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
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 »
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 »
Truly astonishing film from writer/director/composer Alejandro Jodorowsky. This is one of the most hypnotic films you'll ever see and is one that stays in the mind for days afterwards. Think Leone, Fellini and Peckinpah joining forces to make a mystical, existential and spiritual western and you're someway close to Jodorowsky's masterpiece. There are so many things to like and admire in this film from the sometimes purposely jarring editing and the beautiful music to the gorgeous vistas inhabited by a plethora of interesting and unusual characters. Track down a copy (Italy's Raro video currently has a decent dvd on release. I got mine from xploitedcinema) and you will not regret it. Be warned though - some of the images are pretty extreme, especially for 1971. A stunner and a definite must have for any serious film collector.
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