24 July 2008
Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia, dir. Sam Peckinpah (1974)
You can't beat that for a title, can you?
I saw this movie first about 15 years ago, and remembered it only in bits and pieces. Since we started up our Peckinpah retrospective last month with Convoy, I've been wanting to watch it again, hoping that it was every bit as good as I remembered it.
According to IMDb: "An American bartender and his prostitute girlfriend go on a road trip through the Mexican underworld to collect a $1 million bounty on the head of a dead gigolo." Yeah, but that's only the set-up. Said bartender, Warren Oates, soon learns that his prostitute girlfriend recently spent three days and three nights with Alfredo Garcia, which only serves to make the idea of decapitating him more appealing. When Oates learns that Garcia is already dead, killed in a car accident, it only makes his job easier - but also goes a long way in making him more despicable. For a while, anyway.
It's strangely crafted: I thought the first half dragged, with all the talk about dreams and finding a better life, but come midpoint I realized its purpose, and understood just how necessary all that talk was. The first half of the movie is the calm before the storm...