WSR Detailed LaserDisc Review

El Mariachi
Genre:Action Adventure

Reviewed In Issue 05 Of Widescreen Review® Stars:
Carlos Gallardo, Consuelo Gomez, Peter Marquardt

WSR Review Scores
Picture Rating: 2.5
Sound Rating: 2.5
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Reference Systems
Critics' Composite Score:
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DVD General Information
(Studio/Distributor): Columbia/TriStar Home Video
(Catalog Number): 53616
(MPAA Rating): R
(Retail Price): $49.98
(Running Time In Minutes): 90
(Color Type): Color
(Chaptered/Scene Access): Yes
(Closed Captioned): No
(Theatrical Release): 1993
(LD Release Date): 09/01/93
(THX® Digitally Mastered): No

Credits Information
(Director): Robert Rodriguez
(Screenplay/Written By): Robert Rodriguez
(Story): NA
(Music): Marc Trujillo, Alvaro Rodriguez, Chris Knudson, Cecilio Rodriguez, Eric Guthrie
(Director Of Photography):
(Production Designer): NA
(Visual Effects): NA
(Costume Designer): NA
(Editor): Robert Rodriguez
(Supervising Sound Editors): NA
(Re-Recording Mixers):
(Executive Producers): NA
(Co-Producers): NA
(Producers): Robert Rodriguez & Carlos Gallardo

DVD Picture Information
(Principal Photography): Flat
(Theatrical Aspect Ratio): 1.66:1
(Measured LaserDisc Aspect Ratio): 1.66:1

DVD Sound Information
(DVD Soundtrack): Dolby Surround
(Theatrical Sound): Dolby Stereo A
(Theatrical Re-Issue Soundtrack):
(Remastered Dolby Digital):
(Remastered DTS Digital Surround):
(Additional Languages):

WSR Narrative Review
Story Synopsis:
El Mariachi is an impressive debut by amateur director Robert Rodriguez. Created with a small $7,000 budget (plus post-production and marketing), a borrowed camera and cast of talented unknowns, El Mariachi is an inspiration for film students and enthusiasts alike. Set in a small Mexican village, the film depicts a wandering, mild-mannered traveling guitarist (Carlos Gallardo) in search of a gig, who winds up being mistaken for a vicious hit man in the midst of a gang war. To defend himself, the mariachi must trade in his guitar for a gun.

LaserDisc Picture:
The picture quality is poor to mediocre with colors either faded or a little oversaturated and grainy in parts. It was shot with a borrowed Arriflex 16mm camera. Overall image quality non-consistent. The aspect ratio is 1.66:1 although the film was shown 1.85:1 in the U.S.

LaserDisc Soundtrack:
The stereo sound is satisfactory but inconsistent. Rodriguez recorded all the sound effects and dialogue on location after he’d finish shooting a scene, since the camera was nonsynchronized and very noisy. The original soundtrack is in Spanish with English subtitles. An alternative dubbed English mono track is found on the left analog track with the director’s detail account of production on the right analog track.
(Surround Bass Below 50Hz):
(Aggressive System Surround):
(Intense 25Hz Bass):
(Deep Bass Challenging):
(Aggressive 0.1 LFE):
(Holosonic Soundfield):
(Aggressive Split Surround):
(Center Back Surround Imaging):
(Directionalized Dialogue):
Superb Sound Effects Recording Quality:
Superb Music Score Recording Quality:
Superb Special Visual Effects Quality:
Superb Color Fidelity:
Superb Cinematography:
Reference LaserDisc:
Collector Edition: