"In writing fiction, the more fantastic the tale, the plainer the prose should be. Don't ask your readers to admire your words when you want them to believe your story." - Ben Bova [ more quotes ]

"EL MARIACHI"

Screenplay by

Robert Rodriguez

FADE IN:

EXT. A JAIL IN MEXICO - DAY

It's an early Friday morning and a patrol car drives up an
unpaved road and parks next to a gutted police car on cinder
blocks. The camera pans with the OFFICER as he exits his car
and walks up to a ramp leading to the baby blue JAIL HOUSE.
He is carrying a greasy bag of fast food.

INT. JAIL LOBBY - DAY

The Officer enters the lobby, tosses the bag of food to his
PARTNER who is sitting at a desk. He grabs a tin cup and
walks over to barred entrance to Block A. Twenty or so
CRIMINALS, from drunks to drug dealers are sleeping peacefully
in their cell on Block A. The Officer rattles the tin cup
between the entrance bar.

INT. JAIL CELLS - DAY

The inmates stir, rubbing their dirty faces and trying to
sit up. The camera dollies slowly down the narrow hallway of
the block which has three cells: Two small ones side by side,
and one bigger cell that faces the block entrance. The sound
of scribbling and business dealing can be heard from inside
the cell. It is AZUL jotting into a business ledger while
chatting on his cellular phone. His cell is equipped with a
small desk and a refrigerator. He hangs up the phone and
continues writing.

INT. JAIL LOBBY - DAY

The Officer with the tin cup sits in a couch across from his
partner, who is now eating, and reads a magazine.

INT. JAIL CELLS - DAY

Azul picks up his phone and makes another call. He talks
business. In the other cell, prisoners are getting up and
looking around. Azul hangs up the phone and writes.

EXT. EL MOCO'S RANCH - DAY

A gorgeous, bikini-clad BABE struts slowly into a tightly
framed glamour shot. She pauses, takes a deep breath, then
dives a 'perfect ten' dive into a house-side moat. She swims
long, slow motion strokes around the moat as the camera tracks
alongside her, lovingly admiring her tan lines and
hydrodynamic build. She slides out of the water and walks up
a cobble stone walk, dripping as she passes a seated GENTLEMAN
in a white suit. His face is unrevealed. As she enters the
house, he sets his drink down by a phone. He lifts up the
receiver and dials.

INT. JAIL CELLS - DAY

Azul's phone rings. He looks up at it, startled, as if no
one has ever called him before. He glances at his watch, and
then back at the phone, hesitating to answer it. He looks
around the cell block as if someone might be playing a trick
on him. Finally he answers it, pausing before saying hello.
It is El Moco.

MOCO (V.O.)
Good morning, Azul. Do you know who
this is?

AZUL
(into phone)
Moco... What the hell do you want
after all these years?

EXT. EL MOCO'S RANCH - DAY

MOCO is sitting on his porch drinking tequila.

MOCO
(into phone)
We've got a lot to talk about. I'm
just a few town away with a whole
new gang. I heard you were nearby so
I thought I'd give you a call, amigo.

AZUL (V.O.)
That's sweet of you, asshole. I don't
suppose you could get me out of there,
and then maybe hand me over my share
of money.

MOCO
(into phone)
Yes, I figured you'd want your money,
my friend. That is why I have called
you. I heard you were getting out
soon, and figured I should deal with
our situation. But do you really
need me to help you get out? From
what I hear, you're running quite a
business out of your cell with a
phone and some loyal men. It keeps
you well protected I hear. Not a bad
idea. I may try that myself sometime.

AZUL (V.O.)
I could stay in here and earn peanuts
compared to what you owe me if I
were to get out. So, yes, I want you
to help me... my friend.

MOCO
(into phone)
Soon my friend, soon. I'm sending
you some people in a few days to get
you.

AZUL (V.O.)
Really? Well, that's more like it.
Just like the Moco I used to know.

Azul is walking towards his window at the sound of a truck
racing in.

MOCO
(into phone)
Just hang in there my friend. I won't
forget that you have been a big part
of our success. What's wrong.

EXT. JAIL - DAY

A large truck drives up to the jail, parking beside the police
car. Two tall, well-dressed MEN step out. They reach into
the cab and pull out machine guns. They walk briskly towards
the jail.

INT. AZUL IN JAIL CELL - DAY

Azul walks to his toilet and stands on it to see out his
barred window.

AZUL
(into phone)
There's something going on outside.
Is this a double surprise? Are you
getting me out today, Moco?

There is no response from Moco.

INT. JAIL - DAY

The Guard reading the magazine stands when he sees someone
approaching the door.

EXT. JAIL - DAY

Close tracking shot of guns as Tall Men open the door and
enter the jail.

INT. AZUL IN JAIL CELL - DAY

Azul looks out of the jail cell suspiciously. Peering down
the hall, he sees the guys with the guns. He hides behind
the wall, peering out to see what happens next.

INT. JAIL LOBBY - DAY

The Tall Men walk right up to the guard, and hand him a huge
wad of money. The Guard tosses the money to his partner (still
eating), then turns to unlock the block entrance bars.

INT. AZUL IN JAIL CELL - DAY

Azul puts the receiver back up to his mouth.

AZUL
(into phone)
There are two men here with guns.
Did you send them?

EXT. EL MOCO'S RANCH - DAY

Moco, glancing at his watch, hangs up.

INT. AZUL IN JAIL CELL - DAY

Azul hangs up the phone and kicks his Bodyguard awake. The
Bodyguard gets up and peers out the bars as Azul hides in a
corner.

INT. TALL MEN IN HALL - DAY

The Tall Men walk steady and alert, ready to kill. They enter
Azul's block and scope out the cells.

The Bodyguard, seeing the tall men, retrieves his shotgun
from under his mattress and grabs his machete from under the
sink. He stands ready to fight.

The Tall Men move slowly towards the big cell, somewhat
cautious. They see the Bodyguard a second too late, for he
sticks the shotgun between the bars, and shoots one of them
before they can react. The shot one stumbles back into his
buddy's arms. Azul's Bodyguard, amused by all this, opens
his cell door effortlessly, and walks out as if to greet
them. The Tall Men hear the sound of the other cells opening,
so they turn around. The other prisoners on the block begin
exiting their cells, carrying guns and Molotov cocktails.
The Tall Man drops his gun. Finally, Azul exits his cell
carrying his phone. The Bodyguard forces the Tall Men into
an empty cell, closing and locking the door.

Azul presses the #-button on his phone. Moco's phone number
is automatically redialed.

Moco answers.

AZUL
(into phone)
I'm still here, Moco. And so are
your little friends. But not for
long. They have something they want
to scream to you. Listen close,
because you're going to repeat it to
me when I come to visit you.

INT. TALL MEN IN CELL - DAY

The cellmates throw their Molotov cocktails into the cell.
Moco hears the men screaming as they burn to death. Azul is
holding the phone at arm's length into the cell.

