Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia Reviews

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½ June 24, 2013
A Mexican big shot, probably a mafia don or someone like that, is upset because his young daughter is pregnant. He puts a one million dollar bounty on the father's head, literally on the head. He wants the head of Alfredo Garcia as proof the man is dead. And so a bunch of lowlifes go in search of the dead beat dad. The movie follows a scummy bartender and his prostitute girlfriend as they go in search of the head.

The movie is slow in parts. The action starts about 70 minutes in. Its a pretty violent movie. For 1974 it might have been good, but by today's standards it didnt seem like anything special to me. There is grave robbing, shoot outs, female nudity, and a scene where a guy picks pubic lice off his crotch and crushes them between his thumbnails. There is an loud crunching sound every time he crushes one.


It turns out this Alfredo guy died in a car accident around the time the bounty was put on his head. Bartender Bennie leads some thugs to believe Alfredo is alive an he will kill him for $10,000. He kind of loses it after his girlfriend is killed. The end is a little surprising.
May 28, 2013
Possibly the second or third Peckinpah film I've managed to squeeze in over the years, despite the man's obvious reputation as a great filmmaker. This was no exception, and really draws you into the sleazy, sweaty down and dirty reality of Warren Oates' world as he goes in search of one Alfredo Garcia South of the border.

May 13, 2013
"There's nothing sacred about a hole in the ground or the man that's in it." After expressing his gloomy displeasure with the disappearance of The American West, Sam Peckinpah's follow-up film documented an all-out descent into hell that mirrored his own self-destruction. Warren Oates is Bennie, an ex patriot bartender who attempts to rise above his station by collecting a million dollar bounty on the severed head of a gangland lothario. A real hero's quest...if you replace Gilgamesh with a bottom feeding drunk and the will of the gods with blind luck and a sure shot. Tagging along for his damnation is his prostitute girlfriend, Isela Vega; their relationship seems to start the film as one of mutual convenience but through horrific circumstances they fool themselves into love but down south such fantasies will not last. The final third of the film is not just melancholic like Pat Garrett, but downright depressing. Warren Oates is said to be mimicking the look and mannerisms of his director, and considering Peckinpah's eventual collapse into self pity, Bring Me The Head of Alfredo Garcia is one of cinema's hardest watches. That being said, it's also a brilliant bit of dread; a mean, hateful, ugly, angry film. A real sick puppy that wallows in its filth. Peckinpah would make other films, but this is his final statement. VF.
May 1, 2013
Dark masterpiece from Sam Peckinpah, one of his best along with The Getaway.
½ March 19, 2013
Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia is highly unorthodox and compelling.
February 24, 2013
This was referenced once in an episode of Gilmore Girls. I want to see it based on that alone.
Super Reviewer
January 31, 2013
Not to my liking. I found it dull. 'twas a terrible introduction to Peckinpah as far as I'm concerned. I'll give him another chance though.
January 26, 2013
Peckinpah stole the french new wave "cool" for America with this Action Adventure flick.
January 1, 2013
Warren Oates is one of my favorites. Another one of a kind film experience.
December 30, 2012
Probably Peckinpah's best, and a personal all time favorite. Its a harsh, and violent film about the lives of desperate people in a fucking hard world. Forget about not pulling punches, this movie just brutalizes from start to finish. A powerfully raw film, that's got no time for anyone's bullshit. Its also hauntingly savage and at times overwhelmingly beautiful. This is it. One of the all time TRUE classics of cinema. Warren Oates' best work. It also has this alcoholic surrealism to it, which you'll identify with if you've ever been at the wrong end of a bottle, for a sufficient period of time. Simply no compromises here, the purest dirty film you will EVER see.
December 16, 2012
It's got that great grindhouse feel with blockbuster action. It's so much fun. Greatest title in the world by the way.
Super Reviewer
December 11, 2012
It's Peckinpah, so it'll having something good about it.
½ November 18, 2012
There's something really interesting in this strange Peckinpah flick.
November 3, 2012
not bad but just a movie.
November 3, 2012
Authentic in many ways !!!
½ October 27, 2012
Everything has a price as a bar piano player finds out when he is hired by two bounty hunters to find a man who impregnated a wealthy landowner's daughter. The easy payoff never materializes as recovering the head costs him more than he ever had.
October 23, 2012
In the 70s, life was damp and friendship came in a greasy paper bag.
½ October 12, 2012
Not a movie for everyone but one that Peckinpah fans will appreciate as there is no talent lost here.
Warren Oats stars as the main character seeking the head of a man who seduced the daughter of a wealthy mexican willing to pay one million dollars.
Gruesome and filled with sickly revolting detail, obsessed by violence Peckinpah delivers a stomach churning film with psychoanalysis.
½ October 9, 2012
It will remind you of the shitty things you've done, or wanted to do. Shitty deeds, shitty repercussions, shitty regret, even shitty redemption. It's just a shitty, shitty movie. Well worth a watch.
September 19, 2012
Sam Peckinpah's Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia is one the most bleakest, most violent, and most depressing movies I have ever seen. It chronicles a cycle of violence and destruction that kills all who are sucked into it. There is no hero in this story, and no one remotely likeable, with the exception of a middle aged whore. It was hated by critics and audiences upon its release, and I can't blame them. But I don't agree with them either. This is a good movie.

