By Debbie Elicksen.
El Mariachi (1992) is the first film in the Robert Rodriguez trilogy. A mariachi man (Carlos Gallardo), who is looking for work, is mistaken for a ruthless killer because he is dressed in similar clothing and carries a guitar case. The subtitled movie was written and directed by Rodriguez, who also co-produced it with Gallardo.
Mexican drug lord Moco (Peter Marquardt) is the target of Azul (Reinol Martínez), a revenge-seeking hitman who breaks out of jail and carries a guitar case full of weapons, killing anyone who gets in his way. As Moco sends his men to hunt down Azul, they run into El Mariachi, who is new to the town and learning his way around. He ends up finding himself in some sticky situations but is resourceful enough to maneuver his way out of them.
There is something quite likable about Gallardo’s character. All he wants to do is make people smile and entertain them. It’s not the best production you’ll ever see, as its initial costs were only $7,000 and it didn’t have a wide audience in mind until Columbia Pictures optioned it for the United States market. It has a ton of action, the script also inflects a bit of humor, and you’ll come away from it feeling entertained.
I liked this film and give it four stars out of five.