El Mariachi is the explosive film debut of cult hero Robert Rodriguez, who showed the film community his worth with this low-budget shoot-em-up. The film is a shining example of how a talented filmmaker can essentially make something from nothing, as it has aged surprisingly well and is still pretty exciting. By now, it has achieved much-deserved cult status and its staying power is quite strong.
The story revolves around a nameless Mariachi (Carlos Gallardo) looking for work in a small Mexican town that happens to be run by a ruthless crime lord named Moco (Peter Marquardt). In a case of mistaken identity, the Mariachi is sought after by Moco's thugs when an assassin matching his description murders six of his men. What follows is a balls-to-the-wall action thriller that utilizes its small budget to create a realistic tone that very few action films have. Throughout the film, you can see camera tricks and weird angles that Rodriguez would continue to use throughout his career, from Spy Kids to Machete.
Without this film, we never would have been treated to the assortment of epic movies Robert Rodriguez has created over the years. It provided a jumping-off point for one of cinema's most versatile talents and has remained a well-oiled action flick that will no doubt live on to excite and impress audiences forever. It has phenomenal staying power and a truly impressive soundtrack, with every scene having the potential to blow your mind over how Rodriguez did this with only seven grand.