Guitar Case of Mistaken Identity

El Mariachi is the most profitable low-budget movie of all time. Made on a shoestring budget of $7,000, it earned over $2 million in American distribution. So how did such a low-budget foreign film become so successful? Perhaps you recognize the director, Robert Rodriguez. Long before making a name for himself, Rodriguez was just a poor college student with a passion for filmmaking.

El Mariachi was shot entirely in Mexico with only amateur actors. A lot of the technical work (directing, producing, writing, cinematography, editing) Rodriguez did himself. While intended to be direct-to-video, Colombia Pictures discovered it and liked it so much that they poured over $200,000 into it just to release it theatrically. El Mariachi tells the tragic tale of a nameless aspiring musician just trying to find work.

Until his guitar case attracts some unwanted attention. Since a criminal in town just so happens to be carrying an identical case full of guns. Leading to extreme violence, hilarious misunderstandings, and heartbreaking romance. I wasn’t expecting to enjoy El Mariachi as much as I did, but its uniquely familiar premise is a blast. The prospect of a great filmmaker shows even when there’s nothing to work with. El Mariachi serves as a reminder that anyone can make a hit as long as you have enough drive and passion.

1. El Mariachi

El Mariachi with a gun

Followed by: Desperado

3 thoughts on “Guitar Case of Mistaken Identity

  1. El Mariachi is one of my all-time favourite films. It’s cool to see how far Robert Rodriguez has come, now that he’s making big budget blockbusters. Part of me wishes he would revisit the western sometime too. Cool blog, btw. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great flick. I saw this after Desperado… later picking up both on DVD, as Desperado became one of my favourite flicks. As did this. I believe I owned it twice, actually… it may have been part of the Mariachi box.

    Liked by 1 person

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