Archive for alejandro jodorowsky

366 Weird Movies Guest Review – Jodorowsky’s Dune

Posted in movies with tags , , , on July 20, 2014 by goregirl


“Greetings my friends! We are all interested in the future for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives.” This communication however is not about the future but about the past. This is a ridiculously tardy announcement about my guest review over at 366 Weird Movies for Jodorowsky’s Dune which was posted on July 1. Click here to check it out. Since I am here and all I might as well add that I posted some images from the documentary on my tumblr page…here.


VIFF, Vacation & Good Vibrations

Posted in movies with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 16, 2013 by goregirl

After moving stuff into my new apartment on October 2nd I went to my first film of the festival. Starting the Vancouver International Film Festival out with the impossibly boring Yumen was unpleasant and the short Lovers Are Artists (Part 2) that preceded it did not help the cause. We fared better the second evening with A Touch of Sin; a well-made and well-acted film with some solid twists. It did not move me much just the same. The documentary Liv and Ingmar had a contrived setup and flowery music but thankfully its talented and lovely subject Liv Ullman was a charming tour guide through her life with director Ingmar Bergman. And I did like the film clips that were included. I quite enjoyed Liv and Ingmar despite its flaws. Later that same night it was Bruno Dumont’s Camille Claudel 1915. A gorgeous film filled with bleakness and hopelessness exceptionally acted by Juliette Binoche. No complaints and that said no reason to re-watch it either. I was not feeling super enthusiastic about the choices made for the festival. I had yet to be wowed by anything and unfortunately Wolf Children the next film in the queue did not change that. I liked the story and the animation is quite nice, especially the environments. I even got teary eyed in the finale. Unfortunately I also found it too sentimental too often, I didn’t care for the sappy music and it felt long particularly through the middle. The highlight of the festival was 3x3D and the short Cochemare that preceded it. A trippy, sexual, extra sensory 3D trip taken by a female in a space station. The visuals were hypnotizing. Also in the category of hypnotizing is Peter Greenaway’s stunning visual history lesson Just in Time; the first short of the trilogy 3x3D. It is one of the most stunning uses of 3D film I have seen in a theatre (which is admittedly a pretty low number). Just in Time is an absolute visual extravaganza. Edgar Pêra’s Cinesapiens is another visceral pleaser; a wacky, wonderful and humorous short about people who watch movies. They usually save the best for last in anthologies but in the case of 3x3D, director Jean-Luc Godard’s entry The Three Disasters was my least favourite. Godard makes little use of the 3D technology and his is certainly the least visually appealing. Overall 3x3D was rather unique and special; it makes me sad I will never be able to experience this film the same way again. The next film was the alarmingly dull Halley. This was the stake to the film festival heart for me. I seen this with two friends and the three of us looked at each other afterwards in exasperation. Why in the hell did we sit through that? We could have been watching Doris Wishman films! Any enthusiasm I had for the festival had been sucked from my marrow. We bailed on The Oxbow Cure. It was not getting very good feedback and I had enough film disappointments. While the festival choices were a mixed bag with a couple huge letdowns the films watched afterwards were the absolute cat’s ass.


I had watched three Rainer Werner Fassbinder films just before the festival started; In a Year of 13 Moons, Whity and Chinese Roulette. I love all three but I was especially smitten with In a Year of 13 Moons. There was serious overindulgence in Doris Wishman with Bad Girls Go to Hell, Another Day, Another Man, Indecent Desires, The Sex Perils of Paulette, My Brother’s Wife and Too Much Too Often. I enjoyed them all in varying degrees but the real stand-outs were Another Day, Another Man, Bad Girls Go to Hell and the queen bitch of them all Indecent Desires. I freaking loved Indecent Desires.

Indecent Desires

Also watched during the holiday, Michael Findlay’s The Curse of her Flesh which has one of my most favourite finales of recent memory. I will definitely be checking out more Michael Findlay stuff. I watched a fourth Fassbinder flick; Querelle which was brilliant. I also took in the outstanding The Name of the Game is Kill as well as the solid little horror entry The Love Butcher; both of which I will be reviewing before the end of the month. Also thrown in the mix was the badly cut and censored pseudo XXX comedy musical Let My Puppets Come (I will be watching the uncut version in the immediate future). Finally I discovered a very entertaining video review show on YouTube called Unboxed, Watched and Reviewed along with the magazine Cinema Sewer both thanks to my friend David. Cinema Sewer harkens from my very city; Vancouver B.C. Author and artist Robin Bougie works at one of my favourite spots in the city Videomatica Sales.

