Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (18)
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Time Out says
Tue Dec 30 2008It is perhaps the most shocking opening in cinema: a pregnant teenager is marched before her father, who demands the name of the man who deflowered her. When she refuses, she is first stripped to the waist, then has her arm broken. What follows is a catalogue of mounting brutality, as Mexico City bartender Benny (Warren Oates) takes it upon himself to retrieve the eponymous severed cabeza, in the process losing his girl, his self-respect and his sanity.
‘Alfredo Garcia’ is a work teeming with contradiction: it’s Peckinpah’s grittiest, ugliest film, but it centres on the most respectful, affectionate relationship he ever wrote. Benny is a multiple murderer, but also a sympathetic hero trying, in his way, to do the right thing. Oates’s performance is a revelation, ably supported by Isela Vega as his doomed paramour. Readable equally as a bleak, brutal exploitation movie and as a horrified, humanist cry from a disturbed soul, ‘Alfredo Garcia’ is a worthy rediscovery.
Author: Tom Huddleston
Fri Jan 2 2009