90 Movies in 90 Days: El Mariachi (1992)

I’m kicking off 2023 by trying to watch and review one movie every day for the first 90 days, most of which will be 90 minutes or less.

Title: El Mariachi
Release Date:September 15, 1992
Director: Robert Rodriguez
Production Company: Columbia Pictures | Los Hooligans Productions

Robert Rodriguez’s debut movie is a crime/action/thriller set in the Mexican border town of Ciudad Acuña. An aspiring mariachi musician (Carlos Gallardo) arrives hoping to find work playing for tips at one of the city’s bars.  At the same time, a gangster Azul (Reinol Martíne) comes to town with a plan to extract a very violent revenge on the drug kingpin Moco (Peter Marquardt). Both wear all black and a guitar case, and like an Alfred Hitchcock film, there are mistaken identities.

I didn’t expect to like this movie as much as I did with it’s reputation for graphic violence.  Rodriguez famously made this movie on a shoestring budget of $7000 and seemingly spent most of that money on squibs.  But the mariachi is a resourceful and likable character and gets support (and a  love interest) from the bartender Domino (Consuelo Gómez). Their chemistry is strong and their relationship feels real which lends credence to all the unreality around them.

Rating: ***1/2

One thought on “90 Movies in 90 Days: El Mariachi (1992)

  1. It’s a kickass movie that I’ve watched more than once. Rodriguez ranks side by side with Tarantino in my estimation but has faded out over time while Tarantino is still going strong. I think those two need to make another movie together.


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