INT. JAIL LOBBY - DAY

The Guards exchange glances when they hear the screaming,
they smile and shrug, then go back to what they were doing.
As Azul and his Bodyguards exit the block, the Guard with
the magazine stands up as if to stop them, but Azul tosses
him a wad of money and the guard sits back down to count it.

EXT. JAIL - DAY

A blue truck races towards the jail.

Azul exits the jail carrying a shotgun. His Bodyguards get
inside the Tall Men's truck and start it. Azul waits patiently
for his blue truck.

As the blue truck pulls up, two little rat-like VATOS exit
the blue truck, one handing Azul a guitar case. Azul tosses
it onto the hood. The Bodyguards wave as they drive away.
Azul waves back. He opens the case, revealing an arsenal of
weaponry. Azul notices one piece is missing. One Rat quickly
pulls the missing weapon from his jacket and replaces it in
the case. Azul is unamused. He grabs his MAC-10 machine gun
from the guitar case and aims it at the thieving Rat's head.

Suddenly, the Guard bolts out the jail waving the wad of
money, as if complaining.

Azul turns his MAC-10 onto the Guard instead. A few blasts
later Azul and his rats pack up and go as the Guard twitches
helplessly on the ground, still clutching the money in his
bloody hand.

CREDIT SEQUENCE

EXT. AZUL / MARIACHI ON HIGHWAY - DAY

The blue truck barrels down the highway and the camera pans
with the truck as it passes a hitchhiker, MARIACHI, standing
in the sun with a thumb in the air. The truck passes him up
so he continues walking. Mariachi is carrying a guitar case
in one hand and a black jacket in the other. He is wearing a
white T-shirt, black pants. The camera pans to a sign that
reads "ACUÑA 18 miles".

EXT. MAIN STREET - DAY

Mariachi is walking around downtown Acuña. He notices a bar
across the street and, liking the way it looks, he puts on
his jacket and crosses over to it. He stops to read a sign
on the building that says "MEMBERS AND NON-MEMBERS ONLY". He
prays silently to himself before confidently walking inside.

INT. CORONA CLUB - DAY

Mariachi enters the club, greeting the PATRONS as he makes
his way to the bar. No one seems to greet him back. He sits
on a barstool near some OTHER DRINKERS, laying his guitar
case down lovingly beneath his stool. He looks around the
place, as if sizing it up.

BARTENDER
What do you want to drink?

MARIACHI
Refresco.

The other drinkers stare at him.

Glancing around the room, Mariachi notices a small, table-
shaped object draped with a cloth in one corner of the room.

Sitting directly behind him are four mean-looking dudes.
Mariachi is served his drink.

MARIACHI
No hay musica?

BARTENDER
(cleaning a glass)
Why?

MARIACHI
I'm a mariachi. A good one. I play
beautiful ballads, old classic
ballads, on an old-fashioned guitar.

BARTENDER
So what?

MARIACHI
I could add a little class to this
place. I work for fairly cheap, I
live mostly off tips. But I need
steady work, and I can guarantee
bringing in more customers.

BARTENDER
(nodding)
Tell me, why would I need one little
guitar player when I've already got
a full band?

Mariachi gives him a silent "what" look.

The BARTENDER motions to a YOUNG MAN sitting near the small
draped table.

The Young Man removes the drape revealing a keyboard. Puts
on his mariachi hat, dips his fingers into his shot glass
and rubs his fingers together (as if warming up for the big
show). He hits a few switches in EXTREME CLOSEUP as...

...Mariachi adjusts himself to the seat.

The Young Men gently taps one switch and the keyboard sounds
like an accordion, pulsing out a beat. He then presses another
switch and a horn section swells to a crescendo and waltzes
the familiar riffs. He adds the string and horns accents by
banging on the keys. He sounds awful.

Mariachi grimaces slightly then turns back to the Bartender
who seems to enjoy it.

The Keyboard Mariachi finishes his song, sits back down.

BARTENDER
(nodding with
satisfaction)
There you see? Either I can pay one
guy to sound like a full mariachi
band...

Mariachi picks up his guitar and lays some money next to his
full drink. He looks disappointed.

BARTENDER
...or I could spend the same money
only get one little guitar player...
Understand?

MARIACHI
(walking away)
Thank you, sir.

BARTENDER
You want to earn a living? Get a
real musical instrument.

The Bartender picks up the bottle of soda pop Mariachi left
behind and offers it to the other men on the table. They say
no, pay, and leave. The Bartender offers it to the MEAN DUDES
at the table.

They all shake their heads no.

The Bartender shrugs and dumps it.

EXT. CORONA CLUB - DAY

Mariachi walks out and looks up and down the street. He
decides to walk south.

As he walks down the sidewalk, the camera pans into a CLOSEUP
of another guitar case that is moving towards the Corona
Club. The camera falls back a little revealing the backside
of Azul, dressed also in black. Azul walks into the bar.

INT. CORONA CLUB - DAY

Azul enters the bar, notices to his left the table with the
four mean-looking Dudes, drinking and eating chips and salsa.

The oldest one, with his back to Azul, takes a sip from his
mixed drink, then stands and excuses himself to the restroom.

INT. BATHROOM - OLD MEAN DUDE - DAY

The Old Mean Dude walks into the first stall and sits down.

INT. CORONA CLUB - AZUL - DAY

The three remaining Dudes notice Azul's guitar case. So does
the Bartender. They all look at each other and laugh.

BARTENDER
(laughing and rolling
his eyes)
What the hell is this, mariachi day?
There is no work for you here!

Azul walks the mean Dude's table. Their laughing quiets down
a bit as Azul stands before them. The Bartender stops smiling.

AZUL
Bartender... one beer.

The Bartender nods and grabs a frosty glass. He begins to
fill up at the tap.

AZUL
(without looking at
him)
In a bottle, wey.

Bartender stops filling the beer, stares at the half-full
glass for a moment, then drinks the beer.

Azul is staring at the three Mean Dudes. They stare back.

The Bartender slaps the unopened bottle down at the counter.

BARTENDER
Ready.

Azul doesn't pay attention to him.

AZUL
I'm looking for an old friend of
mine. His name is... Moco. Do you
know where I can find him.

MAIN MEAN DUDE
You can sometimes find him here. He
owns this place.

AZUL
So you know him?

MAIN MEAN DUDE
We work for him.

AZUL
That's too bad.

Azul turns to the mean Dude sitting to his left, and places
the guitar in his hands. The Mean Dude is confused.

AZUL
Hold it please.

Azul opens the case and pulls out the MAC-10. The other two
Mean Dudes are already reaching for their pistols.

The Bartender ducks beneath the counter.

Azul fires a million bullets into two of the Mean Dudes,
(the other is holding the case in shock). Their chests
explode, causing neat little dollops of flesh and blood fly
everywhere. The Mean Dude holding the guitar case is frozen
with fear. He manages to look up at Azul, who is watching
the Mean Dudes die a slow, bloody death. The barrel of the
MAC-10 is smoking. Azul turns slowly to the Mean Dude holding
the case. Azul aims his MAC-10 in the Dude's face. Still
frozen holding the case, he spends his last moments looking
down the gun's barrel.

