The Holy Mountain (1973)


Okay, when is MAB going to write about something that isn’t totally bizarre?

I don’t know.

But this just may be the most insane film you’ll ever see.  Although David Lynch’s “Eraserhead” could still hold the crown.  It’s real close.

Alejandro Jodorowsky‘s previous film, “El Topo“, ushered in the era of the midnight movie when John and Yoko dug it and persuaded a Greenwich Village movie house to start showing it after hours.  “El Topo” was a cruddy-looking spaghetti-western-influenced surreal parable.  It was cheap and bizarre.

Then Jodorowski got some money to work with.  “The Holy Mountain” is the result and it must be seen to be believed.  It’s a gorgeous-looking new-agey surreal parable.  It’s not cheap but it’s even more bizarre.

The film is grotesque, beautiful, sacrilegious, pretentious, thought-provoking, satirical, and often really really hilarious.  Plot?  It kinda has one.  But who cares?  You’ll remember this for the outrageous imagery.

I don’t want to spoil it by by giving away too much of the weirdness.  I would suggest not even viewing the trailer.  Go into it fresh, but prepared for something unlike anything you’ve seen before.  Bunuel is an obvious influence but Jodorowsky goes way farther.

I will say that the chameleon and toad circus is gut-bustingly funny.  Although what happens to some of them, as well as to some other animals, is decidely not.  Or maybe it is, if you’re the type that used to put firecrackers in toads’ mouths when you were a kid.  And never got past that.

The film has been digitally restored and it may look even better now than it did back in the 70s.  I don’t know.  I wasn’t there.  But it looks fantastic now.  For all his looniness, Jodorowsky was a master stylist.

Jodorowsky, like any good surrealist, undoubtedly has meanings for all of his pretty and not-so-pretty pictures.  Some of these are apparent, some are not.  Don’t worry about it.  Just have a drink and enjoy.  If that’s you’re thing.


4 Responses to “The Holy Mountain (1973)”

  1. Kizz Says:

    The fact that you have control of the Netflix queue at your house gives me much pause.

  2. saintseester Says:

    Hmm. This appears to be one of those movies where you have to be in just the right mood when you see it to appreciate it. I have a few of those in the depths of my mind.

  3. Jules Says:

    Is it just me or does that picture make it look like it is some sort of sadistic Asian porno movie?

  4. mabnyc Says:

    I think it makes it look more like a Swedish porno movie.

    Not that I’d know about such things.

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