El Mariachi

Mariachi, El (1992)I got lucky. I thought I would never find this film again. But no! DVD copy got in my hands and I watched it. Twice. Yes, the “El Mariachi“.

Directed by: Robert Rodriguez
Genres: Action, Thriller, Crime, Western
Cast: Carlos Gallardo, Consuelo Gómez, Jaime de Hoyos, Peter Marquardt, Reinol Martinez, Ramiro Gómez, Jesús López, Luis Baró, Oscar Fabila, Poncho Ramón, Fernando Martínez, Manuel Acosta, Walter Vargas, Roberto Martínez, Virgen Delgado
IMDB raintg: 7.1
My rating: 8.0 ********

If you think that it sounds familiar, but you can’t exactly make into anything, here is a hint: this film spawned both “Desperado” and “Once upon a time in Mexico“. All of these were directed by Robert Rodriguez. The later two movies starred Antonio Banderas. And the last one had Johnny Depp in it.

El Mariachi” is a very famous movie. It was shot on a very tight budget of $7,000. Rodriguez had to be extremely creative while solving numerous problems associate with the regular film making and with such low money involved.

The film turned out to be very very good. It is very dynamic and has enough action and pace in it to hide the budget issues. There are also some good music bits and some humor. These make the film much easier to watch.

I have to say that I was lucky to get the DVD. The original film is in Spanish so I watched it with English subtitles the first time. The second time though, I put on the audio track with Rodriguez commentary. In it he explained a lot of tricks he had to invent and use to make the movie possible. He also explains some of the things the regular won’t usually notice, but which have some significance.

Usually, I skip the director commentary features on DVDs. I can’t use them until I see the movie with the original audio track. And they usually don’t have enough interesting information for me to sit through the same movie for the second time. But this DVD is different. It’s packed full! It also features another short movie (about 10 minutes) directed and shot by Rodriguez and a small feature called “10 minute film making school”.

Anyway, I’m glad I finally saw the movie. I also think that I’ll buy the DVD for my home collection. It’s a classic. And it is a good starting point of insipration for the newbie filmmakers. I am not planning into joining the industry myself, but who knows. Maybe Maxim will.

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