El Mariachi is a 1992 Robert Rodriguez production.

El Mariachi was filmed with a budget of only USD $7,000. It became a success, inspiring a new wave of young producers to film low-budget movies. Some other low-budget successes, such as The Blair Witch Project, followed El Mariachi.

El Mariachi was filmed in Spanish and aimed at a Hispanic audience. Columbia Films bought the rights for the film and brought Rodriguez along to film an English version, Desperado, in 1995.

The storyline of El Mariachi centers around a Mariachi music player who gets mistaken with a jail fugitive by a gang of drug dealers. When the musician is shot in the hand and left unable to play music for the rest of his life, he finds himself in the middle of a drug war and has to defend himself, while taking the risk of losing his life. He also meets a woman while this is all going on.

El Mariachi won different international awards, and producer/director Rodriguez went on to gain international fame, being interviewed on such shows as Sábado Gigante, etc; and going on to make more, Hollywood company backed movies, such as The Faculty.

Desperado, the American version of El Mariachi, helped enhance the fame of Antonio Banderas and introduced Salma Hayek to the American audiences. In 2003, a sequel of Desperado, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, was released.


  • Carlos Gallardo, El Mariachi
  • Consuelo Gomez, Domino
  • Peter Marquardt, Moco
  • Reinol Martinez, Azul
  • Jaime De Hoyos, Bigoton
  • Ramiro Gomez, waiter
  • Jesus Lopez Viejo, clerk
  • Luis Baro, Domino's assistant
  • Oscar Fabila, the boy