Cinema Sewer


It was also my birthday while I was off and I got some spectacular gifts this year from my most awesome friends.

First of all, this pot of gold published in 1974; The Films of Boris Karloff

Boris Karloff

Than this very cool The Shining shirt

the shining shirt

And this beautiful graphic novel treasure; Madwoman of the Sacred Heart illustrated by Moebius and written by Alejandro Jodorowsky (El Topo, Santa Sangre, The Holy Mountain, Fando and Lis)…


Madwoman of the Sacred Heart

The Film Festival was a disappointment and I didn’t have a refrigerator that worked for my first six days in my new place but I can not remember the last time I felt this relaxed and happy. I even did some touristy stuff; check out my Tumblr post of images taken at The Vancouver Maritime Museum; Tattoos & Scrimshaw “The Art of the Sailor” Exhibit. Oh yeah, and Goregirl’s Dungeon has a Tumblr page so be sure to visit every single day!

Diving Suit

DUNGEON DIRECTOR PROJECT: My 50 Favourite Directors #25 – #21

Posted in movies with tags , , , , on July 24, 2012 by goregirl

My 50 Favourite Directors #25 – #21

*NOTE: I did not include any made for TV movies in the numbers I used for each director’s full-length feature films.*

Psychedelic, symbolic, poetic, comical, animated and strange; this quintet of directors are all visual mind-benders!


#25. Tod Browning

What I’ve Seen: The Unholy Three (1925), The Blackbird (1926), London After Midnight (1927), The Unknown (1927), West of Zanzibar (1928), Dracula (1931), Freaks (1932), Mark of the Vampire (1935), The Devil-Doll (1936)

Tod Browning is a man after Goregirl’s heart with all his circus and carnival themed fare! I have seen a mere 9 of Tod Browning’s 50 full length feature films. It has been incredibly difficult finding Browning’s films on DVD or in any format frankly. What a shame because I thought all 9 of the films on my ‘seen’ list were excellent! Dracula is probably his best known film (and it is pretty fantastic) but The Unknown starring Lon Chaney (SR) as an armless knife-thrower is my personal favourite! I gave The Unknown, Freaks and The Devil-Doll perfect marks; Dracula and London after Midnight are not too far behind the trio. Browning’s filmmaking career began during the silent film era and he has a significant number of both silent and speaking titles in his resume. Come for the great stories and colourful characters but stay for the fantastic ground-breaking visuals! Tod Browning died October 6, 1962 at the age of 82. Browning is a legend!


#24. Jan Svankmajer

What I’ve Seen: Alice (1988), Lesson Faust (1994), Conspirators of Pleasure (1996), Greedy Guts (2000), Lunacy (2005), Surviving Life (Theory and Practice) (2010)

I have reviewed three of Jan Svankmajer’s films and made two slideshows in his honour. You could say I am a fan. The following is a blurb from my review for Surviving Life that sums up Svankmajer pretty well; “Svankmajer is one of the most original film makers alive today who uses both animation and live action to create unique, surreal and often macabre images to compliment his imaginative stories.” I have seen all 6 full length feature films from Czech director Jan Svankmajer. Svankmajer also made a ton of shorts which I highly recommend seeking out! I love all six of these films but if forced to choose it would be a toss up between Alice, Conspirators of Pleasure and Surviving Life. Jan Svankmajer is incredibly unique and special; there aren’t enough adjectives out there to cover it.


#23. Fritz Lang

What I’ve Seen: Dr. Mabuse: The Gambler (1922), Metropolis (1927), Woman in the Moon (1929), M (1931), The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (1933), Fury (1936), You Only Live Once (1937), Hangmen Also Die! (1943), The Woman in the Window (1944), The Big Heat (1953), While the City Sleeps (1956)

I have seen 11 of Fritz Lang’s 46 full length feature films. What a list! The superb science fiction epic Metropolis, the mesmerizing crime-thriller Dr. Mabuse: The Gambler, the gritty crime drama M and the gripping horror-mystery The Testament of Dr. Mabuse are nothing short of masterpieces. While nothing compares to the amazing visuals in his late 20s and early 30s films, he contributed some pretty freaking amazing and moody entries to the film-noir genre also; particularly The Big Heat which is a personal favourite. There are so many Lang films still for me to see and that warms the cockles of my heart. I am sixth in the library queue for The Thousand Eyes of Dr. Mabuse! Fritz Lang retired from filmmaking after filming Journey to the Lost City in 1960 and died August 2, 1976 at the age of 85 leaving behind a most impressive legacy!