INT. BATHROOM - DAY

The shots caused Old Mean Dude to peer out from his stall as
the toilet paper fell to the ground and started to roll across
the floor. He now watches it roll as more shots ring out. He
pulls up his pants and walks toward the door slowly. He is
sweating profusely. He slowly picks up the toilet paper,
plotting his next move. It grows silent... He takes a deep
breath and rushes out the door.

INT. CORONA CLUB MAIN ROOM - DAY

The Old Dude bursts into the room with a roll of toilet paper
in his hand, and a sheet of sweat sliding down his face.

The Bartender rises up from behind the counter.

The camera dollies slowly by the dead Dudes. Their blood-
bathed faces twisted into odd shapes and expressions. The
camera continues to dolly to the one dead Dude still holding
the guitar case. His face is a bloody pulp. The camera stops
dollying to the old Dude's mixed drink. A hand is stirring
it with a straw. The camera pans up the arm to reveal Azul,
standing expressionless with his gun sling over his shoulder.

Shot at 16fps the Old Dude quickly drops the toilet paper
and runs back inside the bathroom.

Azul turns to his guitar case and carefully chooses another
weapon. He grabs the drink and tosses a napkin over his arm
like a waiter, then casually follows the Old Dude into the
bathroom.

The Bartenders glance at each other. One pours a shot glass
full of tequila and raises it to his lips to drink it. Shots
ring out and the Bartender spills the drink over himself.

Without warning Azul bursts from the bathroom and walks calmly
to his case. He replaces the weapon, picks up the case and
leaves.

A few seconds pass before the bartender grabs the phone and
furiously dials.

BARTENDER
(into phone)
Get me Moco!!!

The door bursts open as Azul reenters, storming to the bar.

The Bartender is so petrified he doesn't think to drop the
phone.

Azul walks right up to the Bartender.

The Bartender shuts his eyes. The sound of the beer bottle
popping open can be heard, along with the sound of thirsty
guzzling. The Bartender opens his eyes to Azul.

CLOSEUP of the empty bottle slamming to the counter.

The Bartender glances down at the bottle.

CLOSEUP of Azul tossing a few coins near the bottle as
payment. Azul leaves.

A few seconds pass as the Bartender is standing there. You
hear Moco yelling into the receiver asking what's going on.

EXT. MOCO'S RANCH - DAY

Moco is on the porch trying to get the Bartender to answer
him.

MOCO
(into phone)
WHAT'S GOING ON OVER THERE, ANSWER
ME!!!

INT. CORONA CLUB - BARTENDER - DAY

You hear Moco's voice through the phone. The camera dollies
into the Bartender as he screams into the receiver.

The camera dollies in to the corpses...

EXT. CORONA CLUB - AZUL - DAY

...and finally a low outdoor frontal tracking shot of Azul
walking away smiling as the image fades out.

EXT. HOTEL COAHUILA - DAY

Low angle of Hotel Coahuila sign. MEAN DUDE #5 enters the
frame as his beeper goes off. He runs into the Hotel Coahuila.

INT. HOTEL COAHUILA LOBBY - DAY

Mean Dude #5 enters the lobby where an OLD CLERK is sitting
at the counter reading a yellowed newspaper. There is a pit
bull on the floor beside him.

MEAN DUDE #5
Da me telefono.

VIEJO CLERK
(without looking)
Take it.

Mean Dude #5 grabs the phone and dials Moco's number. He
glances down at the PIT BULL lying on the floor.

MEAN DUDE #5
Pit bull?

VIEJO CLERK
Yeah, pit bull.

The line is picked up and Mean Dude talks into the phone. He
pulls out a piece of paper from his coat pocket and places
it on the counter. He begins jotting down four names. He
then slowly crosses their names out.

MEAN DUDE #5
(into phone)
Dead?

The Viejo Clerk glances up from his paper. The Pit Bull also
glances up.

MEAN DUDE #5
(into phone)
All of them? How long ago? OK, What
does this guy look like?

Clerk goes back to reading his paper. Pit Bull is still paying
attention, though.

EXT. HOTEL CAOHUILA - MARIACHI - DAY

Same low-angle shot of the outdoor sign displaying the name
Hotel Coahuila. Mariachi walks into frame, and pulls out his
wallet. Mariachi pulls out a few measly bucks then seems to
be considering what to do next.

INT. HOTEL COAHUILA LOBBY - DAY

An inside shot looking out of the front glass reveals Mariachi
looking at his wallet as Mean Dude talks to the phone. No
one notices him.

MEAN DUDE #5
(into phone)
...carries a guitar case... And what
was he wearing?... all black...

The Pit Bull turns and looks out of the window. Seeing
Mariachi, he gets up and walks to it.

EXT. HOTEL COAHUILA - MARIACHI - DAY

Mariachi is putting his last few dollars back into his wallet.
As he is walking away he notices the Pit Bull and he bends
down for a closer look.

MEAN DUDE #5
(into phone)
Don't worry, Moco. We'll find him,
and we'll mess him up real good.
(ad lib)

EXT. HOTEL COAHUILA - DAY

Low shot with long lens at full zoom of Mariachi tapping on
glass.

CLOSEUP of dog responding.

CLOSEUP of Mariachi tapping.

INT. HOTEL COAHUILA LOBBY - DAY

Mean Dude hangs up the phone. He writes a few more things.
He turns to leave.

MEAN DUDE #5
Gracias señor...

As he passes the camera you can see Mariachi still playing
with the dog. Inside view CLOSEUP of Mariachi tapping on
glass.

VIEJO CLERK
Callate, hombre!!!

SLOW MOTION SEQUENCE (?)

Mariachi looks up at the Clerk, then stands.

The Mean Dude turns around and looks and looks at the Clerk.
Clerk turns to look at Mean Dude, who is walking back to the
counter.

Mariachi picks his guitar from the ground. He is in full
view, but no one is looking at him.

MEAN DUDE #5
Viejo, if you see anyone new in town,
carrying a guitar case, dressed in
black... you can call this number,
OK?

Mean Dude writes down a phone number and the description of
Azul on a little card.

VIEJO CLERK
(nodding sarcastically)
And if I don't call, you'll kill
me...

MEAN DUDE
(handing him the card)
No. I won't kill you... he will...

The sarcastic smile fades from the old man. Mean Dude walks
away. The old man reads the card, then glances out the window.
Mariachi is gone.

MARIACHI / MEAN DUDE #5 OUTSIDE HOTEL

Mariachi is turning a corner just as Mean Dude #5 exits the
hotel. The Mean Dude walks off in the other direction.

EXT. BOYSTOWN SALOON DOMINO'S - DAY

Mariachi enters Domino's bar. DOMINO is waiting on a few bar
bums that are nursing their jaws. Mariachi sits with them,
asks for a refresco, He gets looks again. Domino serves him
and he asks to see the owner. She says he's looking at the
owner. He then asks her for work as a mariachi. She says she
has no money to pay him. He looks around the classy joint
and knows she's lying (it turns out to be true, she has no
money). When he asks how a girl can take care of herself in
a town like this she stuffs a gun barrel in his mouth. He
nurses his jaw, pays and leaves, as the others laugh.

