El Mariachi (1992)

Carlos Gallardo, Consuelo Gómez, Jaime de Hoyos, Peter Marquardt,
El mariachi is a movie starring Carlos Gallardo, Consuelo Gómez, and Jaime de Hoyos. A traveling mariachi is mistaken for a murderous criminal and must hide from a gang bent on killing him.
  • 6.9 /10.0 IMDB Rating:
  • DatePublished:
  • 2018-09-07 Added:
  • Writer:
  • Robert Rodriguez, Director:
  • Producer:


3 / 10

Low Budget doesn't automatically make it good

This past Christmas my friend got the Desperado, El Mariachi two-pack (having seen desperado and thinking El Mariachi would be good too), and the other day we watched it. As far as an action movie goes it's pretty poor. The "chase" scenes were pretty much all the same and lifeless. The actors were all pretty bad especially Moco (who was laughably horrible), and it lacked the humor of the other 2 (especially the most recent edition). The only mildly funny part was when the mariachi tries to get a job at the bar only to discover that the bar already has a 1 man band.

Now if you are one of those people who loves low budget/independent movies for the sole aribitrary reason that they are not multi-million dollar Hollywood films, then you will probably like this movie (or at least say you do, for that reason). But if you look at this movie objectively it isn't that good. The action is slow and boring (perhaps budget does matter in action movies, or at least action sequences), unless of course you like a slow chase through an empty street with no music and a fat mexican guy looking confused. The story is nothing special, just a standard case of mistaken identity. And if you think for one minute that the Mariachi falling in love with the girl whom he just met is not a Hollywood contrivance then you are sorely mistaken. The end is pretty lame too though I did enjoy the overblown laughing of Moco.

Do yourself a favor, skip El Mariachi and just watch the other 2, they are much better movies. However, I will say that this movie did make me glad that I didn't live in dirty poor Mexico, thank God.


8 / 10

What dreams may come

First off, this movie is pretty good. But I really don't think that is what I want to touch on in this review, after all anyone reading the El Mariachi page probably already knows about the film. What needs to be said, and I know others have said it before me, but in my own words I have to say thank you. Thank you to Robert Rodriguez for having the sheer will to make this film. Every once in a while underdogs come around in film and they inspire many people to realize their dream. In years past there were guys like Sylvester Stallone that wrote Rocky in three days after seeing an unknown boxer go the distance with the champ. He held out selling the film because he wanted to play Rocky. The rest they say is history. In 1978 John Carpenter had a low budget of under a quarter of a million dollars and he scared the hell out of everyone with what I believe is the scariest film ever made, Halloween. You have Spike Lee making the film School Daze on a shoestring budget only for us, the audience, to see what a gift he has behind the camera, the rest they say is history. Then you have Tarantino that got his lucky break because someone he knew knew someone who knew Harvey Keitel's wife and she got a hold of the script and gave it to Harvey and then Reservoir Dogs was made and the rest they say is history. Then there is Kevin Smith and his $27000 film Clerks that was made on credit cards and loans. Now Smith is in the big time with movies like Dogma. Kevin Smith in my opinion is one the best writers in the game today. The rest they say is history with him as well. And who can forget Daniel Myrick and Ed Sanchez. With $35000 they redefined horror and filming techniques by making the Blair Witch Project. Their filming techniques were completely unorthodox and the film went on to gross a staggering 140 million dollars in North America alone. And then of course there is Robert Rodriguez. A guy that was basically a lab rat for three weeks and used the money to film this film. This is a guy that was just hoping his film would get some small Mexican-straight-to-video deal. But then an exec sees it and decides that with a little work, this film could be quite good. And the rest they is history. Guys like Robert Rodriguez and all the other people mentioned here are guys to look up to, guys to admire. They had a dream and they pursued it relentlessly and they succeeded. Perserverance is almost a euphanism for success. Maybe not at first but if you keep trying then possibly someday all your hard work will pay off. Look at Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. They have both been in Hollywood for years with small parts in various films. Finally somehow Robin Williams gets a hold of Good Will Hunting and they are Oscar winners. For every film like Titanic and Phantom Menace, you occassionally get films like El Mariachi and Clerks. This is why the smaller films, although lacking in budget and technical areas, are sometimes better and more exciting and cared for than a studio sized budgetted movie. Because the people that make them care. Look at Tobe Hooper and Texas Chainsaw Massacre, no budget, no lighting, no actors and yet one of the scariest films ever made. Sam Raimi, director of A Simple Plan and For Love of the Game. Back in the early 80's he made a film called Evil Dead for $50000. It was one hell of a scary film and people noticed. Now he is not neccessarily an A-list director but he is thought of when projects are mentioned. Wes Craven made Last House on the Left in 1972 with the future producer and director of Friday the 13th, Sean Cunningham. While the film was a gut wrenching experience, it had no backing by the studios and it was made for next to nothing, yet it succeeded and now look at Craven. His Scream franchise is one of the hottest properties in the game right now. I mention all of these along with Robert Rodriguez because they all share a passion for film. They all started off with humble beginnings and succeeded when they shouldn't have. Rodriguez may be the best story of the bunch. It's guys like him and others that are mentioned that should be remembered when you are going for your dream, whether it be with film or with whatever you choose in life. I have been personally affected by guys like Rodriguez and Tarantino and Stallone and Affleck and Damon and Carpenter and Raimi and Kevin Williamson and so on. You can look at guys like this and see them for the relentless spirit and passion that they have to get the job done. They inspire me to pursue my dream and hopefully one day in the near future, people on the IMDb will be reviewing my work and saying how it was cool that the Dan guy pursued his dream and succeeded. And if that happens then I can look to guys like Robert Rodriguez and say thank you for inspiring me to go for it. When a guy sacrifices his mind and body for three weeks at a drug testing clinic so he make a movie, well that is about all the inspiration I need. I just wanted to take this brief time out of my day to say thank you to Rodriguez and every other person that has given it their all and fulfilled their dream of film. You have kept me entertained and you have given me a dream and hope. That is the best education that you can give to anyone looking to fulfill their dream. This film may have cost $7,000 to make but it has put Rodriguez on the map of Hollywood and it has inspired me and many others to go for it ourselves.

