Just watched 'Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia' (1974). Any fans of Sam Peckinpah in the house?
Some of the works of Peckinpah had been on my watch list for months, sitting there in a subfolder of a subfolder. From the choice of Straw Dogs and Cross of Iron, I chose the aforetitled, liking the idea of embarking on a bit of a journey through Mexico with a gritty protagonist as we experience splatterings of violence and negotiate the thoughts of a down and out vagabond making a ran for his riches.
The film left me with mixed feelings. I enjoyed the path of Benny, experiencing how his character is unwavering in his desire to take that last lucky ticket out of debauchery street, but didn't care much for his journey's partner. While I appreciated the dynamic of the relationship, the understanding they both had that they weren't in love with each other, but all they both had, the chemistry and dialogue didn't really resonate with me at parts. I actually was rather glad when this relationship came to its abrupt end as the film entered its final 3rd.
On top of that, there was major issues with the sound which made it difficult to fully immerse myself in the journey at times. I found myself feeling I was watching a caricature of a 70s movie now and again, as opposed to be engrossed in a gritty noir-esque adventure.
But all in all, an enjoyable film which has left an impression. I always appreciate watching unpolished characters navigating circumstances plotted outside their usual courses, then watching how they deal with the inevitable implosion. From what I've read since, the film was one which perhaps accurately portrayed the director's life at the time of filming; dealing with various booze-infused demons. That rawness definitely shows, as does the inevitable imperfections in this movie's execution.
Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia and The Wild Bunch are my two favorites. It's been a decade or so since I saw the former, so I think it's time I rewatch it. I've seen The Wild Bunch more times than I can count though. Many of Sam Peckinpah's films aren't great, but they're always interesting, which is why I like his oeuvre so much.
If you're into that era of filmmaking, I suggest checking out the documentary Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession. It's about Z Channel, which was basically a localized version of HBO or TCM in the L.A. area during the 70s and 80s that showed a lot of these types of movies. Peckinpah is mentioned quite a few times.