Beyond Fest Review: The Holy Mountain – It’s Art, Man

I started watching Jodorowsky movies to make Vern, the outlaw film critic who named me Franchise Fred, proud. He considered it valuable art, so I watched Santa Sangre, El Topo and The Holy Mountain. Later I caught his newest The Dance of Reality and the film about Jodorowsky’s Dune, and I went back and saw Fando and Lis. Beyond Fest showed The Holy Mountain on 35mm so now I have seen Jodorowsky get his butt hole washed on the big screen. It’s art, man.

I don’t try to interpret art films like The Holy Mountain. I’m more into the experience of witnessing an entertaining collection of vignettes, and boy is The Holy Mountain surreal and entertaining. The Alchemist (Jodorowsky)’s search for enlightenment is interrupted by nine businessmen from each of the nine planets (back when Pluto was still a planet) demonstrating their crazy businesses.

These include sex machines, butt paintings, test subjects impaling themselves on bayonets, electric cadaver stimulation and five more. The clowns are especially poignant with today’s clown violence hysteria. How did Jodorowsky know?

Some of it is just weird to look at, like a toilet that’s at least four feet off the ground. No one really needs to explain what the Sanctuary of 1000 Testicles means. It really speaks for itself. And K2’s got nothing on mountain humping.

In the end, the Alchemist reveals his secret with a devilish grin like a lovable scamp. Oh, Jodorowsky. In one sense it’s like the whole provocative introspective film has been a big joke, but Jodorowsky still delivers it with utter conviction. Like I said, I don’t really need it to mean anything. I’m just happy to see the sort of things depicted on screen that nobody else would ever think to film, in or out of context. It’s art, man.

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