Oh my, this was great viewing. I
actually saw this in the cinema in the 1970's and i remember it was
hullabaloo as the film initially was totally banned in my strange country,
Sweden. Why would a film by a master
as Peckinpah be banned? Ask the censors. Sweden had one of the most
notorious film censorboards in the
world and everything violent was cut away, actually the opposite to
many countries (as the USA) as sex was
OK and violence a no-no. Many great films were cut to shreds until the
Swedish film censoring system suddenly
kicked the bucket and slowly went away (it existed between 1911-2011
acc. to wiki) but the last film to be cut
was in 1995 (Casino by Scorsese and it must have been the baseball bat
A genre that was especially hit by the rabid and psychotic church-lady
censors was Horror film, and most of them
were shredded by their eager scissors. Finally the filmlovers had enough
and started the hunt for uncut copies, in
Greece, France, Holland, USA, Italy etc. Then we traded VHS copies between
us. In the 90's the cutting ended
when only a couple of bigot politicians wanted film censoring and even
the boss of the Censorboard wanted her
job to end. It was obsolete, finally and good riddance.
This film is a deliciously slowpaced crime drama and
neo-noir with Peckinpah-ish outbursts of violence now and
then. It's dirty, gritty and filled to the brim with south-of-the border
atmosphere, Mexico that is.
The story is simple. The teenage daughter of a mexican rich guy, a landowner
and then a Don too presumably as
he's surrounded by a regular army of armed men and has US mob friends,
is pregnant and the guilty one is a Mr.
Alfredo Garcia. The horny guy long since gone away, fleing to other
pastures. The boss, El Jefe (played by Emilio
Fernández) promises a reward of one million dollars to the one
that brings him the head of Alfredo Garcia.
2 nasty US mob hitmen (played by Robert Webber and Gig
Young) are searching and asks a yankee bar piano
player if he's seen Alfredo or if he knows the guy. The answer is No
and the pianist, Bennie (Warren Oates) starts
his own inquiry of Garcia's whereabouts. His girlfriend Elita (a great
Isela Vega, she's fabulous in this film) gives
him a lead when she's telling Bennie that Garcia, her other boyfriend,
is dead and buried after a traffic accident.
Bennie only needs a shovel and a machete and off they go (i "Jakten
på Alfredo Garcias huvud" -Swedish title).
Full of testosterone, dust from sunburnt Mexican roads
and sudden shootouts this is a noirish crime drama and a
roadmovie of sorts, but it's also a love story and Warren Oates and
Isela Vega is dynamite together.
A sudden shootout on a road in the countryside takes you by surprise
and is Peckinpah fantastic, wow, great.
widescreen 1.85:1, english and some spanish audio mono 1.0 with english
Extras: audio commentary track by Stephen Prince, another audio commentary
track by Paul Seydor, Garner
Simmons and David Webble, Sam Peckinpah: Man of Iron 1993 documentary
(94 minutes), John Player lecture
audio with Peckinpah (47 minutes) and Kris Kristofferson songs, theatrical
trailer, booklet with text
Limited edition Bonus Blu-ray with the looong director's cut of the
Sam Peckinpah Man of Iron documentary