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
Since the early 90's, Jodorowsky has been attempting to make a sequel to "El Topo," originally called "The Sons Of El Topo" (Los Hijos Del Topo). Sometime between 1996-2002, this was changed to "Abelcain," due to ownership disputes with Allen Klein. Additionally, the name of the character El Topo (The Mole) was changed to 'El Toro' (The Bull). Jodorowsky stated, "I am now working on a Franco-Canadian production called Abelcain, which is a new version of the same project. The character El Topo has become El Toro. A single slash added on letter P changed a subterranean rat into a charging bull." A 2002 article in The Guardian had stated that long-time Jodorowsky fan Marilyn Manson was attached to star in the film as Cain. Set in a post-apocalyptic world, the plot would follow Cain as he teams up with his long-lost brother Abel to battle an enemy adept at technological witchery, and in doing so overcome the curse that marks their destiny. In 1996, a teaser poster was released, even though no footage had actually been shot. However, due to Jodorowsky's difficulty to raise money for the project, as of 2007, the project appears to have been put on hold indefinitely. 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 »
I saw this movie about a dozen times from the early to mid '70's. It was labeled "a cult movie." While I never joined a cult, I was moved to see it a many times as I did because it was a metaphor that spoke strongly to my own spiritual searches at the time. The western motif and travels of our hero/anti hero spoke eloquently of the "mole's search for the light." While the violence was overwhelming at times, I didn't think is redundant or too much. Western society, perhaps all great civilizations, was built on a tremendous amount of violence. The scenes in the mountain with those marginalized from society and their subsequent "liberation" out of the mountain and into the light was an awesome scene. The violence that took place after wards and our own here's self immolation was very poignant. I continue to look for the movie today and hope that whatever is preventing it from being available in North America will be resolved soon. I am very curious to observe my own responses to this film today. I have seen other movies by Jordorowsky and none equaled the impact that El Topo had upon me.
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