MARIACHI CHECKS IN TO HOTEL - DAY

Mariachi enters the run-down lobby of the motel. The Viejo
Clerk at the counter is reading his yellowed newspaper.
Mariachi sees the Pit Bull laying by the counter.

MARIACHI
Pit bull.

VIEJO CLERK
Yeah, pit bull.

MARIACHI
I need a cheap room for a week, and
I'd prefer to pay you in a few days,
after I've found some work.

VIEJO CLERK
Sí, later...

MARIACHI
Thank you...

The Old Man hands Mariachi a key for the second floor.

MARIACHI
Thank you, friend.

As Mariachi walks away, the Clerk notices the guitar case
and black clothes and he rereads the card Mean Dude left
him.

VIEJO CLERK
(different tone of
voice)
Uh, excuse me señor? I forgot, I
need a small deposit...

Mariachi stops in his tracks. He turns back to the Clerk
slowly... thinking.

MARIACHI
(walking back slowly)
You can trust me.

VIEJO CLERK
I am very sorry, señor. But... how
much can you spare?

The dog is watching the event.

MARIACHI
(disappointed)
I've only got a few pesos... I plan
on finding work in town.

VIEJO CLERK
(grabbing money)
Oh, that's enough for now, sir, thank
you and... enjoy your stay.

The Clerk deposits the money, slams the register shut, and
continues reading his yellow paper. Confused, Mariachi pockets
his empty wallet and turns to find his room. The Clerk peeks
over his paper, eyeing the guitar case as Mariachi goes. He
hears the sound of Mariachi's footsteps trailing off. The
old man drops the paper and bolts silently to the phone as
he dials El Moco's phone number...

INT. MARIACHI'S HOTEL ROOM - DAY

Mariachi opens his room, tosses his guitar onto the bed and
hangs his jacket in the closet. He has only his white T-shirt
underneath. He glances above the bed to a plaque bearing a
mace and two crossed swords. He checks out the shower and
washes his face in the sink. He sits down on his bed. A few
seconds later he drops back and lays there a minute before
kicking the door shut. He tries to sleep.

INT. HOTEL COAHUILA LOBBY - DAY

The Old Clerk is talking on the phone to the bad guys. He
hangs up the phone, then reaches into the back of his counter
for a gun. He places it on the counter and covers it with
his newspaper and continues reading.

INT. MARIACHI'S HOTEL ROOM - DAY

Top shot of Mariachi sleeping. A shot of the mace on the
wall.

CUT TO:

DREAM IN BOYSTOWN - DAY (5.7 KINOPIC LENS)

Mariachi is suddenly sleeping in the dirt. Same top shot as
in the hotel. He opens his eyes, then groggily he sits up.

ESTABLISHING SHOT of Mariachi sitting in the middle of a
ghost town. He stands up.

VARIOUS SHOTS of the empty town with nothing and nobody.

Medium shot dolly into Mariachi as he stands, turns and sees
a BOY bouncing a ball in slow motion. The Boy stops short,
holding the ball tight against the chest. Mariachi glances
around to maybe spot more people, before concentrating on
the Boy.

The Boy places the ball carefully on the ground, then gently
rolls it to Mariachi.

Tracking shot of the ball rolling to Mariachi. The ball sounds
like a speeding truck. Mariachi smiles at the boy.

CLOSEUP of the ball rolling.

CLOSEUP of the Boy smiling.

Mariachi bends to get the ball which makes the sound of a
screeching truck as it hits Mariachi's foot. Mariachi notices
that it's a man's severed head.

INT. MARIACHI'S HOTEL ROOM - DAY

Mariachi bolts up in bed.

EXT. HOTEL COAHUILA - MEAN DUDES #5, 6, 7, 8 & 9 - DAY

The Mean Dudes jump out of their truck and rush into the
hotel, guns drawn.

INT. HOTEL COAHUILA LOBBY - DAY

The men burst into the lobby and the old men tells them the
room number. They run out into the courtyard with the old
man following. The Pit Bull is uninterested in the action.

EXT. COURTYARD IN HOTEL COAHUILA - DAY

The Mean Dudes run up the courtyard stairs and kick open the
first door they come to and start blasting into the room.
Screams are heard. The men stand back, and finally look down
the steps at the Viejo Clerk who is waving his arms
frantically.

VIEJO CLERK
127!!! Cuarto 127, pendejos!!!

They run to the room numbered 127 and cautiously stalk towards
it as they reload their guns.

INT. MARIACHI'S HOTEL ROOM - DAY

Mariachi is sitting on his bed listening to all this. He
bolts to the restroom and turns to the shower.

EXT. HOTEL COURTYARD - DAY

Shot of men still stalking, cocking pistols.

POV shot of what men see, as camera nears the door.

INT. MARIACHI'S HOTEL ROOM - DAY

Mariachi rushes out of the bathroom towards the door.

MARIACHI'S POV

As camera nears the door, doorknob starts to move. Remembering
that he never locked the door, he jumps to the side of the
door as...

EXT. HOTEL COURTYARD - DAY

Men kick open the door and burst into the room.

INT. MARIACHI'S HOTEL ROOM - DAY

Low-angle shot as men burst in. There is no one in the room.
Mean Dude #5 hears the shower and motions to keep it down
and stalk quietly... They rush into the bathroom and start
blasting.

Mariachi slips out from behind the door and runs out.

EXT. HOTEL COURTYARD - DAY

Mariachi runs out of the room and jumps off the stairwell
onto the courtyard in front of the Clerk.

MARIACHI
(pointing to his room)
Cuidado, viejo!

Mariachi darts out into the lobby. The old man watches him
go then turns his attention back to Mariachi's room.

VIEJO CLERK
(pointing in Mariachi's
direction)
Pendejos!!!

INT. HOTEL COAHUILA LOBBY - DAY

The dog watches as Mariachi tosses his keys into the cubby
hole where they belong. Mariachi then jumps over the counter,
banging keys on the register to get it open.

EXT. HOTEL COURTYARD - DAY

The Mean Dudes run out of Mariachi's room, dart down the
stairs, passing the old man who is telling them where to go.

INT. HOTEL COAHUILA LOBBY - DAY

Mariachi, unable to open the register, jumps over the counter.

CLOSEUP of his feet as he lands, causing the register to
burst open.

Mariachi turns for a second to ponder getting his money or
risking dying, but then he checks to turn and run. Two seconds
later the Mean Dudes run in, one jumps over the counter to
see if he's there.

EXT. HOTEL COAHUILA - DAY

Mariachi runs atop the Mean Dudes' parked truck then jumps
into the bed of a passing truck. Mean Dudes run outside. The
Dudes have their hands up as if they don't know what to look
for.

MEAN DUDE #5
He wears black!

Shots of lots of people walking around, wearing black items.

EXT. DOWN THE BLOCK - DAY

The truck turns a corner and the driver halts, comes out
with a gun and tell Mariachi to get the hell out of his truck.
Mariachi leaps out. He is about to continue running, but he
stops, clenches his fists, and turns slowly as the camera
dollies into his face.

