In Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia Warren Oates plays Bennie, a piano player in a Mexican bar who gets himself involved in the manhunt for Alfredo Garcia, a man with a million-dollar price-tag on his head having impregnated the daughter of crime boss El Jefe (Emilio Fernández). Sensing an easy pay day, Bennie takes his girlfriend, Elita (Isela Vega) on a trip that ll prove fatalistic for many of those involved.
One of the few films that Peckinpah made that didn’t have any studio interference, it is still a frustrating watch at times. Very dark as expected it has a troubling atmosphere, an almost gothic setting and great acting and some shocking violence. Warren Oates as Bennie is a loser, a pianist in a seedy bar, he is broke and living in squalor, he perceives obtaining the severed head of his dead friend as a way out. It depends on how you view a film with such a dark and in some ways depressing tone as to how much you will enjoy the viewing experience.
Arrow have gone all out and the picture quality from a new 4k scan is fantastic. Detail and contrast are very good and black levels very solid. The film looks drab overall but this was intentional but colours do shine when on-screen. Audio gives you an original PCM 2.0 mono track and is fine, what you would expect from a film of this vintage (1974) and you will have no trouble with the music or dialogue.
Extras are where this release also really shines.
- 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 excellent 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
- Four songs by Kris Kristofferson, filmed during the making of Man of Iron
- Theatrical trailer
- 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]
LIMITED-EDITION BONUS BLU-RAY
Sam Peckinpah: Man of Iron The Director s Cut
A brand-new, extended version of Paul Joyce s documentary, containing more than TEN HOURS of previously unseen interview footage, featuring actors RG Armstrong, James Coburn, LQ Jones, Kris Kristofferson, Ali MacGraw and Jason Robards, director Monte Hellman, producers Michael Deeley and Daniel Melnick, writers Alan Sharp and Jim Silke, writer-producer Gordon Dawson, assistant Katherine Haber, editor Garth Craven, satirist Mort Sahl, property master Bob Visciglia, bar owner Tom Runyon and cousin Bob Peckinpah, plus newly-shot interviews with Joyce, Haber and actor David Warner. Truly amazing extra which you can dip in and out of at your leisure and get lots of fascinating snippets about the film and the director.
A great release yet again from Arrow with the fantastic bonus features the icing on the cake.
FILM: 7 PICTURE: 9 AUDIO: 7 EXTRAS : 10