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Alejandro Jodorowsky takes viewers on quite an acid trip in surreal Western EL TOPO

LATE-NIGHT FAVORITES: EL TOPO (Alejandro Jodorowsky, 1970)
IFC Center
323 Sixth Ave. at West Third St.
February 15-17, $13.50, 12:15 am

Chilean-born Mexican filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky’s El Topo is a psychedelic head trip, an acid Western that will blow your mind. Jodorowsky stars as the title character, a gunslinger traveling through a deserted landscape accompanied by his naked young son, who already knows his way around a firearm. After coming upon a town that has been decimated by a nasty group of marauders working for the Colonel, El Topo seeks violent revenge, eventually taking off with a woman and leaving his boy behind as he meets four masters on his path to proving he is the best there is. But soon El Topo is praying for redemption with a community of inbred cripples trapped in a cave. El Topo is a wild and bizarre journey through religious imagery, romance, and vengeance, a surreal spaghetti Western strained through the mad mind of Jodorowsky, widely hailed as the creator of the midnight movie. The film melds Bergman with Leone, Tod Browning’s Freaks with Hiroshi Inagaki’s Samurai Trilogy, filtered through Kazuo Koike and Goseki Kojima’s Lone Wolf and Cub. It’s like nothing you’ve ever seen before and, despite your better instincts, will lure you into the cult of Jodorowsky. El Topo is screening Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night at 12:15 am in a high-definition digital restoration as part of the IFC Center series “Waverly Midnights: Late-Night Favorites,” which continues March 1-2 with James Cameron’s Aliens, March 8-9 with a new 4K digital restoration of Steven Spielberg’s Raiders of the Lost Ark, and March 15-16 with a 35mm print of Jodorowsky’s radical 1973 flick The Holy Mountain.

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