El Mariachi just wants to play his guitar and carry on the family tradition. Unfortunately, the town he tries to find work in has another visitor...a killer who carries his guns in a guitar case. The drug lord and his henchmen mistake El Mariachi for the killer, Azul, and chase him around town trying to kill him and get his guitar case.Written by
Josh Pasnak <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This film initially cost $7000 to make. Director Robert Rodriguez raised $3,000 of the $7,000 by volunteering to be a human "laboratory rat". He was used to test a cholesterol reducing drug. Paid $100 a day for 30 days, he wrote most of the script while locked in the lab. Peter Marquardt was a fellow "rat", but could not speak Spanish. He delivered his lines from card held in his hand or out of shot. Most of the $7,000 was spent on film for the camera. The version seen in most cinemas has had approximately $1 million of post-production work and promotion behind it. See more »
The keyboard player at the bar disappears moments after playing when Azul kills the men inside. See more »
Very good low-budget film, puts most "blockbusters" to shame.
It is so well-established now in other comments, I won't repeat that Robert Rodriguez made this debut film of his for a mere $7,000. Regardless how much he did or didn't spend, this is a very well-written and photographed story of a nice young man who only wants to be a Mariachi singer, but is inadvertently caught up in a manhunt and several gunfights. The movie is not intended to be taken seriously. The crook with the guitar case full of guns is supposed to be part of the joke of the movie. Many people get shot and killed, and of course that isn't funny in real life, but this film is not intended to reflect real life. It is just an entertaining film. Sort of a cartoon come to life.
I saw this on DVD, which is real nice because the extra features contain a great insight into how Rodriguez shot and edited this movie. For example, all the filming was done "silently". Then, armed with a tape recorder and Radio Shack microphone, he had the actors re-do the scene while he recorded the dialog and other sounds. Music was done the same way. Then, when Rodriguez edited the movie, he matched the tape-recorded sound to the filmed action for the final cut. Watching the film you can notice some non-synchronization, and that's the reason why. It is certainly not distracting. He made the film with no crew, no fancy equipment, vrtally no lighting other than natural. Most of the actors were local Mexican businessmen, bartenders, or TV news men. Quite an achievement in movie-making, because it is a very entertaining movie on its own. I give it 9 of 10, partly because of the novelty of its origin.
The other side of the DVD contains Rodriguez's followup movie, "Desperado", which is actually a sequel to "El Mariachi." So, if you rent or buy this DVD, you are getting 2 movies for one price. Quite a deal!!
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