3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Pretentious and poorly made,
This review is from: El Topo  [DVD] (DVD)
Being a fan of many avant-garde and experimental films, such as the works of David Lynch, Kenneth Anger and Jim Jarmusch, I thought I'd give El Topo, by the supposedly great Alejandro Jodorowsky a try. Boy, did I regret that. Simply put, this film is infantile. The acting is terrible, the cinematography poor, and the plot just dull. Attempts at mysticism and occult allegory within the film are just lost amongst tacky pretentious lines and just general crappiness. I also find it appalling how many animals were killed in the making of this film; I'm surprised that Jodorowsky, an allegedly "spiritual" man who was once an apprentice to a Zen monk, could ever justify the deaths of so many for such a poor cause.
There are far better films in the acid western genre, such as Jarmusch's Dead Man, which itself deals with the same themes as El Topo, but in a far more adult, and intelligent way. This is just one long line of fake blood, pointless scenes and gore, with a few "freaks" thrown in, for what appears to be no better reason that simple shock value or appealing to the 70s counter-culture (which, from the positive response from John Lennon, I assume it did). Why on Earth Jodorowsky himself played the protagonist I don't know, because he cannot act, and it just seems pretentious that he plays the character who eventually gains enlightenment.
It's an interesting film, but overall it's just not very good.