Film #589: “Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia” (1974)
Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia. Sam Peckinpah. United States/Mexico, 1974.
Today I take a break from chronological posts to review Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia, this week’s selection of the 1001 Movies Blog Club, of which I am a member.
Alfredo Garcia stars Warren Oates as Benny, a bartender and piano player who has been given the task of traveling to the grave site of one Alfredo Garcia and chopping off his head. He then must deliver it to the associates of a wealthy man whose daughter Garcia slept with, knocked up and subsequently abandoned. Needless to say, the rich papa is pissed off, given the plot and title of the film. Along for the ride is Benny’s girlfriend Elita, a prostitute and incidentally, Garcia’s ex-lover.
A lot goes on in Alfredo Garcia’s two-hour running time, yet I was never once lost. The pacing of the film is perfect and the story is exciting enough to keep you interested. The action sequences are jarring and gloriously violent.
Surprisingly enough, this film was met with sour reception and a dismal box office response upon release. There’s some who today maintain that this is one of the worst films ever released. While Alfredo Garcia does have an element of silliness, it’s well-made and incredibly fun overall. I’m surprised it took so long for the film to find an audience.
I’m sorry, but anyone who thinks this is a bad film needs to see at least five minutes of an Uwe Boll production. Lighten up and accept Alfredo Garcia for what it is: two hours of prime entertainment. You don’t have to accept it as anything else and I sincerely doubt anyone is expecting you to anyway.
Memorable moments: The action sequences, Kris Kristofferson’s cameo, the ending