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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Comedy > Surrealism > Counterculture > Independent > Shorts > The Films Of Alejandro Jodorowsky El Topo + The Holy Mountain (1970/73/Anchor Bay Blu-rays)

The Films Of Alejandro Jodorowsky El Topo + The Holy Mountain (1970/73/Anchor Bay Blu-rays)


Picture: B/B+ Sound: B Extras: B- Films: B+



It was a long journey for El Topo and The Holy Mountain to come to DVD, filled with speculation and rumor. Originally it seemed as though they would be arriving courtesy of Fantoma, though that was not to be. Instead they would wind up being released through Anchor Bay in 2007 as the two key titles in the DVD set The Films of Alejandro Jodorowsky. Now they can be seen in stunning high definition as well since Anchor Bay and ABKCO have re-teamed to bring them out on Blu-ray.


These films play like the work of a passionate artist eager to explore the world within the frame, not caring too much of the mistakes that would be made along the way (of which there are the inevitable few). While both of them lack the polish that his later work Santa Sangre (reviewed elsewhere on this site, see link below) would have when it came out almost two decades later, they are each good in their own way, and deserving of being considered classic cinema.


When I initially saw the films a few years ago, I was left unimpressed my expectations were off, and I just wasn't in a frame of mind to enjoy them for what they are. I've revisited the films a few times since then, and each time I've watched them, I've come to appreciate them more and also understand a little of where Jodorowsky was coming from when he made them.


Picture quality on these releases is excellent, both being shown in 1080p with El Topo presented in its original full frame 1.33:1 aspect ratio and The Holy Mountain in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen. Both films have good audio as well, with 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio mixes and optional 2.0 PCM stereo. Special features include an on camera interview with Jodorowsky on El Topo, and a look into the restoration work on The Holy Mountain, while they both receive a director commentary track and a theatrical trailer as well.


While restoration work and HD transfers were done for both of these films at the time that set released, the director's first feature film, Fando y Lis, was left untouched, meaning it may be a while yet until we see that title on Blu-ray. The previously mentioned DVD box set included that, as well as an extra short and two soundtrack CDs over what these discs have to offer. So if superior picture and sound quality take a backseat to getting more bonus content, then the DVD set is still the better way for you to go.


For those who take the time to sit through and really watch these movies, the reward can be great. I cannot guarantee that going into these is going to be the same for you as it was for me. Chances are good that you could warm to them right off the bat. But for those who for whatever reason just couldn't get with it the first time, giving some time and revisiting them further down the road might be all that you need to enjoy them to the fullest.



For more on these films, try this link for our coverage of the DVD releases:




You can also read about Santa Sangre at this link:





- David Milchick


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