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Mexico/USA 1973
Directed by
Alejandro Jodorowsky
112 minutes
Rated R

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
2.5 stars

The Holy Mountain

After his huge cult success with El Topo (1971), Alejandro Jodorowsky wrote, directed and starred in this unholy mish-mash of counter-cultural psuedo-spiritualism and occult references that starts off looking similar to its predecessor (desert setting, Christological references, deformed midgets and so on) but which for the random absurdity of its ideas (for example, the alchemical transformation of faeces into gold, an orgasm machine that assesses love-making skills, and most memorably, toads dressed up in little conquistador and monk outfits and lizards in Aztec regalia in a simulation of the conquest of Mexico by the Spanish) mutates into what might as well be a Woody Allen-ish Sleeper (which was released the same year) type spoof of drug-addled hippie fantasizing.

Whilst its eclectic imaginativeness is certainly something to behold, especially for fans of '70s design style, the film does not cohere, either as pure hypnagogic imagery or as a depiction of an alternate reality and recreational drugs are strongly advised, if not absolutely required, to enhance viewing satisfaction.




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