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This is very possibly one of the oddest films I've ever seen, and I'm pleased I caught it on the big screen among a crowd of similarly minded cinema goers; intrigued, amused, appalled and baffled in equal measure.
This Mexican "acid" Western was a massive underground hit and was a favourite of John Lennon who brought it to greater attention in America, and ended up influencing later surrealists like David Lynch. If you like your Westerns peppered with large doses of Christ allegory, copious blood, physical deformity, massacres, clowning, midget sex, transvestitism, self-immolation, homosexuality, castration, Russian roulette, randy old women, suicide and lesbianism this is definitely the film for you. Apart from all that, which is all entertaining enough, I found the constant graphic images of animal death quite repulsive - horses and donkeys lie around disembowelled, owls and goats are crucified, piles of rabbits twitching and dying, crows blown to pieces - which definitely affected my overall feelings about the film, but it's a unique, insane vision, part crass 70s exploitation, part religious investigation, part Spaghetti Western (or perhaps Burrito Western?), part blackest comedy. This was my first experience of Jodorowsky, but it certainly won't be my last.
The first half looks like an action game: find the gang, defend the monks from Evil Colonel, defeat 4 gunmasters. The second one is like online strategy - earn money and dig the mine. Plus the sauce of satire and religion symbolism.
Definitely worth watching.
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In 7 official lists
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This movie ranks #7 in 366 Weird Movies (Certified Weird)
This movie ranks #24 in Badmovies.org Best B-Movies
This movie ranks #311 in Roger Ebert: the great movies
This movie ranks #503 in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die
This movie ranks #731 in Sight and Sound 2012 - Combined List
This movie ranks #920 in The Guardian's 1000 Films to See Before You Die
This movie ranks #922 in They Shoot Pictures, Don't They?