- Crowning Music of Awesome: The theme song, "The Desert Is A Circle," especially the version used in the trailers.
- Everyone Is Jesus in Purgatory: Actually, maybe El Topo is Jesus.
- This Is Your Premise on Drugs: Spaghetti Western on acid.
- Can also be considered a Buddhist Western. El Topo's quest to be the best gunslinger has many parallels to the quest for personal enlightenment, and each one of the Masters has a philosophy that, while ultimately getting them killed at El Topo's hands, nevertheless causes him a Heroic BSOD after defeating them. He even kills himself by setting himself on fire while sitting in lotus position, an obvious parallel to Buddhist monks who have done the same.
- True Art Is Incomprehensible
- Values Dissonance: The amount of animal cruelty is staggering. An entire scene features roughly a hundred bunnies, only for them to be shown dead and dying on screen within a minute (and several minutes later, set on fire.)