The Alejandro Jodorowsky Collection Alejandro Jodorowsky

Light up some incense and break out your best chunk of hash because Alejandro Jodorowsky is finally coming to DVD. Three of the Chilean-born, Mexican-based director’s weirdo classics are finally available to cultists that have waited years, and they look very good indeed. Fully restored, with killer transfers, they’re ready and waiting to blow your mind, assuming you’re of a certain persuasion. Without a serious stake in incoherence, you might be a bit nonplussed by Fando y Lis (1968), a ramshackle adaptation of a Fernando Arrabal play where a young man and his paralysed mate wander around a rocky desert having all sorts of strange encounters and surreal experiences. The (previously released) film is allegedly a "remembered” version of the play shot without a script; accordingly, the lack of visual discipline and structure kills it. It’s more a memory of surrealist tropes without any of the skill needed to pull such tropes off. A quantum leap forward in terms of style and force is El Topo (1970), the mystical western-on-mushrooms that spawned the midnight movie movement and that, unlike its predecessor, seems considered down to its very last detail. As the titular gunslinger hunts and kills four "masters” to prove his virility, he hits you with image after potent image of sex, blood, dead animals and shoe-sucking cowboys. Alas, Jodorowsky (in the title role) proves to be a bit of a macho jerk, and a little of this punishing movie goes a long way for non-spiritual atheists. I prefer The Holy Mountain (1973), in which a thief under the influence of a holy man (Jodorowsky again) is introduced to planet-identified entities then embarks upon a pilgrimage to the eponymous mountain. Given more of a budget, the set and costume design are truly astonishing — every shot is eye-popping and vivid — and that keeps you going even as the mystical mumbo-jumbo fails you completely. I can’t say they’re mature gestures of artistry but make no mistake: there’s nothing like a Jodorowsky. Extras include a middling documentary on the director on Fando y Lis, mind-busting, must-hear Jodorowsky commentaries and script/photo galleries for El Topo and Holy Mountain, a useless interview clip on El Topo, deleted scenes, a clip on tarot, and restoration comparisons for Holy Mountain. There’s also a fourth disc with La Cravate, a cutesy but well-crafted 20-minute short dating back to his mime days, and the soundtracks for ET and HM (Anchor Bay)