INT. MARIACHI'S HOTEL ROOM - DAY

Camera dollies into the guitar case on Mariachi's bed.

EXT. DOWN THE BLOCK - DAY

Mariachi runs back in the direction of the hotel, but as he
turns the corner he has to slow down for the Mean Dudes are
everywhere. Each one has his gun out and is looking around
for the man in black. Mariachi walks slowly, whistling and
nodding to everyone as they pass. A few look suspiciously at
him but continue searching. Mariachi ducks inside the hotel.

INT. HOTEL COAHUILA LOBBY - DAY

Mariachi enters the lobby and winks at the old Clerk who is
standing over his open register in shock. His eyes widen
when he sees Mariachi. He runs out of the hotel.

VIEJO CLERK
(screaming, pointing
inside)
PENDEJOS!!!

INT. MARIACHI'S HOTEL ROOM - DAY

Mariachi rushes in, grabs his jacket and puts it on. He grabs
his guitar case and squeezes it tight, his eyes shut. Slow
dolly into him, as his eyes open.

CLOSEUP of plaque on wall with mace and swords. He grabs the
mace, swinging it around a few times. He feels secure, now.
He turns to leave.

EXT. HOTEL COURTYARD - DAY

Mariachi rushes out the door, he looks down and sees the
Mean Dudes entering the courtyard. He ducks his head back
just as they look up to see him. Mariachi runs up a small
flight of steps, where he then tosses his guitar onto a
balcony, which he then jumps over to himself.

The men rush up the steps shooting at the balcony. Bullets
narrowly miss Mariachi as he climbs over the balcony to
safety.

INT. HOTEL HALLWAY - DAY

Mariachi dashes down the hallway out onto a balcony. He sees
no way down.

EXT. COURTYARD BALCONY - DAY

The Mean Dudes are climbing over the balcony like spiders.
Mariachi runs back and slams his guitar into the first guy
to make it over the balcony. His dummy falls down the stairs
and over the narrow railing. The Dude splats on the ground
in gruesome CLOSEUP.

The old man looks over at him as he dies, then turns back as
if nothing happened. Mariachi bolts back down the hill.

EXT. FRONT BALCONY - HOTEL COAHUILA - DAY

Mariachi is looking down the balcony trying to find a way to
escape. Mariachi looks behind him.

INT. HOTEL HALLWAY - DAY

Mean Dudes barrel down the hallway reloading the guns.

EXT. FRONT BALCONY - HOTEL COAHUILA - DAY

Mariachi flings his mace over an electric cable, then stands
on the balcony lip, placing his guitar between his legs.

EXT. STREET SHOT OUTSIDE HOTEL - DAY

Mariachi is sliding down the cable and turns back to see
Mean Dudes firing guns at him. Bus stops in traffic and
Mariachi grabs his guitar and jumps onto the hood of the
bus.

EXT. STREET - DAY

Mariachi jumps onto another car and then down into the street.

Mean Dudes exit the hotel and chase him on foot while a few
get in the truck and chase him. The truck takes a short cut.

Mariachi is running through the sidewalks and streets in
front of curioso shops, jumping small carts and children and
cars to escape the two men behind him. He enters a small
cutoff where the truck tries to stop him by heading off. The
bad guys stick their heads and guns out of their windows and
laugh as they ready to shoot him. Mariachi, though, already
having built momentum, runs right up the front of the trucks
as the guys try to shoot him but not succeed in only shooting
each other as he runs up and over the cab, into the bed, and
onto the street. He swings his guitar case into another guy's
groin and grabs his gun, re-aiming it to shoot Mean Dude #5.
Mariachi shoots him in the arm, and Mean Dude #5 drops his
gun and cowers away in pain. Mariachi then turns the guy's
gun on him and shoots him in the chest. Mariachi grabs his
case and as Mean Dude #5 turns to get s look at him, all he
sees is the case coming into his face. Mariachi heads back
for Domino's.

INT. BOYSTOWN SALOON DOMINO'S - DAY

Mariachi stumbles through city streets, pausing against a
telephone pole as he gazes at Domino's Saloon across the
street.

Mariachi stumbles across, almost getting hit by a few cars,
and drags himself into the saloon.

INT. AMADEUS - DAY

Mariachi staggers into Amadeus and washes his face in a
fountain by the door. He makes his way to the bar as a patron
pays and leaves.

DOMINO
What happened to you, Mariachi? Too
much refresco?

MARIACHI
I just killed four guys.

Domino turns around and looks at Mariachi, wondering hard is
he's joking. He lifts up a bloody hand, grabs a napkin, and
then seems to ask permission with his eyes before wiping his
hands clean.

DOMINO
Is it true?

Mariachi nods an ashamed yes.

Domino reaches for her gun under the counter.

The camera is on Mariachi when she brings it out and points
at him.

MARIACHI
(exhausted)
Wait a minute... what's your name?

DOMINO
Domino.

MARIACHI
Wait a minute, Domino! It was self-
defense.

She cocks the pistol.

MARIACHI
(frantic)
I'm new in town. I don't know
everyone!!! I have no friends here...
and no enemies.

DOMINO
(lowering the gun a
bit)
Thieves?

MARIACHI
(nodding)
No way. They were well-dressed men.
I checked into the cheapest hotel in
town, no money, nothing of value,
except this guitar and maybe this
coat, which they could have taken
when I left my room, but they didn't.
They were only interested in killing
me.

DOMINO
(lifting the gun back
up)
So why do you come here? You want to
get me killed?

MARIACHI
I need a place to stay until I figure
this out. They've got me mixed up
with someone else.

DOMINO
And you've never seen them before?
Not even in another town?

MARIACHI
(long pause)
Are you saying they followed me, a
mariachi, here? What for?

DOMINO
Maybe they hate your music.

Mariachi stares at her expressionless. She stares back at
him.

DOMINO
Maybe you were singing in another
town, they hated your voice, and now
they're trying to kill you.

MARIACHI
Are you serious?

DOMINO
(nodding)
Yes.

She laughs.

MARIACHI
Are you going to help me, or am I
gonna have to die on your porch?

DOMINO
I have a room upstairs. My room.
Don't touch anything. I'll be up
after awhile and we can call a friend
of mine.

Mariachi shakes her hand.

MARIACHI
Thank you. I'll never forget this.

He tries to kiss her hand. She slides it away and effortlessly
slaps him.

DOMINO
This way.

He follows her to a doorway revealing an unlit staircase.
When he enters, the darkness swallows him as she shuts the
door behind him.

INT. UPSTAIRS DOMINO'S LOFT - DAY

Mariachi enters a roomy, luxurious apartment above the main
bar. There is a free-standing porcelain tub in the center of
the room. Mariachi places his guitar halfway between the
entrance and the tub. The camera is tracking backwards with
him as he walks, making the room look endless. He removes
his jacket as he makes his way to the tub. He drops his jacket
onto the floor and gently climbs into the tub. The camera
faces him as he settles back. The camera slowly dollies into
him as he lays back, crosses his fingers, and gives a relaxed
smile.

