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El Mariachi (1992)

El Mariachi (1992)


Carlos Gallardo

Directed by Robert Rodriguez

The Mexico Trilogy, Robert Rodriguez brain child was a movie that tells a tale of mistaken identity. Done in 1992, with a production budget of less than $8,000. Rodriguez was able to use amateur actors and very low budget effects to get this movie done.
Rodriguez also wrote it, directed, produced and was involved in the cinematography and editing of this movie. The movie was shot in Mexico and the language is Spanish. This is the movie that preceded 1995’s Desperado which started Antonio Banderas and with a much more bigger budget.

The movie’s plot is very straight forward and no shooting of guns was spared in this movie. Two men did a job and one screwed the other over. The one screwed over and in jail is Azul and the one who did the screwing is Moco.
Moco called Azul while he was in jail and told him he is sending him help to get him out. Moco instead sent three hit men to kill Azul. This plan did not go well, as Azul was waiting for them and killed them. He then breaks out of jail and goes after Moco, dressed in black with a guitar case filled with guns.

On the other side we have a young man, a mariachi who is looking for work. He too is going about town in black carrying a guitar case. Moco passes the message around his men that they should find and kill Azul, marking him as dressed in black carrying a guitar case.

You can guess how the mistaken identity thing started and how the mariachi man was forced to pick up the gun to defend himself.

For me, Columbia Pictures who took over the movie and spent some more money in the post production to make the movie sell-able in the American market are the winners. Because this movie spawned two other sequels for them which were financially profitable.
This movie is very significant as it set a Guinness World Record for a movie with the lowest production budget to make over a million in the box office. It was also this movie that led to the reign of many independent movies in the 90s.

Also, out of the three movies in the trilogy, it has the highest critic approval rating. From my point of view, seeing the movie after knowing about its background makes me better appreciate the work done on it. The acting by the lead, who plays the mariachi looking for a job is what will make you doubt that these were amateurs. Everyone involved in this movie seemed to want to deliver some kind of acting that will make them stand out, and from my view they did.


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