The Holy Mountain

The Holy Mountain ★★★½

Absolutely insane but packed to the brim with stunning visuals, Alejandro Jodarowsky's Holy Mountain is a surreal, consciously psychedelic melange of setpieces and concepts, loosely tied together by the skeleton of a plot regarding a Christ-like thief who joins forces with achetypical characters to scale the titular mountain where the Immortals reign over the universe.
Or something like that. I can honestly write that the imagery in Holy Mountain is absurd, irreverent, blasphemous, offensive, self-indulgent, shocking, awe-inspiring, gorgeously composed, weird, dreamlike, drunkenly beautiful, and grotesque at the same time.
One doesn't watch a film like this for coherent plot, or poignant emotions. This is a cinematic acid trip. Ones predisposed to the music video surrealism and strange symbolism will be delighted; ones who require coherence and linear progression will be disappointed.
As enjoyably rude & insane as the film is, it loses points for me by utilising the trite shock tactics of killing animals onscreen (blowing up lizards & toads, a documentary-like scene showing a vicious and brutal dogfight, an army of skinned lambs on crucifixes, etc.) Of course it's meant to shock, but I can't approve of the footage--it's too cruel & exploitative to make a point, if there is one to be made. But a thoroughly original vision and David Lynch's obvious antecedent.