7.5/10
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El Topo (1970)

Not Rated | | Drama, Western | 15 April 1971 (Mexico)
A mysterious black-clad gunfighter wanders a mystical Western landscape encountering multiple bizarre characters.

Director:

Alejandro Jodorowsky (as Alexandro Jodorowsky)

Writer:

Alejandro Jodorowsky (as Alexandro Jodorowsky)
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Popularity
3,653 ( 418)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Alejandro Jodorowsky ... El Topo
Brontis Jodorowsky ... Hijo / Topo's son
José Legarreta José Legarreta ... Moribundo
Alfonso Arau ... Bandido 1
José Luis Fernández José Luis Fernández ... Bandido 2
Ali Junco Ali Junco ... Bandido 3 (as Alí Junco)
Gerardo Zepeda ... Bandido 4 (as Gerardo Cepeda)
René Barrera René Barrera ... Bandido 5
René Alís René Alís ... Bandido 6
Federico Gonzáles Federico Gonzáles ... Bandido 7
Vicente Lara Vicente Lara ... Bandido 8
Pablo Leder Pablo Leder ... Monje 1
Giuliano Girini Sasseroli Giuliano Girini Sasseroli ... Monje 2
Cristian Merkel Cristian Merkel ... Monje 3
Aldo Grumelli Aldo Grumelli ... Monje 4
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Storyline

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 David Stevens

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The film that shocked America with its sex & violence See more »

Genres:

Drama | Western

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Mexico

Language:

Spanish

Release Date:

15 April 1971 (Mexico) See more »

Also Known As:

The Gopher See more »

Filming Locations:

Mexico See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Producciones Panicas See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Klangfilm)

Color:

Color (Technicolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

[first lines]
El Topo: [to his son] You are seven years old. You are a man. Bury your first toy and your mother's picture.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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 »

Alternate Versions

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 »

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User Reviews

incredible stuff
10 May 2004 | by kevin-jonesSee all my reviews

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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