INT. AMADEUS - DAY

Domino is washing a glass. She then remembers she has the
gun in her waist belt, so she removes it and sticks it back
under the counter. Wounded Mean Dude #5 comes in limping.
She takes out a towel and drops it on the counter.

MEAN DUDE #5
Good morning, Domino.

DOMINO
What happened?

MEAN DUDE #5
Give me the phone. I have to call
Moco.

She brings up the phone and sets it down where the cloth
was. He picks up the cloth and wraps his arm with it.

MEAN DUDE #5
It's not as bad as it looks. Domino,
has anyone come through here? A
stranger, maybe?

DOMINO
This is a border town. I get strangers
all the time.

MEAN DUDE #5
Dressed all in black, carrying a
guitar case?

DOMINO
No.

MEAN DUDE #5
Well, he shot me... and has killed
ten of Moco's men... all in one day.

Domino looks a little upset. She slides the phone towards
him a bit.

DOMINO
Aren't you gonna call your boss?

MEAN DUDE #5
(nodding)
I have to tell Moco that he got away
again... So, you better give me a
drink first.

Domino smiles and pours him half a beer mug with tequila. He
laughs and drinks. As he's dialing, the camera is on Domino
as she cleans up a few things, every once in a while glancing
upstairs.

MEAN DUDE #5
(into phone)
Moco, he got away. Shot me in the
arm. Killed La Palma. Pepino, Sunday.
This guy is one slick maricon. Yeah.
Also, I didn't get a look at him.
So, unless he's still carrying that
guitar around and hasn't changed
clothes, I won't even spot him, and
I don't think he'll be that obvious...

MOCO (V.O.)
Don't worry. If there's one thing I
know, it's that he'll always wear
black and he'll always carry that
guitar with him. It's his signature.
Besides, that's not a guitar he's
carrying. It's a guitar case full of
weapons. Find him.

Mean Dude hangs up and puts his head in his hands.

DOMINO
Que paso?

MEAN DUDE #5
I screwed up. The guy left his guitar
case in the hotel room. We chased
him out, but he came back for the
case.

DOMINO
Maybe he loves his guitar. It's
probably an antique.

MEAN DUDE #5
It wasn't a guitar. It was a guitar
case full of weapons that he uses on
his victims. Adios, I'm gonna take a
nap. And thanks for the drink.

Mean Dude #5 stumbles as he tries to stand.

MEAN DUDE #5
If you see this guy, call us.

He is about to walk off with the bloody towel and he turns
back pointing at it. She waves her hand at him, as if granting
him permission to take it. She cleans his glass, and when he
is gone she slams the glass down and runs for the stairs. A
few seconds later she comes back into the bar, grabs the gun
from under the counter and calls her assistant to watch the
bar. He sees the gun and wonders what she's up to. She storms
upstairs.

INT. DOMINO'S LOFT - DAY

Domino opens the door abruptly and finds Mariachi taking a
bath. He bolts upright, pulls a towel up from the floor and
sits frozen waiting for Domino's next move. She laughs and
walks to the counter.

DOMINO
(friendly)
I thought I told you not to touch
anything.

MARIACHI
Sorry. I needed to relax. I can...

DOMINO
(smiling)
No, it's alright, Finish up. Do you
want shampoo?

MARIACHI
(laying back, closed
eyes)
Yes, please.

Domino turns to a counter and her smile fades. She looks
like she wants to rip Mariachi's throat out with her teeth.
She puts the gun down on the counter. She finds an ominous-
looking knife and then grabs a bottle of shampoo. She walks
over to him, then pulls the knife up to his throat with one
hand while grabbing his hair with the other. He opens his
eyes wide. The shampoo hits the floor and begins to roll.

DOMINO
Who are you?!

MARIACHI
(choking)
I'm a musician!

The shampoo bottle rolls into the guitar case and stops.
Domino sees this, and with her foot reaches out and pulls
the case toward her.

DOMINO
What do you have in here? GUNS?
KNIVES?

Mariachi tries to catch his breath, pausing before answering
her as if wondering if all this is really happening.

MARIACHI
No! My guitar!

Domino slides her foot out of her shoe, and unsnaps one of
the latches with her toe.

DOMINO
We'll see...

She unsnaps another. The latches snap loud and echo in the
quiet room. Mariachi gasps as she tightens her grip.

DOMINO
You're very modest, Mariachi...

She squeezes his hair and unsnaps another latch.

DOMINO
(through gritted teeth)
You told me you killed four men,
when you really killed seven. Or
were they still breathing even you
shot out their hearts?

Another latch snaps.

MARIACHI
(growing dizzy)
I'm a mariachi...

SNAP!

MARIACHI
...not a murderer...

SNAP!

DOMINO
Aren't you going to watch?

She lifts the lid with her foot. It seems an eternity before
the case is fully open. Domino is looking into the case, but
Mariachi is not. He knows what's in there.

MARIACHI
I told you... I am a musician.

Slow dolly into the case, which contains a white, well-kept
classical guitar. Domino is seeing it, and for a moment she
almost believes he is telling the truth.

She rushes to it, grabs the guitar and tosses it to Mariachi.
He catches it, choking after she releases the blade. She is
on the other side of the tub, now. She jams the knife down
between Mariachi's legs. Mariachi's eyes bug.

DOMINO
Play it.

MARIACHI
(still choking)
W... w... what?

Domino shoves the knife in deeper and Mariachi grimaces
horribly.

DOMINO
Play it, damnit, play something
sweet!!!

Mariachi is sweating and his face is extremely red. He pauses
for a long time before plucking an odd note. She squints as
if she's caught him. But he eventually starts picking out a
sweet little melody.

DOMINO
(growing impatient)
SING!

Mariachi starts to sing but chokes on the words. He starts
over, playing a "Rancho Grande" sounding song with his own
made up words.

MARIACHI
(in a high sweet voice)
What is this place? That treats me
like a murderer? They've all got
their heads up their butts... Even
this beautiful girl, With a knife to
my balls, Should I kiss her or hit
her... Or both?

He finishes his song, bowing and thanking his imaginary
audience. Domino is smiling. She pulls the knife slowly out
of the water and wipes it off on her apron.

DOMINO
You're a mariachi, all right. And a
good one.

Mariachi bows a solemn thank you.

MARIACHI
I think this is the best I've ever
played. You... inspired me.

CLOSEUP of the knife.

She laughs.

MARIACHI
Hire me.

Domino looks at him with a silent "what?".

MARIACHI
I'm good. Hire me to play in your
bar. I'll work mostly from tips.
But, I need steady work.

DOMINO
I couldn't pay you. I have no money.

MARIACHI
This fancy place and you have no
money?

DOMINO
It's the truth.

MARIACHI
I'll work for room and board, then.
Please, I'm desperate.

DOMINO
(thinking)
Will I have to keep a knife at your
balls to get you to play like that?

MARIACHI
(smiling)
Not if you're paying me room and
board. Please... until I find a
permanent job.

