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El Topo [2007] [DVD]

24 customer reviews

Price: £29.97 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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£29.97 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details Only 1 left in stock. Sold by A ENTERTAINMENT and Fulfilled by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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Product details

  • Actors: Alejandro Jodorowsky, Mara Lorenzio, David Silva, Paula Romo
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: Spanish
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Tartan Video
  • DVD Release Date: 14 May 2007
  • Run Time: 119 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000NDETJW
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 59,174 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Cult western fantasy. Gunslinger El Topo (Alexandro Jodorowsky, who also directs and provides the script) travels the desert with his seven-year-old son. When they come across the scene of a massacre, one of the dying victims tells them that the gang responsible are led by a man known as the Colonel. El Topo sets out to exact vengeance, liberating the Colonel's wife in the process. She then challenges El Topo to prove his mettle by taking on the four masters of the desert.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Delvis Memphistopheles TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 9 Mar. 2011
Format: DVD
All those years later, after it was made, this strikes more than a chord, it is a deep resonating bell. This was picked up by Lennon and Ono and given a seal of approval playing for a year in the art world of New York. It is an indictment of the world flying around in the 60's when perception became apparent after being clouded by the blinkers of Empire. Then no bad news was ever reported except as natives needing to be provided order.

The flim begins as the 7 year old buries his mother's photo and teddy bear and then enters a world bereft of love and hope, where men are suspended from beams and their blood flows into muddy puddles. This is the world of My Lai, Soviet Russia, the Civil War villages in Spain and the countless blood baths hiding shallow graves as the cold war blew.

Linked to the mysticism of the Bible the main character enacts venegance across the wastelands, killing wisemen superior, only armed with his guile and his gun. He is the man in black. Meanwhile he finds himself two women who vye for his lust whilst only finding themselves.

The acting is halting, the film shots used by Nic Roeg, the scenic shifts and displays utilised by Lynch, the landscape by Sergio Leone and the bloodbath by Tarantino. Jodorowsky has that effect in being the spring source for a whole new genre based upon entering a portal as he creates a new paradigm. The other director who jumps to the same beat is Passolini with his Salo depiction.

Those who need narrative and structure, happy endings, musicals, abhor violence, like animals will be appaulled at the inherent lack of formative narrative, the sexual violence, the killing of animals,the lack of the backslapping bonhomie of "action," "kung fu," and "romantic comedy.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful By The Sundance Kid on 10 April 2007
Format: DVD
Alejandro Jodorowsky is truly one of cinema's real mavericks - and unfortunately due to legal wrangles and a whole host of issues the public has been denied the possibility to see this - several of his film projects such as Frank Herbert's Dune (in the late 70s) failed to get made and others, such as his three early films Fando Y Lis, The Holy Mountain and El Topo, have been unavailable for decades, in fact never being released for the public to own. Now finally the films will see the light of day again in the form of a cinema and DVD release, both of which offer an incredibly exiting prospect.

El Topo is an allegorically spiritual and political, surrealistic take on the Western - splattered in bloody violence, peppered with religious symbolism and jam-packed full of confusing yet engaging action. It is literally the father of the Midnight Movie phenomenon having created enamoured fans out of such counter-cultural icons as Dennis Hopper, John Lennon and Yoko Ono as well as thousands of hip New Yorker 'heads' - all of whom had to see the film in the now legendary Elgin Theatre - at 12am - after the normal programme had finished.

This is just a pure strange joy to watch and offers material to please fans of surrealism from Bunuel and Dali, European art films of those such as Fellini and Pasolini, experimental cinema from the likes of Kenneth Anger as well as, more obviously, Westerns from Leone and Peckinpah, and the classics of the extreme/exploitation circles.
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29 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Kennedy on 21 July 2007
Format: DVD
A couple of reviewers have referred to this film as twaddle, and that to enjoy it you have to have had your brain melted from actual thought. Another reviewer has detailed the film's allegory, which is fair enough, but then allegory is what you go to church for, not why you buy a movie. Although I speak for myself. Who knows.

The thing is, El Topo is less like a movie, or even an art film. It's more an insanely theatrical hallucination. There are no recognisable human beings in it - as in, no-one behaves in a manner you have witnessed in real life. It is deadly serious, and then there's lowbrow hijinks. There's lots of mime in it. The first line of dialogue, which is a long time coming, is "I am God." And there's some weird violence - the first sequence ends with a naked child killing an old man with a gun. So, you know, I'm just saying.

But it is incomparable, which is why people get so upset. If there's a genre frame, it's the revenge western - but even then, you know, not really. And yes, it is pretentious. But not in a French relationship-drama way; more in a "I do not know what is happening but it appears to mean something" way. Which can be frustrating. But then, you shouldn't only eat hamburgers. Vary your diet.
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13 of 18 people found the following review helpful By R. J. Bowen on 18 April 2007
Format: DVD
I have had the great good fortune to see this movie in a local cinema, and I have to say I don't think I've ever spent so long with my mouth hanging open.

Almost all reviewers need to make some comparison to other works just to try and describe El Topo, and so here's my take: imagine a Western co-written by Lewis Carroll and the Monty Python team, co-directed by Terry Gilliam, Sergio Leone and Ingmar Bergman, and with design by Salvador Dali and Heironymous Bosch. Then further imagine that all of the above sat down beforehand and took very generous quantities of suspect powders and tablets, and there you have it.

There is a story, inasmuch as there is a strand of activity, although even that falters at times. But there is as little to aide one as to meaning as there is in the blankest of poetry.

There are plenty of awful clichés, some very rough camera work and editing, and great dollops of atrocious acting, but there are also inspired moments, amazing performances and some of the most awesome cinematic images I have ever seen.

And a lot of it is very funny. Like the 'hero' being run over by a dam-burst of the physically disabled and deformed pouring from a hole in a mountain. It's like that, you see. From the very first scene of the typically black-clad gunfighter riding across the desert, when you realise that he has a completely naked small boy riding pillion, you'll find massacre victims spitted on 30-foot poles, Buddhist gunslingers who tragically believe themselves beyond defeat, women dubbed with gruff men's voices, gay sheriffs, and even a village priest whose sermons involve getting the congregation to play Russian Roulette.
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