Pauline Kael called it a "horror circus," Newsweek "unique," and The Village Voice a "comedy that becomes a cult of salvation." Spanish for "The Mole," El Topo is an extraordinary film by Alejandro Jodorowsky, a Chilean mime-cum-actor-cum-filmmaker. The film has the honor of being the very first "midnight movie." People crowded midnight screenings in New York City in 1971 for months on end -- the pot smoke in the theatres being so thick you'd have to wade into it. The film was a smash hit. Everyone was dropping out and tuning onto El Topo. Jodorowsky appeared on a talk show, an unforgettably spastic and delirious performance spoken in riddles (something of a precursor to Roberto Benigni's Academy Awards freak-out). There was a book version and the film became part of the cultural cache of the New York underground, if you hadn't seen or heard about El Topo you were very uncool.
Continue reading: El Topo Review
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