El Topo: Cult Movie Rereleased

The controversial Chilean-born cult director Alejandro Jodorowsky attended the 44th New York Film Festival to present two of his most famous films, “El Topo” and “The Holy Mountain” in the Special Events section of the festival. The films, originally made in the 1970s in Mexico, have been fully restored and remastered under close supervision by Jodorowsky, and are being premiered at the Festival in advance of their release on DVD early next year.

“El Topo” was the landmark cult film that began the whole Midnight Movie phenomena of the counterculture crazy 1970s. It was the most talked about, most shocked about and most controversial quasi-Western head trip ever made transforming the way risk-taking audiences, seeking mainstream Hollywood alternatives, watched edgy underground films and how the industry learned to market them. Classic Americana and avant-garde European cinema sensibilities meet Zen Buddhism and the Bible as master gunfighter and cosmic mystic El Topo (played by writer/director Alejandro Jodorowsky) must defeat his four sharp-shooting rivals on an ever-increasingly bizarre path to allegorical self-enlightenment and surreal resurrection.

John Lennon’s Crucial Role

First released as an underground film, it was thanks to John Lennon that the film was acquired by Allen Klein of ABKCO who bought the rights to “El Topo.”

The scandal of the 1973 Cannes Film Festival, “The Holy Mountain” caused riots when it was first shown. Writer/director Jodorowskys flood of sacrilegious imagery and existential symbolism is a spiritual quest for enlightenment pitting illusion against truth. The Alchemist (Jodorowsky) assembles a group of people from all walks of life to represent the planets in the solar system. The occult adepts intention is to put his recruits through strange mystical rites and divest them of their worldly baggage before embarking on a trip to Lotus Island. There they ascend The Holy Mountain to displace the immortal gods who secretly rule the universe.

“El Topo” premieres at the IFC Center in New York December 13, 2006. Following the IFC screenings, “El Topo” and “The Holy Mountain” will be touring the country, making stops at selected independent theatres in major markets including The Castro in San Francisco in January, 2007, The Music Box in Chicago and The Grand Illusion in Seattle in February, 2007 and the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, TX in March, 2007. Los Angeles and other cities will be announced soon.

DVD Edition

For the first time ever, a special DVD collectors box set is to be released in stores in April. The collectors set will include newly remastered versions of “El Topo,” “The Holy Mountain,” and “Fando Y Lis.” Extras include directors commentary tracks, a special CD of the soundtrack from the films, previously unseen footage, and much, much more.

About Distributor ABKCO Films

ABKCO Films has been involved with many successful movies including “La Grande Bouffe,” winner of the International Critics prize at the 1973 Cannes Film Festival, “The Greek Tycoon,” starring Anthony Quinn and Jacqueline Bisset, “The Concert for Bangladesh,” featuring Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Bob Dylan and Ringo Starr. In 2003 ABKCO won a Grammy for their DVD release of Sam Cooke Legend and the following year released on DVD The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus to critical acclaim.

ABKCO Films is a division of ABKCO Music and Records, one of the leading independent record companies in the world. It is home to critical catalogue assets that include recordings by Sam Cooke, The Rolling Stones, The Animals, Hermans Hermits, Marianne Faithfull, The Kinks as well as the Cameo Parkway label, which include the master recordings of artists such as Chubby Checker, Bobby Rydell, The Orlons, The Dovells, The Tymes, Charlie Grace and Dee Dee Sharp. ABKCO administers Phil Spector Records and its master recordings including iconic hits by The Righteous Brothers, The Ronettes, The Crystals and others.