El Mariachi

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +2

Content: -2

While a young, aspiring mariachi hitchhikes his way from one dusty little Mexican town to another, a dangerous drug dealer escapes from jail. Both wear black jackets and carry a guitar case. The mariachi's case holds a guitar. The thug's case is filled with weapons. So begins a tale of two opposites whose identities get switched in this first commercial film by Roberto Rodriguez on a $7,000 budget. The mariachi (Carlos Gallardo) hopes to entertain customers in the town bar. Azul, the drug dealer, hopes to track down the double-crossing drug kingpin, Moco (Peter Marquardt), who tried to have Azul killed. As the mariachi is leaving one bar, Azul is entering it. Azul kills six customers because they work for Moco. The bartender describes the killer as a man wearing a black jacket and carrying a guitar case. From that point, the mariachi becomes a hunted man, forced to kill in self-defense. His only ally is beautiful Domino (Consuelo Gomez), the cold-blooded Moco's girlfriend. The ambitious mariachi eventually must swap his guitar for a gun. EL MARIACHI's caricatures of "the mob," are clever and humorous. A tongue-in-cheek action movie with Spanish dialogue and English subtitles, it is a refreshing switch from the usual Hollywood gangster movies.

Be warned, however, that killings are the name of the game. All disagreements are settled with point-blank shootings.The mariachi only kills in self-defense; the others, however, have no qualms about killing first and asking questions later. Otherwise, the film is "squeaky" clean. There is no offensive language, no sexual intercourse, nudity or homosexual activity. Except for one scene of Azul sleeping on a mattress with three young girls, and an implied relationship between Domino and Moco, there are no suggestive actions or dialogue. Domino invites the mariachi to stay in her one-room apartment, with the understanding there will be no physical contact between them. Even though attracted to each other, no sexual relationship occurs. Too bad the numerous shootings are so bloody; otherwise, we could recommend EL MARIACHI.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
Columbia Pictures, 711 5th Ave., NY, NY 10022]

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: None

Obscene Language: None

Profanity: None

Violence: Many times - Moderate and severe (point-blank gunshot killings; threat with dagger; striking; slap in face)

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: Few times (beer drinking)

Other: None

Running Time:
Intended Audience:

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