El Topo (1970) - full transcript

El Topo decides to confront warrior Masters on a trans-formative desert journey he begins with his 6 year old son, who must bury his childhood totems to become a man. El Topo (the mole) claims to be God, while dressed as a gunfighter in black, riding a horse through a spiritual, mystical landscape strewn with old Western movie, and ancient Eastern religious symbols. Bandits slaughtered a village on his path, so El Topo avenges the massacred, then forcibly takes their leader's woman Mara as his. El Topo's surreal way is bloody, sexual and self-reflective, musing of his own demons, as he tries to vanquish those he encounters.

You're 7 today.
You're a man now

Bury your first toy and the
portrait of your mother


The mole is an animal that
digs tunnels underground

ln search of the sun, it sometimes
comes to the surface

When it sees the sun, it is blinded

Kill me! Kill me, please!

Who was it?

Kill me, for pity's sake!

Who was it?



- lt's the colonel
- How many?

Another five men


ln the Franciscan mission

The colonel's not selfish. He uses
women once and gives them away

The colonel said he'd kill anyone
who touches me

And who told you to?

Don't anticipate my wishes!


They have no souls,

but sometimes they get bored
and l throw them my leftovers

Come on, dogs! Take your
little piece!

Stop, dogs!

Kiss them on the mouth

Keep going! Kiss the other too!

Stop, dogs! Be good

These dogs like to watch

They want to see your breasts

Eat, dogs!

Who are you to hand out justice?

l'm God

No...this no! Don't do this to me!

Destroy me.
Never depend on anyone

Cry little boy! Cry and
then he'll pity you

lt's bitter

Moses found water in the desert

The people couldn't drink it
because it was bitter

The water was named Marah

lt's turned sweet!

l'll call you Marah because
you're like bitter water

How will we live here?

We'll die of thirst

As the deer yearns
for water,

so my soul invokes you, Lord

My soul is thirsty for God,
for the living God



Nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing

Nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing

Nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing

- Do you love me?
- Yes

Me no. For me to love you,
you've got to be better

The four masters of the gun
live in this desert

l must find them and kill them

The desert is round. To find the 4
masters we must move in a spiral

l can't go on, let's go back!

l always end up where l started

We'll never find them

lf they're masters,
they'll give us a sign

Days have passed...weeks, months

- How can you still have faith?
- They're waiting for us

The sign!

Seek the light at midday. He'll
come. You must wait to see him

Like that woman

The master didn't want to fight her

The master wants to receive
you know. lt's strange...

he never receives people
without making them wait

There's an oasis behind
the dune

Your woman will wait there

Let's go

Give me the gun and the sombrero

l don't need the light. l'm blind

Count to three and try to take it




l do not try to win, but to arrive
at perfect control

to not be afraid of the bullets


They hardly bleed. l offer no
resistance to the bullet

l let it pass through the
capillaries of my flesh

You still want to duel with me?


lt does not grieve me to kill you,
because death does not exist

l will let you shoot first

- He's superior to me
- You'll win!

Even if l won, l'd lose

l'm asking you a favour.
You must win

Don't be so honest.
Try to invent something

Lay a trap. There's always
a way to win. Find it!

l told you! l expected it,
l'm proud of you!

There are only 3 masters left

l know where the 2nd lives. lf you
let me come with you, l'll show you

He's here, wait for me

We were waiting for you.
The cards say this about you

You're falling and you'll
fall anyway

The deeper you fall,
the higher you'll get

Traitor, coward, murderer!

God's will is unexplainable

My son and l must respect you

You can duel with him


The duel starts right now

You and my son can shoot
when you want


Technically you're dead

Now l want to talk to the dead one

Follow me

First of all, l made things
out of copper

and l strengthened my fingers

Now l make delicate objects

l'm so strong that l can play
with this shape

without breaking it


A clean, delicate shot

destroys an accurate one

You shoot to find yourself

l do it to shoot

Perfection is to lose yourself

and to lose yourself you need
to love

You don't love. You destroy, kill
and no one loves you

Because when you think you're
giving, you're really taking

l've given myself to her.
l told her everything

She's inside me

Her infinite love fills me

What l do and say is ordered
and blessed by her

l hate all that is mine

because it distances me from
her divine presence

Two are better than one,

because if they fall, one will
lift up his companion

When there is only one,
there is no one to lift him up

When l made this, l didn't
think it would be useful

l just tried to make it the best
way l possibly could

Take your gun again

My son wants to give you
one last chance


l don't want you to go near him

Why do you follow us? Go away!

