El Topo


Alejandro Jodorowsky’s legendary, notorious cult hit essentially created the genre of the Midnight Movie — a spectacle so stunning and bizarre that normal hours couldn’t contain it.

“It remains an intoxicating trip … by turns mesmerizing, grotesque, surreal, satirical, rousing and impenetrable.” – Ben Walters, Time Out London

Incorporating influences from Tarot to the Bible to Zen Buddhism and avante-garde surrealism into a mind-blowing Western genre flick, Jodorowsky cast himself as the mystical, leather-clad gunman, El Topo (‘The Mole”), who wanders through a desert strewn with cosmic symbols on an unnamed quest, leaving blood and carnage in his wake. As our hero battles four sinister, sharp-shooting rivals on an ever-increasingly bizarre path to self-enlightenment and resurrection, Jodorowsky unleashes a torrent of philosophy, religion, startling violence, B-movie references, phallic symbols, odd characters and outrageously strange imagery. Propelled to cult film infamy when a rave from John Lennon helped secure its place as the first true Midnight Movie of the counterculture-crazy 1970s, El Topo tops even the most outrageous aesthetic experiments of its radical era and remains unmatched in its provocations and strange beauty. (Dir. by Alejandro Jodorowsky, 1970, Mexico, in Spanish with English subtitles, 125 mins., Not Rated)