It's not a good movie because it's easy to watch, or because we like the people in it, or because it carries some important message. If it even has a message, it's that nothing matters and everybody dies. It's a good movie because it is one of the most powerful expressions of disillusionment and nihilism ever produced. It's a good movie because it has no illusions about itself. It knows that it's about rotten people and wretched deeds, and refuses to shy away from the ugliness or make excuses for the things that happen. And it's a good movie because it's absolutely fascinating.

The reason that anyone wants Seņor Garcia's head is that he had the poor judgment to impregnate the daughter of a wealthy crime boss, who now offers a million dollars to the man who will deliver his head. There are many who wish to claim the bounty, but no-one knows where he is. No-one except Benny, a poor bartender who learned from his girlfriend that Alfredo is already dead and buried after a fatal car accident. Now all he has to do to claim part of that reward is dig up his old friend and cut off his head. Or so he thinks.

At this point, the sheer futility and pointlessness of everything that will happen should be perfectly clear. A million dollars is being offered so that an evil old man can have his revenge, but what's the point if he's already dead? And it only becomes bitterer and more cynical from there. Benny never had anything against Alfredo. His girlfriend once loved the man. But if desecrating an old friend's grave will get him $10,000 then he'll do it. Because that head is his ticket out the slums. He's been stuck in a dead end existence without prospects, without hope, far too long to let anyone or anything stop him.

And there will be many who try. Lots of people want that head. Some are driven by the same greed as Benny. Others have more personal reasons. But none of them will back down, and none of them have anything resembling scruples, or the slightest bit of mercy. And so the bullets will fly, and the body count will rise. And the fighting and killing will continue long after there's any reason for it, past the point where money is on the line, until anger and killing have become ends unto themselves.

And that is what fascinates me. Most of the people who die in this movie didn't have to die. Benny didn't have to fight them. But he doesn't know how to stop fighting. He's lost too much, and his anger has consumed him utterly. When he started out he was already desperate, impatient, and unhappy, and as his journey becomes ever more miserable he's gotten closer to the edge, until killing is the only thing left to him.

There's a section in the middle where he's retrieved the head and is driving back alone in his battered car. And the head is sitting in the car next to him, wrapped in bloody cloth and surrounded by files. And he's talking to it, almost shouting at it, telling it how none of this was worth it and it's his fault that so many have died. It's like the Wilson scenes in Castaway, only a hundred times more demented. And it stands out because it so perfectly sums up the madness, desperation, and sense of decay that permeate the entire film. It's just hard to believe that there can be a world that is so devoid of happiness or meaning, where so few people have so few morals, where the 'hero' will shoot a dead man "Just because it feels so good." And that Peckinpah can make it so engaging, and achieve such purpose out of futility, is the most amazing thing of all.
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