I've read that before filming Santa Sangre you had a chance meeting with a famous Mexican serial killer. He was a criminal but he forgot that he killed fifteen women, he went to an asylum for ten years. Then he came out and he was a normal person when I met him. I realized that redemption is possible. So then I began my picture. He forgot everything; he knew about himself through newspapers and books. He changed and became a lawyer. But that's normal - a criminal who becomes a lawyer.
There are many apocalyptic visions in the film El Topo, a feeling that things will become increasingly worse. The apocalypse is now! Americans know this, that the only hope is the flying saucers. Do you know how I see the world? Like a person who is dying. It's a worm who is dying to make a butterfly. We must not stop the worm from dying, we must help the worm to die to help the butterfly to be born. We need to dance with death. This world is dying, but very well. We will make a big, big enormous butterfly. You and I will be the first movements in the wings of the butterfly because we are speaking like this.
Did you enjoy working on The Rainbow Thief? No, I hated it. I wanted to know what it was like to have twelve million dollars. I had to work with these old movie stars, Omar Sharif and Peter O'Toole. I hated working with Peter O'Toole. I hated that guy and he hated me. The producers had ultimate control of the film. This was the producer of Superman, and his wife wrote the script.
What made you want to do The Rainbow Thief? Because his wife has talent, and she was influenced by my films. But I was signed with two conditions: no violence, and respect the script. That was a downer because I feel poetry is violence. Everyday I was surveyed. And I think the most disgusting thing in pictures are the stars. I'm looking forward to the year 2000 when we have no more actors.

So, there are no actors you appreciate then? No, no one. The only picture I liked all the actors in was Freaks.
Todd Browning's Freaks? All of the actors in that film were good. My favorite was the man who has no legs or arms. That was a good actor to me. That's one I remember very, very well. I like Todd Browning a lot. He's like a father to me. I think maybe I'm a reincarnation of Todd Browning. Who knows?
I also see that elephants are an influence on your films. Like the part in Santa Sangre with the elephant burial scene. What do the elephants represent? I know the elephant very well. The elephant is the image of Christ. In the scene with the elephant coming down and the people running down were fighting for the meat. I had no money to give them, so I allowed them to eat the meat. They fought over the meat.
Was eating the elephant in the film representative of eating Christ? Yes, because every Catholic knows every time they take communion they take in the body of Christ in their mouth. Christ was the first vampire. He gave his blood to his disciples. In the last supper, they take the blood of Christ through wine. The Pope is the biggest vampire, he takes in the blood of Christ everyday. And he's a cannibal. They are vampires and cannibals.
So you don't like religion, yet you know so much about it. No, I don't like religion - religion is killing the planet. The churches are taking the money, priests are molesting children. It's a disease in the world. I believe in mysticism. Though, yes, I do know quite a bit about religion (laughs).
But you don't view religion as you do violence. I mean, you say you love violence, that it's poetry. It's true - I love that I hate religion. I don't love violence in the way that you see it in American pictures. I love it in a different way. When a child is born, it is violent. When a flower opens up, it's violent. Even when you die it's violent. Life is very strong. Myself, I'm not searching for an audience. Because even when you go to a picture and the moment is strong, the only thing you hear is the mouth of people eating popcorn. If you take out the popcorn from America, you take out the sound of the planet.
One last question. What are some of your ideas for the future? I'm trying to make a picture about a criminal bodyguard in Mexico. He starts off as a criminal, but he becomes a saint. When I make a picture I need to be free. The producers are very difficult - they want to produce a star. They want a big audience. But I'm doing it. I will live to be 120. My father is 94 and he's alive and well. Everyday I get clearer and clearer. I'm 67 years old now, and I live with a 23 year old woman. I don't believe in age; I'm not worried and I'm not in a hurry. Every eight years I'll make a good film...by the way, how old are you?
I'm 23. You can be my woman (laughs).
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