El Topo (1970)

The road to enlightenment is paved in blood in EL TOPO, the feature film that brought Alejandro Jodorowsky to the public for the first time and single-handedly started the "midnight movie" craze! In it, a mystical gunslinger enters the desert to confront the Four Masters, warriors of legend who hold the keys to personal enlightenment. After defeating each of them, he is betrayed by his followers and left to die in a small desert town. Years later, El Topo awakens as the prophet and savior to a group of misshapen inbreeds who have become trapped in a perilous cavern. He then begins a noble quest to tunnel his people out, not knowing that the outer world is not ready to accept them. EL TOPO is a postmodern religious allegory set in an ultra-violent Western setting that is sure to blow your mind! Jodorowsky stars as the mysterious lead, a chauvinistic New Age messiah clad in black that progresses through each new stage of personal understanding through the barrel of a gun. Like in each of his films to follow, Jodorowsky creates a surreal cinematic landscape that is not unlike the works of Salvador Dali. His symbolism and cynical humor can often be difficult to deconstruct, but they amount to a viewing experience unlike any other. Hailed by leaders in the counterculture movement such as John Lennon and Dennis Hopper, EL TOPO is an important piece of world cinema from one of Mexico's most profound directors.

Rating: 9/10.

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  1. I was joking about basket case. But this really is one of the best films ever made. great site.

  2. Unlike anything I have ever seen in my entire life, loved this one too Kevin. Basket Case is still an all-time B-Movie great though! =D

  3. First saw El Topo when I was 14. Changed my life — or at least what I thought of as the limits of movies. Holy Mountain is also great. Far more accessible is Sante Sangre, for those who need a beginning, middle & end. Jodorowsky is my all-time favourite Polish-Chilean director!