WAVERLY MIDNIGHTS: EL TOPO (Alejandro Jodorowsky, 1970)
323 Sixth Ave. at West Third St.
Friday, August 1, and Saturday, August 2, 12 midnight
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, which expanded this year with the release of his wonderfully surreal autobiographical work The Dance of Reality. El Topo is screening August 1 & 2 at midnight in a high-definition digital restoration as part of the IFC Center series “Waverly Midnights: Late-Night Favorites.”