AndrewRacklyeft’s review published on Letterboxd:
I made at least three mistakes while watching The Holy Mountain.
1. I was completely sober
2. I watched it on a Sunday night by myself
3. I watched it on a 40 inch screen.
In retrospect, I think I probably robbed myself of one of the most insane audiovisual experiences ever put to film.
The Holy Mountain, directed by Alejandro Jodorowsky, is actually what happens when you introduce psychedelics to a film set. Jodorowsky was instructed to drop tabs of acid to discover spiritual enlightenment and during some of the scenes in this the actors are high on shrooms- I mean, given these mitigating factors it’s not surprise that this film ends up like a batshit crazy acid trip, is it?
The Holy Mountain is one of those films that almost doesn’t need any to-camera dialogue; it could essentially exist by itself with just its cinematography, set design, mental screenplay and unintelligible grunts if it wanted to and the film would be no worse off for it. Watching this made me rather sad, actually — as hard as some filmmakers may try and make a film this surreal, this inventive, this crazy, the days of directors dropping tabs of acid while filming are long since gone, and as a result films like this (and even films like Easy Rider to an extent) have become more and more difficult to replicate. That’s not to say that cinema is dead, however, far from it- sadly some of the subcultures and countercultures that brought us films like The Holy Mountain are no more and films are becoming less unique and more linear.
Get yourself an Arrow subscription, have a few bevs, get some friends round and try and comprehend this madness.