Long ago, in a distant age partially obscured by the mists of time, people made movies like The Holy Mountain. I’m talking about the 1970s here.

In one memorable scene, the Jesus figure (“The Thief”) presides over a colonial war between toads and chameleons dressed as Spanish conquistadors. The reptiles clamber over a scale model of a pre-Columbian city replete with pyramids and temples. At the end of the scene, blood spurts everywhere and the model blows up.

The Holy Mountain is a religious fable that is also about outer space. It is based, more or less, on The Ascent of Mount Carmel by Saint John of the Cross and Mount Analogue: A Novel of Symbolically Authentic Non-Euclidean Adventures in Mountain Climbing by René Daumal. Limbless midgets, a group of aliens, and an Alchemist aid The Thief in… More…