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".
In a Chilean little town, the son of an uprooted couple, formed by a rigorous communist father and a loving but weak mother, tries to pave his own path in a society that does not understand their Jewish-Ukrainian origins.
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
Entertainment Weekly ranked this Number 11 on their "Guilty Pleasures: Testosterone Edition" list in their March 30, 2007, issue. 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 »
Many Spanish and other non-English versions are censored, missing most of the sex and violence. Japanese prints on laserdisc have one piece of minor censorship (the scene with the Franciscan monks being ridden and humiliated). See more »
"El Topo" was one of the first midnight-movie cult hits because of its visually stunning, mentally exciting indulgence in gratuitous sex and exaggerated violence
Avenging angel El Topomeant to be wise and mysticalrides into a town whose population has just been massacred He guns down some of the cruel and perverse bandits responsible and brutally punishes their leader He leaves his seven-year-old son with some monks and goes away with the gang leader's woman, Mara
In the desert sands, El Topo and Mara make love, and she quickly falls in love with him After their frantic love-making, she tells him that he can prove that he's the 'best' by killing the Four Masters
For no apparent reason other than to please Mara, El Topo begins his mission, defeating and killing each of the Four Masters
The film has been quite controversial It lacks clarity and has painful emotions that make it quite compelling
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