#22. Luis Buñuel

What I’ve Seen: The Criminal Life of Archibaldo de la Cruz (1955), The Exterminating Angel (1962), Diary of a Chambermaid (1964), Belle de Jour (1967), The Milky Way (1969), The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972), The Phantom of Liberty (1974)

If cinematic surrealism had a king it would have to be Buñuel. He made his first film Un chien andalou in 1929 with Salvador-freaking-Dali! Can’t get more surreal than that! Because Un chien andalou  is a short I did not include it on my list, but it is a real trippy treat! I have much ground to cover yet as I have seen just 7 of Luis Buñuel’s 30 full length feature films. I have loved the hell out of what I have seen thus far! The sexy and surprising (wow! What an ending!) Belle de Jour and Catherine Deneuve’s superb performance garnered a perfect score from me, likewise the funny and quirky The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, The Criminal Life of Archibaldo de la Cruz and The Exterminating Angel. You need not be a brain surgeon to surmise Mr. Buñuel had issue with the middle class and religion. Themes present in varying degrees in all 7 of the films I’ve seen. Buñuel’s films are funny, sexy, bizarre, disconcerting and always unique. I know little to nothing about Buñuel; but his unforgettable array of images could only come from a truly eccentric personality. I have L’âge d’or, The Brute and Tristana in my library queue and I look forward to one day seeing every last one of the brilliant Buñuel’s funky films!


#21. Alejandro Jodorowsky

What I’ve Seen: Fando y Lis (1968), El Topo (1970), The Holy Mountain (1973), Tusk (1980), Santa Sangre (1989), The Rainbow Thief (1990)

I have seen all 6 full length feature films from director Alejandro Jodorowsky. Six freaking films? What the hell is up with that? I need more! More I tell you! I have given 4 of Jodorowsky’s 6 films a perfect score! There are films I love and than there are films I LOVE and El Topo is one of those films I LOVE. El Topo’s journey is a fascinating one on its own but it is also full of social, religious and political statements of a symbolic nature. Despite having seen El Topo multiple times it still mesmerizes and moves me in equal measure. I did not think Jodorowsky could top El Topo until I seen The Holy Mountain, Santa Sangre and Fando y Lis all perfect films and like El Topo visual extravaganzas. Jodorowsky even made Santa Sangre with a carnival theme and horror elements! Thanks Jodorowsky! Jodorowsky is 83 years old and still going. There has long been a rumour that Jodorowsky was going to complete a “Son of El Topo” project. There was also a film listed on IMDB called King Shot which was to star Marilyn Manson, Nick Nolte, Asia Argento and Udo Kier, but has since been removed. It is one of my greatest desires to see one more film from Jodorowsky. If I won the lottery I would give Jodorowsky money to make that film.


This week on YouTube…Walter Rizzati, Ennio Morricone & Alejandro Jodorowsky

Posted in movies, music with tags , , , , , on May 28, 2012 by goregirl

Music from Elio Petri’s 1970 film Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion. Music from Ennio Morricone & Bruno Nicolai (Taglio primo Originale) with images of the lovely Florinda Bolkan (one of my favourite Italian actresses)!

Music and images from Lucio Fulci’s The House by the Cemetery; music by Walter Rizzati.

Alejandro Jodorowsky – The Pigs Monastery from El Topo with Jodorowsky images.

EL TOPO (1970) – The Dungeon Review!

Posted in Mexico, movies with tags , , , , , , , , on November 17, 2010 by goregirl

“If you’re great, El Topo is a great picture. If you’re limited, El Topo is limited.”

Although I’ve seen El Topo several times, completing this review was a challenge. El Topo is not an easy film to explain, as it is chocked full of symbolism and little dialog. I get the feeling that every last image in El Topo has meaning but only Alejandro Jodorowsky, who writes, directs and stars could explain every detail. Every time I watch El Topo I marvel at its awesomeness and how I manage to discover something new with each viewing. The films tagline states it is “The Definitive Cult Spaghetti Western”, but it is so much more than that. Sure, it’s got a gunslinger dressed all in black riding a horse through the desert but El Topo’s strange, surreal, mystical and violent journey is something quite unique.

