The Holy Mountain

The Holy Mountain ★★★★★

Okay so...
...The Holy Mountain is without a doubt the most bizarre film I've ever watched in my entire life and I couldn't possibly mean that in a more genuine way. Prior to seeing this, I thought Eraserhead was crazy but ten minutes into this movie there's already a war between a group of frogs and chameleons covered in armour, and it only gets even more bonkers after that point, so pretty early on I knew I was in for a strange experience. There isn't a single scene here that feels normal in any way as from the very opening shot, it sucked me into this bizarre alternate universe Jodorowsky created and only ended once it made me completely lose my sanity.

So yeah, The Holy Mountain is weird, but is there any point to its craziness? I would definitely say there is. Every moment feels like it contains a deeper metaphorical meaning, but what I love about this film is that as cryptic as some parts of it are, there are a few other sections where the thematic ideas being presented are actually pretty obvious.

If the entire runtime was as unsubtle as certain sections, there wouldn't be anything to pick up on after it's over, but if the whole thing was as hard to understand as others, it would be boring to watch and think about because nothing would make sense. So by blending subdued symbolism and in your face messaging, Jodorowsky created something here that eases you into figuring out its deeper meaning by making some aspects of it extremely obvious, so that once you start trying to analyze the parts that are harder to understand you already get the bigger picture and just want to know the purpose behind minor scenes. This means that I could rewatch this film countless times and have a completely different interpretation of it with each viewing, as even now after a few hours of watching the film I'm already beginning to find out the purpose behind certain parts, and I doubt that cycle will ever stop.

Regardless of its message and meaning and all that, The Holy Mountain is still a unique, surprisingly hilarious but also terrifying experience that absolutely no other movie out there can provide. Even if you hate this film, it's impossible to find a single moment of it boring, and the brilliantly ominous soundtrack, spectacular cinematography, mind-blowing set design, and the fact that the first half-hour manages to be insanely complex without containing basically any dialogue are all things I find impossible not to appreciate.

This is a film that I can see myself rewatching in as little as a few days just in order to try to understand all of it (and also because it's just insanely entertaining), but even after I see it a million times I still doubt it'll ever escape my mind. What an absolute masterpiece.

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