Is The Holy Mountain the strangest movie ever made?

Categories:  Events    Film
Wednesday, February 17th, 2016 at 11:50 AM
Is The Holy Mountain the strangest movie ever made? by Dan Schank

Thursday, Feb. 18

Do you enjoy weird movies? Well, if you do, Alejandro Jodorowsky’s 1973 epic The Holy Mountain makes Donnie Darko look like Jerry Maguire.

Want to see a loin-clothed Jesus lookalike wake up from a nap surrounded by hundreds of mannequins designed in his image? How about a reenactment of the Spanish siege of Mexico, featuring a cast composed entirely of costumed frogs and lizards? The film also makes a pit stop on the planet Mars, where “the young generation makes arms for its marches and sit-ins,” including “psychedelic shotguns, grenade necklaces, rock-and-roll weapons” and so on. I’ve just described about ten minutes of screen time, by the way. It goes on and on like this.

Jodorowsky rose to the occasion by combining just about every ingredient in the hippie cookbook – acid meltdowns, new age mysticism, free jazz, science fiction, tarot, yoga, and a heavy dose of inexplicable nudity.

Let’s back up a bit. The Holy Mountain is Jodorowsky’s follow-up to El Topo, a “psychedelic western” that, along with cult hits like Night of the Living Dead and Pink Flamingos, helped mobilize the “Midnight Movie” craze of the 70s and 80s. El Topo – which is pretty damn weird in its own right – impressed John Lennon and George Harrison so much that they convinced their manager Allen Klein to produce the director’s next feature. Jodorowsky rose to the occasion by combining just about every ingredient in the hippie cookbook – acid meltdowns, new age mysticism, free jazz, science fiction, tarot, yoga, and a heavy dose of inexplicable nudity.

So is The Holy Mountain a visionary epic or a dated curiosity? For my money, it’s more of the former than the latter. There’s something genuinely wild about Jodorowsky’s ferocious ambitions, even as he wallows in pseudo-profundity. If you’re a Twin Peaks fanatic, a Wiccan goddess, a hipster cinephile, or just an all-around stoner, this is one you won’t want to miss. — Dan Schank

8:30 p.m. // Edinboro Film Series // 405 Scotland Rd., Edinboro // facebook.com/events/934729586618872/

Erie Reader: Vol. 7, No. 6
Now Available — Pick It Up Today

CURRENT

DD ... check. Go get some of your Patty's on at Sprague Farm and Brew Works!

Exiting the criminal justice system in Erie

Don’t miss what Sergei Isupov has to say.

Dishing up deliciousness and lessons in your own kitchen 

Serving up your St. Patty’s weekend

IN THIS ISSUE

Exiting the criminal justice system in Erie

Don’t miss what Sergei Isupov has to say.

Dishing up deliciousness and lessons in your own kitchen 

Serving up your St. Patty’s weekend

Enjoy the hometown sounds of Flora, This American Song, and The Honest Mistakes at Bobby’s Place.

Process is one of the most remarkable debut albums in recent memory.

Tom Weber: filmmaker

Mic Check

Everything you didn’t know about the “bookness” of books

What the gift of your time means to our community