El Mariachi (1993)

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A wandering musician is mistaken for a a gun-toting killer with a grudge and finds himself caught between two warring drug gangs.

To say Robert Rodriguez’ breakthrough film was an achievement is an understatement; this rates alongside Evil Dead as one of the great victories of mind over money. I have pairs of trainers that look more expensive than this! The photography is a little cheap looking – though no worse than say, Mad Max – the acting rather amateurish and you do seem to spend a lot of the time watching people running around the same streets. Made for $7,000 and every shot done in one take, the constraints of the budget are obvious, but the director’s invention still manages to shine through. At only 80 minutes it has a nice no frills approach but also like Evil Dead, it is completely out shined by the director’s own big budget re-invention, Desperado.

Well worth a look though, especially for Rodriguez fans and anyone interested in independent cinema.

6/10

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