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Unmissable 5 Stars
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Alejandro Jodorowsky
Brontis Jodorowsky
Jose Legarreta.
Alejandro Jodorowsky.
Alejandro Jodorowsky.
Running Time
66 minutes

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El Topo
Alejandro Jodorowsky's 1970 surreal adventure.

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Trippy, cult classic from Alejandro Jodorowsky.


Famously feted by John Lennon, Alejandro Jodorowsky's 1970 cult classic has recently been subjected to much snooty derision. Its densely allegorical content has been dismissed as hallucinogenic obscurantism and its iconography derided as insanely egotistical. But denouncing a movie because it makes demands on the imagination as much as the intellect simply represents sloppy criticism.

This is a hellishly difficult watch and even if you think you recognise riffs on everyone from Leone to Peckinpah, Buñuel to Godard and Tod Browning to Glauber Rocha, there's always still more to challenge, intrigue and baffle, as Jodorowsky's drifter acquires wisdom while picking off four master gunmen before seeking atonement in a discarded community whose subterranean refuge abuts a decadent town (whose excesses and prejudices have a distinctly American feel). Violent, visionary, vital.


El Topo El Topo
Released: 14 May 2007

Violent, visionary, vital.

Reviewed by David Parkinson

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for El Topo
Empire Star Rating

An instant classic! Great Movie. One of the key films of all the time.

El topo is one hell of an ultra-violent film. Essential if you're a movie addict. One of the best foreign films ever made. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by nc_jj at 20:11, 21 March 2008 | Report This Post

El Topo

This film is great. Changed my life and I've shown it to many of my friends who also got caught up in maddness. One of them named their new puppy El Topo. Now that is what I call influence! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Beehive Spirit at 19:04, 16 December 2007 | Report This Post

El Topo

This film is great. Changed my life and I've shown it to many of my friends who also got caught up in maddness. One of them named their new puppy El Topo. Now that is what I call influence! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Beehive Spirit at 19:04, 16 December 2007 | Report This Post

RE: El Topo

his a few years ago, as part of the late great Moviedrome series. To be honest I thought it was self indulgent tosh. ... More

Posted by Monkeyshaver at 11:20, 02 April 2007 | Report This Post

RE: El Topo

I haven't seen El Topo, but since viewing Santa Sangre I'm keen to do so. Has any company (any region) released this on dvd yet? I remember hearing that a bootleg was doing the rounds a couple of years ago... Santa Sangre was fantastic. A film made with such care that it easily transcends it's premise as a freakshow Argento slasher (which isn't necessarily the worst setup for a film). But much more poetic than exploitative... I've heard that El-Topo sequel 'Son' is in the wo... More

Posted by retrozombi at 11:08, 02 April 2007 | Report This Post

RE: El Topo

It's a typically surreal and visually memorable film from Jodorowsky, but I always think it's a shame that this, along with Santa Sangre, tend to overshadow his best film, The Holy Mountain. That was his most demanding work both in terms of imagery and irrelevant political and social subtext I think, El Topo suffers from being more restrained and rigid visually, although it's hardly the most accessible of films and has many of Jodorowsky's trademarks/fetishes. Besides that, on it's own El ... More

Posted by Lydia_H at 20:36, 31 March 2007 | Report This Post

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