El Topo’s story begins in the desert with his seven-year-old son. The boy is told he is now a man and must bury his first toy along with a picture of his mother. The two stumble upon a town where a bloody massacre has taken place. El Topo adorns his fingers with elaborately jeweled rings and rides into the desert. He is quickly surrounded by three bandits who he dispatches, but not before one of them names a man called the Colonel as the one responsible for the massacre. He finds the Colonel along with his gang already terrorizing another small town. El Topo is just in time to prevent the gang rape of a woman. He makes short work of the Colonel but fails to eliminate his biggest threat, the woman herself. Mara, ends up riding into the desert with El Topo as he leaves his son behind with a group of monks. After coming between the man and his son Mara insists that El Topo find and defeat the four masters that live in the desert. She can only love El Topo if he is the greatest gunfighter alive. Seemingly motivated by his love for Mara, El Topo embarks on a journey to find the masters.

El Topo is Spanish for “the mole”. We are given a brief fun fact about the mole, which digs and digs and when it finally makes it to the surface it is blinded by daylight. Attributing the mole’s behavior to the gunfighter is logical enough; particularly considering El Topo literally spends the films final scenes digging a tunnel. The result that lies at the end of the digging is not blindness however but something far more tragic and disheartening. To call the ending of this film bleak and tragic would be the understatement of the year. Although the ending is certainly dark, and features some unflattering portraits of humanity, it isn’t without its positive moments. In fact, Jodorowsky leaves us with one final image that is actually beautiful and hopeful. Revenge, guilt, power, lust, jealousy, pride, honour, racism, love, homosexuality, Eastern philosophy, Christianity, are just a few topics touched on throughout the film.

The characters are a pretty eccentric bunch, particularly the four masters. One of the masters has a Jesus vibe and can let bullets pass through him without harm. He lives in a bunker guarded by a man with no legs who sits on the shoulders of a man with no arms. Another master lives out in the middle of the desert with his mother who is gifted with the ability to see the future. The master’s weapon is pure strength but he spends his days making delicate little objects. The third master lives in a corral filled with rabbits, which apparently sense bad mojo that results in their death. Rabbit masters finale is particularly memorable. And the final master is a nutty old guy who can catch bullets with a butterfly net. Then we have Mara. I hate Mara. The woman is a complete narcissist and acts accordingly. She has no problem kicking a seven-year-old boys hand off her foot as he tries to prevent his father from abandoning him in the middle of the desert. Along the way Mara and El Topo meet a woman in black who begins trailing them. The woman in black aggressively pursues Mara for her own. She gives Mara a mirror which she gazes into every waking hour, even when she is having sex with El Topo. This eventually gets on El Topo’s nerves and he shoots and shatters it.

There are plenty of bad guys in the film, and they are a strange lot themselves. One of the Colonel’s men collects high-heel shoes to smell and caress and then uses them as target practice. The Colonels banditos are hurting badly for some female affection. So bad in fact, that they dress up four monks like women and have themselves a dance party. El Topo’s travels take him to a town full of hideous hateful bastards with even more hideous and hateful wives. The exception being the town Sheriff, a chubby homosexual whose hobbies includes cross-dressing, executions and banging his deputy. The entire town is adorned with a symbol represented by an eye inside a triangle much like the one on the U.S. Dollar bill. I assumed this town was supposed to represent the United States. El Topo also encounters a group of unfortunate souls who have been forced to live underground due to their physical abnormalities. I can’t explain their role in the film without a major spoiler but they help to connect El Topo’s story and bring it full circle.

El Topo is a fantastic film to look at with countless amazing and unforgettable images. The violence in El Topo is plentiful. Numerous people are shot and there is a significant death toll by the time the final credits roll. There are literally rivers of blood! El Topo has long stretches with no dialog and you’ll be thankful that you were given the opportunity to absorb what you’re seeing. The spare dialog is perfectly accompanied by an excellent soundtrack. El Topo is an extraordinary film. It is complex and simple, ugly and beautiful, wicked and sweet. It evokes an array of emotions and it is all rapped up in this surreal and strange package that makes for a genuinely unique experience. I absolutely love this film and it gets my highest of recommendations.

Dungeon Rating: 5/5

Directed By: Alejandro Jodorowsky

Starring: Alejandro Jodorowsky, Brontis Jodorowsky, Mara Lorenzio, David Silva, Robert John, José Antonio Alcaraz, Felipe Díaz Garza, Paula Romo, Bertha Lomelí, Juan José Gurrola, Jacqueline Luis