The Holy Mountain - Alejandro Jodorowsky (1973)

When a movie’s called Karate Bullfighter, we here at Snuff Nation stop and take note. It’s a simple equation of karate, a male bovine and the illustrious Sonny Chiba, which of course for us equals money in the bank. We’re easy to please, really. Just give us one good scene so, at the end of the day, after the horns are ripped off and I call my buddy to say, “Dude, the blood squirted 10 feet in the air,” we can share a good laugh.

So what the hell went wrong with The Holy Mountain? Though it parades grotesqueries before us, and does so with a fair amount of panache, the film unforgivably fails to present itself as either coherent or relevant. The only way to suck the fun out saying something like, “Dude, some guy lactated onto a disciple from hand puppets in the shape of cheetah heads,” is by framing that memorable set piece with 2 hours of the most pretentious filmmaking possible. If Jodorowsky succeeds at anything, it’s in making the sacrilegious seem utterly banal; all the sumptuous sets can’t give a mute, caveman Jesus poignancy.

After a retelling of the New Testament, the m
ovie veers off into a portrayal of the occult intertwined with modern capitalist society. Blah, blah, blah, heavy-handed, blah, blah. I’m sure I fail to appreciate all the symbolism that so carefully saturates the mise-en-scene, but I’m going with my gut here. I don’t need to perform due diligence to know that Jesus throwing a one-limbed midget into the ocean, thereby shedding his lamb of God mantle to become uber-Jesus, is complete crapola. Memorable? Absolutely. As filmmaking, however, it reaches so far beyond the director’s capabilities as to make a mockery of the medium. Try this for a pull quote: the majority of cinephiles championing this film are mistaking their own confusion for Jodorowsky’s brilliance.

This film is like that kid at a party constantly making abortion jokes who is ultimately lauded as being edgy, and in certain circles I’m sure name checking it might help you get you laid. So if you think that’s your thing, try saying, “I just love Jodorowsky’s grasp of the allegorical and its constant dialectic with empiricism,” and let me know how it goes over. Either way, I just saved you a couple hours with this monstrosity and the disappointment of realizing that oftentimes originality benefits from a little craft.

DVD Edition: Seriously? I ejected this shit the second it was over. Even if there is a Cliff’s Notes section, I promise I will never watch a single one of these special features.

Worst The Holy Mountain IMDB Message Board Post: What is the legality surrounding those naked boys?

What to Watch For: Straight up, naked chicks.