A former circus artist escapes from a mental hospital to rejoin his armless mother - the leader of a strange religious cult - and is forced to enact brutal murders in her name as he becomes "her arms".
Alejandro Jodorowsky was born in 1929 in Tocopilla, a coastal town on the edge of the Chilean desert where this film was shot. It was there that Jodorowsky underwent an unhappy and ... See full summary »
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. Written by
Years later, Alejandro Jodorowsky, ashamed of the part he forced his own son to play, invited him to his house. He went with his son to the backyard and asked him to dig. Inside the hole, there was an old teddy bear and an old picture of his mother, and Alexandro said: "Now you are 8 years old, and you have the right to be a kid". See more »
The opening scene is of a man on horseback riding through the desert, although the horse is on deep sand the sound is of a horse on hard ground. See more »
[to his son]
You are seven years old. You are a man. Bury your first toy and your mother's picture.
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The closing credits in the English-dubbed version of El Topo state that ABKCO Films copyrighted the film in 1967; however, ABKCO didn't purchase (any rights to) it until June of 1971! See more »
This was Alexandro Jodorowsky's first recognised cult movie in the early seventies. Shot in Mexico, El Topo (or the mole in English) is a gunslinger (played by Jodorowsky), who, dressed completely in black leather, rides on his horse with his seven-year-old son through the desert; until they come across a massacre of people. One of the survivors tells El Topo who the culprits are, and he then takes on the guise of God and seeks revenge. There is a lot of surrealistic imagery from then on as Jodorowsky explores violence, racism and religious themes, but it is absorbing and the ending is very obscure. An easy candidate for a cult movie.
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