Blu-Ray Review: Bring Me The Head of Alfredo Garcia

Sam Peckinpah was one of the most unpredictable enigmas of American cinema. Characterised by their extreme violence and unique visual brush strokes, his films were often brutal and controversial. Whilst he amassed a cult following with the likes of The Wild Bunch, Cross of Iron, Straw Dogs and Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, Peckinpah was constantly battling his own demons. After the critical panning and Box-Office failure, not to mention butchering, of Pat Garrett, he eschewed the Studio system to make Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia.

When “El Jefe” (Emilio Fernández) discovers his daughter is pregnant and Alfredo Garcia is the father, he puts a price on his head. Bennie (Warren Oates) is a former member of the US Army, earning a meagre living as a pianist and bar manager in Mexico. When Sappensly (Robert Webber) and Quill (Gig Young) show up at his bar asking questions, he finds out from his girlfriend Elita (Isela Vega) that the bounty is dead, and is determined to find the head and claim the reward.

Described by Peckinpah as the only one of his films released exactly as intended, Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia almost feels autobiographical in many ways. As Bennie tears around Mexico in the intense heat, he’s never too far away from a bottle. Oates is great in the role, but Vega manages to upstage him whenever they’re on screen together. It’s an extremely violent film, and the misogyny can be difficult to take, but Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia is a rampaging and chaotic odyssey which is lively and entertaining.

Limited Edition Contents:

  • Brand new 4K restoration from the original camera negative produced by Arrow Films exclusively for this release

  • Original 1.0 mono audio

  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing

  • Brand new audio commentary by Stephen Prince, author of Savage Cinema: Sam Peckinpah and the Rise of Ultraviolent Movies, recorded exclusively for this release

  • Audio commentary by Sam Peckinpah scholars Paul Seydor, Garner Simmons and David Weddle, moderated by Nick Redman

  • Sam Peckinpah: Man of Iron, Paul Joyce’s feature-length 1993 documentary featuring interviews with James Coburn, Kris Kristofferson, Monte Hellman, Ali MacGraw, James Robards and others, available on home video in the UK for the first time ever

  • The John Player Lecture: Sam Peckinpah, audio recording of the director’s on-stage appearance at the National Film Theatre

  • Theatrical trailer

  • Bonus Blu-ray: Featuring never-before-seen interviews with Peckinpah colleagues and contemporaries including Kris Kristofferson, Monte Hellman, L.Q. Jones, Alan Sharp and more (TBC) [Limited Edition exclusive]

  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Peter Strain

  • Extensive collector’s booklet containing new writing by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas and numerous reprints including interviews and more [Limited Edition exclusive]

Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia is released on limited edition Blu-Ray by Arrow Video on Monday.

Previous Incoming: Lion
Next Track: Los Campesinos! - 5 Flucloxacillin

No Comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.