bought it online from DeepDiscount and I think I paid only $29.98 for it, which is about $10 cheaper than I've seen it in several stores.

Title: Re: EL TOPO (1970)
Post by: Scott on June 12, 2007, 10:03:26 AM
These are the only DVD's I would consider paying the full price of $40. Thanks for the Deep Discout info Burgomaster.