The Animals of Jodorowsky's The Holy Mountain

When we cuddled up with the cat and a cup of tea to watch Alejandro Jodorowsky's surreal, disturbing, strangely funny, imagination overload The Holy Mountain, I knew I'd be taken for a ride. I had no idea how agitated, intrigued, delighted, and disgusted I'd be. It's like nothing I've ever seen. (Others have written about this. I particularly like this person's explication of how Eyes Wide Shut Ain't Got Nothing on The Holy Mountain.)

I also didn't expect the animals! There were so many animals. Sadly (and rather disgustedly), I'm not positive that some of these animals weren't harmed in the making of the film. It looks as if some iguanas and toads may have been hurt during the conquest of Mexico scene when Spanish cane toads walked over the Mexican iguanas whose civilization was blown to bits and bright fake blood splattered the whole kit n caboodle.

Also, I'm not sure if that python liked being stuffed into a knit sock. Though, come on ... Is that not one of the cutest things you've ever seen? Look at that snake all wrapped up in the sock! Okay, fine. It's probably just me. 

The chimp seemed to do fine in all his scenes. He didn't seem to mind wearing his red sweater, or the white shorts and yellow shirt they dressed him in. Though, I guess he seemed sort of uncomfortable always having to hold hands with one of the actors, what with only being able to use three of his four limbs to get around. I did have the thought while watching him: no wonder apes wanted to walk on two legs. That looks hard. 

chimp and girls.jpg

There was also this adorbzzz baby hippo (squee) taking a bath and drinking from the fountain in the scene when the alchemist washes the Christ figure. I was happy for their sake that he (or she) was not an adult hippo taking a bath because that would have been fucking scary, considering hippos are often super dangerous and mean. 

Okay, so there was also a Pelican walking around during the egg scene when the beggar/Christ figure's excrement gets turned to gold. A couple times he (or she) calmly flapped those pretty wings with the big black stripes of feathers. 

The Holy Mountain also featured some fun uses of taxidermied animals. Like these wizened goats who form the back of the alchemist's chair. And these cheetahs that spit some sort of milk into the face of an enlightenment seeker from the breasts of a skinny old naked man. 

I couldn't find a photo of the awesome camel standing in the corner of the alchemist's studio thing, contently unaware that these humans frolicking near him were engaged in creating something vexing and original. So, you should watch the film to see what I'm talking about. But, if you do, quick warning from a The Holy Mountain-watching veteran: wait to eat your popcorn until about ten minutes into the movie. Just trust me on this one.