Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Short Attention Span Review: Bring Me The Head of Alfredo Garcia

Short Attention Span Review: Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974)

For me, there is little doubt that The Wild Bunch was Sam Peckinpah's best picture, but it isn't my favorite movie that he made.  No, my personal fave from this legendary director is a curious ode to tequila, violence, and greed.  That's the best way I can describe Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia, though I should note that while paying tribute to these vices, it also serves up a gruesome example of the ultimate price one might pay for embarking on a quest to satisfy such wicked cravings.  Warren Oates was a gifted performer who was totally at home in many potent roles in an abundance of finer films, but I don't know that he was ever given a better part than the lead in this blood-soaked gem.  Sleazy but endearing, he owns the screen, blazing a path of destruction within and without as he first succumbs to his wretched desires and then rises above them.  In the end, a valiant moment of defiance and a hail of lead closes the picture out on a downbeat note in true 70s fashion.  Uneven and difficult to watch at times, there are also wacky moments that are strangely compelling--with many of these centering upon the main character's budding friendship with a rotting head in a burlap sack.  It's that kind of movie, and while it's far from perfect, it surely benefits from a terrific performance courtesy of Oates and Peckinpah's trademark flair for gunfights and machismo. 

Final Grade: B

Warren Oates drinks tequila, kills bad guys, and befriends a severed head in Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia.

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