Bring Me The Head Of Alfredo Garcia is one of those titles that grabs you by the throat and commands your attention. Such a title does a lot of the work in getting the target audience interested but you can seal the deal if you have a trailer that makes good on the promises it makes. The trailer for Bring Me The Head Of Alfredo Garcia does that – and then some.
This spot moves at a snappy pace right from the first images, working in lockstep with a grim-voiced narrative to pull the viewer right into the grimy heart of its premise. Within 35 seconds, it establishes the premise, the main characters and slaps you in the face with that bold, unforgettable title. The bad guys are beating the bushes for someone named Alfredo, Warren Oates is a grizzled dude who throws his hat in the ring to get that guy and all the bad guys ask for payment is… Alfredo’s head.
And that’s when this trailer gets really mean. The next minute is like a little self-contained symphony of call-and-response made of interplay between three components. The first is a series of pulp-hearted promises of viciousness from the narrator (“This man… will become an animal. Holy ground… will be desecrated.”) The second are bullet-paced bursts of quotable, hard-edged dialogue (“Alfredo’s our saint. He’s the saint of our money!”) The third element connects and paces the other two elements: snippets of gunplay between all the characters, with well-timed splashes of the slow motion that the film’s director, Sam Peckinpah, specialized in.
At this point, we must stop for a brief but important side-note: whoever cut this trailer made brilliant use of Jerry Fielding’s Latin-tinged score for the film, cutting together different cues in an effectively jagged way that captures the trailer’s shifts in tone.
The final third of this two-minute trailer goes for baroque. The flying bullets and rip-roaring machine guns take center stage as the fast cutting sneakily gives you a preview of the film’s final moments. It’s interesting to note how Peckinpah’s solo title card follows a closeup of Warren Oates because Oates is essentially Peckinpah’s surrogate in the story. Fittingly, the closing image is a smoking machine gun barrel aimed right at the audience: like the rest of the trailer, it sets you up for a film that literally and thematically takes no prisoners.