DOMINO
(thinking)
You won't find a permanent job in
this town... but OK.

She gets up slowly, and turns to leave. Mariachi settles
back, smiling triumphantly. Suddenly she darts around and
slams the knife between his legs again with a furious look
on her face. He bolts up out of this triumphant daze with a
look of complete shock. She loosens up and laughs.

DOMINO
You're going to need a better sense
of humor than that, if you're gonna
work for me, kid.

She flings her knife aside. It sticks into a wall. She shrugs,
smiles a beautiful smile, turns, and goes downstairs. Mariachi
settles back down, closing his eyes. The knife slips out of
the wall and clangs to the ground. Mariachi jumps again,
rolls his eyes, and sinks underwater as the picture fades.

INT. AMADEUS - EVENING

Mariachi plays in Amadeus.

INT. AZUL'S HIDEOUT - DAY

Camera tracks past a pool table where TWO RATS are playing
nine ball. They make a few shots, then the phone rings. The
camera continues to track past a small table where Azul's
guitar case lies open. Weapons adorn it, with each knife,
each gun in its pocket, in its own place. The camera continues
tracking to a dresser on which sits Azul's cellular phone. A
delicate female hand lifts the receiver. The camera is now
positioned above the bed as the GIRL answers the phone.

GIRL #1
(into phone)
Yes? One moment please...

He rolls over and wakes a GIRL sleeping beside her. Girl #2
takes the phone and passes it to a third GIRL as Girl #2
tries to wake Azul (he is sleeping between Girls #2 and #3).

Girl #3 has the phone to her ear as if listening for
background conversation.

The two Rats playing pool are staring longingly at the three
Girls in Azul's bed. They look hungry and deprived. One hits
the other, signaling it's his shot. While one shoots, the
other watches.

Azul awakens and grabs the phone.

AZUL
(into phone)
Yeah.

EXT. MOCO'S RANCH - DAY

Moco is sitting in his pool. A swimming WAITER is bringing
him drinks.

MOCO
(into phone)
Amigo! I'm glad I've reached you!
You've not answered all day. Killing
ten of my men must have been very
time consuming!

AZUL
(into phone)
Six.

MOCO
(into phone)
What?

AZUL
(into phone)
I've only killed six! You were always
bad at maths, Moco. I guess that's
why you never paid me half of the
money. You thought it all belonged
to you.

MOCO
(into phone)
I knew half was yours... I got greedy,
my friend. It's my nature. But you!!!
You are modest! You've killed ten of
my men!! I know, because I'm having
them buried in my yard right now.
With my dogs and cats.

AZUL
(counting on his
fingers, into phone)
I killed six. But don't bother
counting so soon. The number will
triple by tomorrow.

MOCO
(into phone)
I'm sorry things turned out this
way. My friend. I got greedy. I should
never have tried to kill you. It
would have been cheaper for me to
pay you. Now I've got to find ten
new men.

AZUL
(into phone)
Six.

MOCO
(into phone)
Ten.

AZUL
(into phone)
I tell you what. You give me my money,
and I won't kill any more of your
men... And I won't kill you.

MOCO
(takes a sip, into
phone)
No, it's too late for that. We're
going to have to see this through.

AZUL
(into phone)
Just like the Moco I used to know.
Still wearing white?

MOCO
(looking down at his
clothes, into phone)
What do you think?

AZUL
(into phone)
I think you should change clothes.
I'd hate to ruin a white suit with
your stupid blood.

Azul hangs up. He gets dressed and leaves. The little Rats
are about to follow, but one Rat walks over to get one look
at the girls. The girls tease him, and when he tries to
advance them, they pull guns and laugh as the Rat runs away.

INT. AMADEUS - DAY

Domino walks by with a trash can. Mariachi is sitting on a
barstool.

MARIACHI
I need to get my money back from
that hotel. I'll be right back.

DOMINO
Are you crazy? If you go anywhere
with that jacket and that case you
could be killed. Leave that stuff
here.

Mariachi gets up and is about to get his guitar case from
under the stool.

Mariachi leaves it under the stool and takes off the jacket.

MARIACHI
I never go anywhere without it. Take
care of it.

Mariachi leaves. Domino drops the trash can and tells her
assistant to watch the bar. She heads for the staircase.

INT. DOMINO'S LOFT - DAY

Domino walks out onto her balcony, peering down into the
street.

POV shot of Mariachi walking through the street.

Domino turns and walks to the phone. She dials a number by
heart and sits in a plush chair.

EXT. MOCO'S RANCH - DAY

Moco answers the phone. Towel around his neck, wet hair.

INT. DOMINO'S LOFT - DAY

DOMINO
(dolly in slow, into
phone)
Hi. It's Domino.

MOCO
(into phone)
I know who it is...

Dolly into Moco.

INT. HOTEL COAHUILA - DAY

The Clerk is reading a paper. He hears a noise and pulls it
aside. Mariachi is standing at the counter smiling. The Clerk
jumps in his seat, then after a few frozen seconds he sets
down his paper and reaches for Mariachi's old room key.

Mariachi shakes his head "no", points to the register, and
makes the money sign with his hand. The Clerk slowly moves
over to the register. He depresses a few keys to open it. It
won't open. He makes a gesture like it's stuck or something
(he is not very convincing). He tries again and again; each
time pretending to get more impatient. Mariachi glances down
at the Pit Bull. The Pit Bull is eyeing Mariachi. Mariachi
points to the Clerk as if he has an inside joke with the dog
("this guy..."). Mariachi climbs over the counter and stands
next to the Clerk. The Clerk thinks Mariachi is a lunatic.
Mariachi holds up a finger as if cueing the Clerk for a
demonstration. Mariachi then leaps over the counter landing
firmly back on the other side of the counter.

CLOSEUP of his feet landing hard, just as before.

The register opens. Mariachi shrugs, smiles, and reaches
into the register, taking his money out himself. He counts
it. After a brief consideration, he decides to leave the old
man a tip. Mariachi waves a "good-bye" wave and dances out.
The old man, still standing there with his arms outstretched
as if he was robbed, dashes to the phone and calls Moco's
men.

INT. AMADEUS - DAY

The bar Assistant is cleaning the bar. He walks over to grab
a few glasses and when he returns, Azul is sitting at the
barstool Mariachi was on earlier. The Assistant looks around,
wondering where Azul appeared from.

ASSISTANT
Can I get something to drink or eat?

AZUL
One beer.

The Assistant grabs a mug and starts to fill it at the tap.
He fills it halfway when...

AZUL
In a bottle, wey.

ASSISTANT
(laughs)
Sorry.

He grabs a bottle and hands it to Azul, then lifts the mug,
toasts and drinks it straight down.

Azul drinks his straight down, too.

AZUL
(looking around)
Isn't there a girl that works here?

ASSISTANT
Yeah, she owns the place.

AZUL
(heading a few bills
to the Assistant)
She owns it, now? Then she is Moco's
girl?

ASSISTANT
(looking around)
So-so. She's onto this new musician.

Azul takes out a few more bills and hands them to the
Assistant, and begins to stand up.

