Sight and Sound - 03/01/1975
"...Dark tides of family pride and religious wrath flowing from the very first sequence..."
Chicago Sun-Times - 10/28/2001
"...If there is anything to the auteur theory, then ALFREDO GARCIA is the most autobiographical film Peckinpah ever made....A real director is at his best when he works with material that reflects his own life patterns..."
Uncut - 07/01/2005
"In a mad-cackling way, it's bloodily hilarious, driven by a wild, unhinged humour..."
Uncut - 01/01/2006 Ranked #1 in Uncut's Best DVDs Of 2005 -- "[T]his mescal-haze odyssey is arguably the most personal and certainly the most extreme statement Peckinpah ever made."
Empire - 02/01/2009 4 stars out of 5 -- "Oates excels, but the bleak brilliance is all Peckinpah's."
In 1974, Sam Peckinpah directed BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA, a film that is, even for Peckinpah, relentlessly bleak in its portrayal of life. Tellingly, it was one of the last films Peckinpah produced; it was also the fearsome director's personal favorite of the many movies he directed. Warren Oates stars as Bennie, a piano-player who happens upon two bounty hunters who have been dispatched by a Mexican rancher to collect the head of Alfredo Garcia. It seems that Garcia had impregnated the rancher's daughter, who wants his head as indisputable proof that this deviant is dead, and won't be bothering his family again. Penniless and out of luck, Bennie does a little snooping of his own, discovers that his girlfriend knows where the final resting place of Garcia is, and decides to usurp the bounty hunters by severing Garcia's head and collecting the cash for himself. Peckinpah unleashes some ferocious scenes of violence as Bennie attempts to complete his task, while Oates is magnificent as Bennie, who slides into madness as events take a turn for the worse; he even resorts to talking to Garcia's decapitated head, and washing it in the shower.
A truly awesome addition to Peckinpah's canon of films, BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA is often unfairly overlooked in favor of more popular Peckinpah fare such as THE WILD BUNCH and STRAW DOGS. While the film may be shot through with Peckinpah's trademark misogyny and violence, it nevertheless remains a potent ride through humanity's dark side, with Peckinpah training his unrelenting camera on some gruesome scenes that remain long in the memory after the final credits fade.
In Mexico, the outraged father of a pregnant, unwed young woman orders his henchmen to find the father of his daughter's unborn child. In attempting to obey this command, private detectives are employed and they, in turn, track down a dissolute piano player who they hire to actually find the gigolo.
Character Study |
Theatrical Release |
An Optimus Production and Estudios Churubusco co-production.
The director's eldest daughter, Sharon Peckinpah, served as dialogue director.
"Bad Blood Baby" composed by Sam Peckinpah.
Additional cast: Don Levy; Donny Fritts; Chalo Gonzalez; Enrique Lucero, and Janine Maldonado.