7 / 10

A Nice Film

Let's give credit where credit is due. Although this picture had an extremely low-budget, it goes to prove that a nice film can still be produced if the director has the imagination and talent to pull it off. And let's face it, the sad fact is that there are all too many movies being made today that cost much more than this particular film ($7000) but fail to deliver the same level of satisfaction. The director (Robert Rodriguez) deserves every attribute due to him. The humor was good and there were some social commentaries that I think some people might have missed. That is not to say, however, that this film was necessarily perfect. It wasn't. The acting wasn't great by any means. Neither was the script. But then, the movie was originally produced in Spanish and the version I saw was dubbed in English, so it is possible that some of the dialogue may have been lost in translation. The ending though, was unexpected and abrupt and I didn't quite like it. As far as the characters are concerned, I thought Reinol Martinez (playing the part of the gangster "Azul") did the best. Consuelo Gomez ("Domino") was attractive and put in a fair performance as well. Carlos Gallardo ("El Mariachi") was average at best. The rest of the cast were pretty much forgettable. Having said all of this, the fact that this film was produced with a low budget doesn't mean that a person should lower his standards and give it a higher score than it deserves when it comes to evaluating it. This wasn't "Gone with the Wind" so there's no need to give it an equivalent rating. The bottom line is that it was an enjoyable low-budget film and it made a hefty profit. No need to argue with that.

6 / 10

Its a good small budget film

I have loved some of Robert Rodriguez's later works like Sin City, so I was pretty excited to see this movie.

The movie is extremely small budget and it really feels like it is more expensive than that. I mean, Robert Rodriguez makes this movie look like it had much more money spent on it, and that is because of his creativity and resourcefulness.

The directing is really good. I loved many of the shots and scenes in this movie and the way they are edited.

My problem with the film or at least my dilemma is... I just find this movie OK. The main actor and character itself is pretty lousy, the movie is too long for its own good, and the story is just OK.

Many people argue that this might be justified because of the low budget. But I do believe that all of the story problems don't have anything to do with the budget. It is not as if I don't like low-budget films, I LOVE "The Evil Dead" and other low-budget films. I just find this movie uneventful, and sometimes boring.

I think this film is the kind of film you should only watch once and move on with your life. I do recommend you to watch it though.

10 / 10

Rodriguez Starts off on the Right Foot

I am a big fan of Rodriguez's films. Particularly 'From Dusk til Dawn','Planet Terror' and 'Sin City'. Then I bought the film 'Desperado' and learned it was a sequel to "El Mariachi". Since I have OCD and everything must be in order, I told myself I had to see 'El Mariachi' before I would allow myself to see 'Desperado'. I looked all over and ended up buying 'El Mariachi', not knowing the movie experience I would soon get...

'El Mariachi' is a low-budget movie and you can tell it is. But it is without a doubt much MUCH better than a lot of these excuses for "movies" they dump on us these days. The concept is simple enough; a traveling Mariachi player is looking for work and gets mistaken for a killer. He has to fight his way out of this one.

The cast was made up of Hollywood "nobodies" but they gave performances so realistic and Oscar-worthy that you couldn't tell. El Mariachi (the character) was wonderfully played by Carlos Gallardo, who should have gotten an award for his part. You sympathized and rooted for him throughout the entire film. The lead actress, Domino was also professionally played by Consuelo Gomez. The REAL killer (with whom El Mariachi is mistaken for), "Azul" was probably my favorite character besides El Mariachi himself, played by the talented Reinol Martinez. There's also the antagonists, like the "gringo" mob leader who tried to kill El Mariachi and Azul, and has a crush on Domino. The leader, Mauricio "Moco" was played by the surprisingly good Peter Marquardt. There's also his main enforcer, who is always after Mariachi and gives a great performance yet doesn't speak a word, "Bigoton", played by Jaime de Hoyos.

Given the small budget, the used/limited props/equipment, and the cast, Rodriguez created a cinematic masterpiece. Many probably do not like the movie because of its lower quality and the fact that its all in Spanish. But these only make the whole experience even better.

Fans of Rodriguez will not want to miss this one. Rodriguez starts off his movie career on a very good note with "El Mariachi."

This movie gets a 10/10. Check it out. Be sure to watch in Spanish with English subtitles, and not in English (audio).