This month we've named Sam Peckinpah to our Badass Hall of Fame, and as part of the celebration we've been showing Bring Me The Head of Alfredo Garcia at Alamo locations everywhere. This week the movie is playing in Austin, and I know that this is a town that's ready to get out and support one of the most awesome and underrated movies of Peckinpah's career.
Peckinpah gets a lot of love for The Wild Bunch and Straw Dogs and The Getaway - and rightfully so. But Alfredo Garcia holds a special place in the Peckinpah canon. It's his grimiest, sickest, weirdest movie but also his most personal. It's about how Bennie, an ex-pat American living in Mexico, learns that a local crimelord wants the head of the gigolo who knocked up his daughter. The reward: a cool million. But Bennie has some inside info: this gigolo, Alfredo Garcia, was actually killed in an accident some weeks back. All Bennie has to do is go to the graveyard, dig up the corpse and become rich. Or so he thinks.
Sam himself was halfway an ex-pat, always wanting to escape to the freedom of Mexico. And while Bennie is hard-drinking, his consumption doesn't even begin to match up with what Sam put away. Inaugural Badass Hall of Famer Warren Oates plays Bennie, and he completely modeled the character on Sam, even going so far as to wear the director's own sunglasses as part of his costume.
At the time of its release people recoiled from Bring Me The Head of Alfredo Garcia. While the last couple of decades have been kind to Sam's legacy - starting in the 80s he began to really be seen as the genius he is - Alfredo Garcia still hasn't quite been elevated to its proper position in the pantheon. It's time to change that, and hopefully our screening can expose people to the squalid greatness of Alfredo Garcia.
If you haven't already bought tickets, you can do so right here. It's playing at the Ritz today, tomorrow and Thursday. Go see it!