Saturday, 17 September 2011

El Topo

El Topo: the Restaurant

It’s no Salt n’ Pepper, but the El Topo Cantina is the best Mexican restaurant in Bigfork, Montana.  (Okay, it’s probably the only Mexican restaurant in Bigfork, Montana.)  Still, if you’re looking for huge portions of better than average Mexican food, this is your place. 

Get the burrito.  It’s larger than a child’s forearm and much tastier.  Oh, and be sure to get it “smothered”.  That means wrapped in a bucket-load of melted cheese and topped with their in-house special sauces: a verde salsa and a spicy red.  They offer a variety of Mexican beers (well beyond the standard Corona), but you can enjoy the meal just fine without alcohol.

El Topo: the Movie

I thought I should watch the namesake of the restaurant, and the best way to describe this film is batshit crazy.  I can only assume (unlike the restaurant) that the film was never intended to be enjoyed sober. 

Try to imagine a spaghetti western created by Cheech & Chong.  Then, take each joke and replace it with an act of violence.  It almost sounds interesting, doesn’t it?  Not when it is such a low budget affair that they couldn’t even afford acting skills.  It also appears to be have edited by the director’s nephew who had to choose between this or mowing lawns for a summer job.

The violence is gruesome and gratuitous, but not terribly realistic.  The copious amount of blood looks like tempura paint and is almost orange.  But the real violence is that inflicted upon the child actor who appears in the first scene.

A small naked boy is riding bareback behind the titular gunslinger on his horse.   

Naked.  Bareback.  

 Have you ever felt horsehair?  The stuff is so coarse that they make violin bows out of it.  And this poor kid had to straddle the backend of a horse with nothing more between his privates and equine sandpaper than regret.  If I had replaced my caribou bike seat cover with an SOS pad, I might have come close to appreciating his discomfort.

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