7.4/10
26,567
135 user 154 critic

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)
4 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

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
Edit

Storyline

El Topo decides to confront warrior masters on a transformative desert journey he begins with his six-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 gun-slinger in black, riding a horse through a mystical landscape strewn with American Western 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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The director wanted to shoot an episode with ten thousand rabbits. But they brought him only three hundred. There is a legend that Khodorovsky strangled all the rabbits with his own hands and used their corpses in the plague scene. 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 The Hounslow Poltergeist (2007) See more »

User Reviews

Easily one of the strangest movies ever made!
24 January 2002 | by InfofreakSee all my reviews

I have seen three movies by Alejandro Jodorowsky - 'El Topo', 'The Holy Mountain' and 'Santa Sangre' - each are amazing, but 'El Topo' to me is the most successful. I was almost going to say "most accessible" but that would be misleading! It's still a difficult movie, steeped in religious and occult symbolism and allegory. I doubt whether anyone but Jodorowsky himself truly "gets it", but it is still the most watchable and entertaining of the three, and the best introduction to his work.

Jodorowsky not only writes and directs he plays the title role (translates as "The Mole"), a mysterious black-clad gunfighter who claims to be God. I won't bore with a detailed retelling of the plot, but it initially involves El Topo's quest to find and fight the four masters of the desert, and ends up with him becoming part of strange community of outcasts who live underground. But there's much more to than that, just watch it for yourself.

'El Topo' was a cult favourite thirty years ago, and still stands as one of the most extraordinary movies ever made. Nobody but Jodorowsky has even come close to repeating it. Currently difficult to find, but persevere, it's worth looking for. A truly unique piece of cinema that no-one who watches will ever forget!


80 of 102 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 135 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Country:

Mexico

Language:

Spanish

Release Date:

15 April 1971 (Mexico) See more »

Also Known As:

El Topo See more »

Filming Locations:

Mexico See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,857, 17 December 2006

Gross USA:

$80,302

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$160,468
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 »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed