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A Sam Peckinpah New Old West. At the time, it was considered bleak and violent even by Peckinpah standards, it has since had a resurgence of popular and critical opinion. Peckinpah considered it his best and most personal film.
It begins with a feared Mexican landowner, known only as 'El Jefe' ('The Boss') brutally interrogating his pregnant teenage daughter over the identity of the father of the baby she's carrying. Upon learning that it was a trusted underling, El Jefe orders his henchmen to "Bring me the head of Alfredo Garcia". This information eventually gets back to Bennie (Warren Oates), an American ex-pat who ekes out a living as the piano player in a dive bar, who in turn learns from his prostitute girlfriend Elita (Isela Vega) that Garcia is already dead, having been killed in a drunk driving accident some weeks previously. Bennie decides that he can earn some easy money by digging up Garcia's corpse, removing the head and taking it to El Jefe for the bounty, and drags Elita along to help him.
- Ambiguously Gay: Appensly and Quill are glued to each other at all times and disdain the advances of prostitutes. When one of them dies, the other becomes extremely emotional and completely loses it.
- Anti-Hero: Bennie is a type III or IV
- Attempted Rape
- A Real Man Is a Killer: Bennie has difficulty killing though and must psych himself up for it.
- Author Avatar: Bennie. Warren Oates admits his performance is a Sam Peckinpah impersonation. The sunglasses Bennie wears were borrowed off Peckinpah.
- Badass Biker: A strange subversion. The rough bikers intend to rape the hero's girl, but Kris Kristofferson gets bashful, and she actually tries to comfort him!
- Bilingual Bonus: Lots of Spanish dialogue.
- Black Humor
- Blast Out
- The Casanova: According to the posthumous reports we receive Alfredo Garcia was apparently this in life, with at least two examples to back it up; as well as knocking up the Big Bad Boss's daughter, he's also apparently gotten with Bennie's girlfriend a few times. She even seems to be more fond of him than she is of Bennie himself.
- Crapsack World
- Despair Event Horizon: Bennie reaches thus upon the death of Elita. Before then, he's clearly going a bit mad for much of the movie, but that causes him to just completely lose touch with reality.
- Downer Ending: Along with Shoot the Shaggy Dog, Kill'Em All and a Bolivian Army Ending to boot.
- Fan Service: An early scene has a completely naked Isela Vega for no particular reason.
- Memetic Mutation: Variations on the title. For example, a Dilbert collection was called Bring Me the Head of Willy the Mailboy, while on I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue Graeme uses the title practically every time they have to come up with thematic titles (e.g. if the theme is food, "BRING ME THE FRIED BREAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA!")
- Mexican Standoff: Possible Trope Namer
- Never Trust a Trailer: Averted. The trailer is exceptionally blunt about how bleak and bloody the film is.
- New Old West
- No Name Given: El Jefe ("The Boss")
- Posthumous Character: The titular Mr. Garcia.
- Professional Killers: Who look and act more like lawyers than anything else.
- Title Drop
- Vindicated by History