This essay seeks to add to the scholarship around the films of Alejandro Jodorowsky by looking at how Jodorowsky challenge to mainstream religion and spirituality in two of his major films: El Topo and The Holy Mountain. I situate both these films within their cultural context and, working with Slavoj Zizek’s idea of the sadistic trap, explore how they challenge not only mainstream religious beliefs but countercultural ones as well. By doing so, I hope to cast some light on what makes the subversive nature of his films so valuable and to provide some guidance to two films that can be quite overwhelming to try to understand.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.