We don't need to take your gun
away. We trust you

You have a flute! We'll get to
know each other through music

You're disgusted at yourself.
You don't want to betray any more

Now you want to respect the law

Some give flowers.
Some, precious objects

You bring me your life as a gift

You are not afraid to die

This is why you are a
dangerous enemy

When you were 7 metres
from the rabbit run,

my rabbits started to die.
Now they're nearly all dead

Now that you're here,
not one will be left alive

l made it.
Feel how fine it is...

You can fire a shot

lt is all that l need.
A fatal shot


Which did you kill and
which did l kill?

This is yours: shot in the head.
This is mine: shot in the heart

The heart...the head...

A changing of places

lt is now time

Too much perfection is a mistake

You won! Don't leave me!

You'll be the best and l'll help
you! There's only one left!

Want to duel with me?

How will l do that?

l have no gun

l bartered the pistol for a
butterfly net

l must fight you with my hands

Fight! Fight!


See? My net is more powerful
than your bullets

lf you shoot again, l'll reflect
the bullet directly into your heart

How can you win if l don't duel?

l have nothing

Even with a trap you couldn't have
taken anything from me

Yes, actually,
l could have taken your life

l don't care about my life

Now l'll show you

You lost

You won! You won!
You're the best!

l was poured out like water

and my bones were all detached

lt's like my heart shrivelled
inside my guts

My tongue cleaved to my palate

And they put me in the dust
of the dead

My God, my God,
why have you forsaken me?

Why are you so far from
my salvation

and from the voice of my lament?

My God, l call you by day
but you do not answer

l call by night and there is
no peace

Him or me

Show me your way,
your paths

Show me the way
of your truth

Because you are the God of my
salvation and l waited for you

You will show your sinners the way

You will put the humble
on the path of justice


l am not a god.
l am a man

How long have l been here?

When you got here,
l hadn't been born

l looked after you from infancy.
The old woman says you'll free us


We've been prisoners in this
cave for many years

That's the only exit. To get there
we need to scale the walls

and many days

Outside there's the mountain
and a big village

They won't help us get out

We're deformed from continuous
incest. We disgust them

lt was difficult to bring me here.
Why did you do it?

The old woman knows

She sent us to find you.
Now she wants to see you

This is not my face!
This is not me!

l'll find money and dig a
tunnel in the mountain

The tunnel will unite the
village and this cave

When the tunnel is finished,
you'll finally be free

You'll get out of here

This is the big village

We should beg

See to my curls!

Paint my nails!

The cream


This pervert is looking
at my legs!

Help! He's forcing himself
on me!

You saw him kiss
me roughly!

Disgusting slave! How dare you?

Help, he's raping us!

Don't let him get away! Murderer!

Bring him here! Rapist!
You're really degenerate!

Get him! Get him!

Murderer! Murderer!

You think it's worthwhile for my
people to come here?

This is worse than the other

l'll keep digging

How many metres have we dug now?

There's more to go!

We've lost our public

Hey, monsters! Monsters, come here!
Come on, come here!

We'll pay you well

They're both dead

- Who died first?
- This one

He's the champion!

Protect us, Lord

Protect us, Lord

Protect us, Lord

Protect us, Lord

God loves us! God protects us!

lf we have faith, nothing
can happen to us

We must gamble with God

The stake is death

and who doesn't believe
in God will die!

Protect us, Lord

- Miracle!
- Miracle!

Protect us, Lord

Protect us, Lord


Protect us, Lord


Don't tremble, the safety's on

- Miracle!
- lt's a miracle!



No one will come any more.
The circus is over. l'll go too

Come in!

As is the custom,
the League of Worthy Women,

after the monthly inspection,
congratulates your husbands

Everything's decent here

Want to earn money?
Come with me

Go down there


Do the kissing number!

Now we want to see the sequel!
Come on, strip off!

l love you! They don't exist!
There's only you here

We're alone! Love me, please!

We can buy the dynamite and
keep on digging the tunnel

Why are you hiding?

l'm ashamed. Now l disgust you
and you'll abandon me

No, come with me

Tell him to marry us

Go on!

We're getting married, Father

No, you can't kill him!
He hasn't finished his work!

...and he promised to dig
the tunnel so we can be free

l'll wait till you finish the work.
Then l'll kill you

But l'll watch you day and night
so you won't escape

You'll never finish!
You're taking too long

lf you want us to hurry,
help us to finish

And if you want to finish

help us to beg

This rock's too hard.
We've hit it a thousand times!

Only 1 ,000 times?

The pain must be unbearable

My body feels pain. Not l

You'll never do it. That's enough!

You've done it!

- You've done it!
- Don't tell him! l'm not ready!

l can't kill my master