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
4,719 ( 245)
2 wins. See more awards »

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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 legendary cult classic 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)

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,857, 17 December 2006

Gross USA:

$80,302

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$155,820
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

Other noteworthy figures said to be fans of the film, besides John Lennon and Yoko Ono, include directors David Lynch and Samuel Fuller, actors Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper, and performers Bob Dylan, Marilyn Manson, and Peter Gabriel. It has been claimed that this movie was the beginning of Gabriel's inspiration for the classic Genesis concept album, 'The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway'. 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 »

Connections

Referenced in Nymphéas (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Not for the weak of heart…
17 August 2008 | by Nazi_Fighter_DavidSee all my reviews

"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 Topo—meant to be wise and mystical—rides 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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