The Holy Mountain
After boggling some key minds (including the Beatles) with his 1970 cult hit El Topo, writer/director Alejandro Jodorowsky won the funding to realize this even more bizarre mystical opus. A mostly naked thief (Horácio Salinas), who bears a passing resemblance to a certain son of God, finds his way through a grim and decadent desert town to ride a golden fishhook up into a tower that contains an alchemist (Jodorowsky). After ritually bathing the thief (including his asshole) and transforming his shit into gold (on camera), the alchemist takes him on a guided tour of the solar system's planets, which are inhabited by the people behind various vices, vanities, and abuses of powers (e.g., a female arms dealer on Mars who makes Prince-esque "psychedelic shotguns"). They all band together to ascend the title peak to achieve enlightenment, which ultimately arrives in a most unexpected fourth wall-breaking form. As in El Topo, Jodorowsky fills the screen with an endless stream of bizarre ideas and images-the Spanish conquest of Mexico as re-enacted by scads of lizards and toads dressed in little Aztec and conquistador outfits is especially memorable. But as in El Topo, what Holy Mountain lacks in linear sense it makes up for in lysergic satire, stunning creativity, and uncanny craftsmanship. Preach on.