AZUL
Thank you.

EXT. STREET - DAY

Mariachi is out on the streets, returning to Domino's.

EXT. BOYSTOWN SALOON - DAY

As he crosses the street he notices Azul leaving the saloon
with a guitar case. Mariachi runs into the saloon.

INT. AMADEUS - DAY

Mariachi runs inside and checks to see if his case is still
there. Domino comes downstairs.

MARIACHI
I just saw a guy with a guitar case
like mine. It's him they want.

DOMINO
(to Assistant)
Did he say anything?

ASSISTANT
(nodding)
No, he just ordered a drink.

MARIACHI
I don't look anything like him...

EXT. STREET - DAY

Azul is walking to his truck when he turns to a corner and
Mean Dude #4 sticks his gun in his face. Two more guns appear,
pointed at the back of his head.

MEAN DUDE #10
Is this the guy?

MEAN DUDE #5
I'm not sure...

EXT. DOWN THE STREET - DAY

The two Rats are in the blue truck half a block away. One
hits the other to look at what's happening to Azul.

POV of Rats seeing Azul with three guys around him with guns.
They look at each other, start the truck and speed away.

EXT. STREET - DAY

MEAN DUDE #5
What's in the case?

AZUL
My guitar.

MEAN DUDE #5
Yeah? You're one of those old-time
mariachis, huh?

AZUL
(pause)
Yes.

MEAN DUDE #5
OK, let's take a look.

Mean Dude #4 takes the case and lays it flat in Azul's palms.

MEAN DUDE #5
If it's a guitar like you say it is,
we'll never bother you again...

Mean Dude #4 unsnaps two of the latches, SNAP... SNAP.

MEAN DUDE #5
If it's not...

He unsnaps three more... SNAP... SNAP... SNAP!

MEAN DUDE #5
...then we'll spray paint this street
with your brains.

He points the gun deep into Azul's face and cocks it. Azul
closes his eyes. Mean Dude #5 lifts the lid. Azul hears a
faint strumming sound, followed by the sound of the Mean
Dude slamming the case shut. Azul opens his eyes. The Mean
Dude resnaps the latches. SNAP... SNAP... SNAP-SNAP-SNAP!!!

MEAN DUDE #5
(walking away)
Sorry....

They walk away leaving Azul wondering what happened.

INT. AMADEUS - DAY

Domino, Mariachi, and Assistant are standing at the bar.

DOMINO
Look, as long as you don't carry the
case around, they'll leave you alone.
It's that guy they're after.

MARIACHI
(putting on his coat)
I better put this upstairs...

He grabs the case and begins to take it to the stairs, but
he pauses for it feels different to him. He slowly looks
down at it.

EXT. STREET - DAY

Azul watches the Mean Dudes go and when they turn the corner
he puts the case on the ground to open it.

EXT. AROUND THE CORNER - DAY

The Mean Dudes are rounding the corner, but Mean Dude #5,
who is last, snaps his fingers and motions to the others to
keep quiet and to watch Azul

INT. AMADEUS - DAY

Mariachi shakes the case, and puts it on the counter as if
to open it... but he doesn't need to check it. He knows it's
not his guitar.

DOMINO
What's wrong?

Mariachi looks at her startled, then runs out of the bar
with the case.

EXT. AROUND THE CORNER - DAY

Mean Dudes are watching Azul unsnap his case.

EXT. STREET - DAY

Azul opens the lid, revealing Mariachi's guitar.

EXT. AROUND THE CORNER - DAY

MEAN DUDE #5
That's him...

The Mean Dudes start walking towards Azul as the camera tracks
back with them. Azul slams the case shut, wondering what the
hell is going on. He looks up and notices the Mean Dudes
walking towards him. He stands up and slowly walks in the
other direction.

EXT. A BLOCK AWAY - DAY

Mariachi is running through the streets and onto the sidewalk.

EXT. STREET - DAY

The bad guys are pulling out their weapons.

Mariachi bolts around the corner. Now everyone is on the
same sidewalk. Mariachi and Azul are on each end of the street
with the Mean Dudes in between them.

Azul turns and sees Mariachi with his guitar case. Mean Dude
#5 turns and sees Mariachi, too.

MEAN DUDE #5
That's him...

The two other Mean Dudes exchange glances. Mean Dude #5 stalks
after Mariachi, so the other two follow. Mariachi looks to
Azul for help. Azul tips the imaginary hat to Mariachi and
walks away.

EXT. ANOTHER STREET - DAY

Mariachi runs through the street almost getting hit. Bullets
are flying as the Mean Dudes are firing at him as they run.

EXT. DEAD END - DAY

Mariachi leaps up over a few cars and ends up in a dead end.
He turns around, drops the case on the ground and opens it.
A million weapons seem to stare back at him when he opens
it. He is frantic. He grabs a small gun, shakes it in his
hand, doesn't like the feel. He tosses it back in.

EXT. STREET - DAY

The Mean Dudes are barreling down the street. One turns
towards the dead end.

EXT. DEAD END - DAY

Mariachi pulls out the MAC-10 and blasts the first Mean Dude
he sees. He grabs the case and runs out into the street,
jumping onto a truck and blasting the other Mean Dude from
up there. He sees Mean Dude #5 run away.

Mariachi comes off the truck and walks through the streets
in slow motion. People are staring at him as if he was Azul
the killer. Mariachi walks straight to the bar. A BOY is
bouncing a ball on one of the sidewalks.

INT. AZUL'S HIDEOUT - DAY

The camera dollies past the vacant pool table, and over to a
Rat sitting in a chair, drinking a beer. The other Rat is
pacing back and forth in front of the sitting Rat. Azul enters
the room. Throwing his guitar case onto the pool table as a
grand entrance gesture. The sitting Rat stands beside the
pacing Rat.

RAT #1
I'm sorry we left...

RAT #2
...We didn't know what to do...

RAT #1
...We figured you could defend
yourself!!!

Rat #2 nods in agreement. Azul unsnaps one of the latches.
SNAP!

AZUL
You thought I could defend myself...

SNAP! SNAP!

AZUL
...against three armed men...

SNAP!

AZUL
...using this?

He opens the case and the guitar sparkles at them. The Rats
exchange glances. They look at the guitar then back at Azul.

AZUL
My case got switched with some maricon
mariachi!

RAT #1
Where is this mariachi?

AZUL
He's dead by now... So, I want you
to go look for my case.

The two Rats are about to leave.

AZUL
Leave me a weapon.

Both Rats take out their guns. Azul takes Rat #2's gun.

AZUL
That was disloyal of you to leave me
out there. You should be as loyal to
me as you are to each other.

The Rats exchange glances, then aim their eyes back to the
floor. Azul turns to Rat #2.

AZUL
Are you loyal?

RAT #2
(after glancing at
Rat #1)
Yes.

AZUL
(to Rat #1)
Are you loyal?

RAT #2
Yes.

Azul gestures to Rat #2.

AZUL
Then shoot him.

Rat #1 turns to Rat #2 who is in shock.

AZUL
You are loyal, are you not? SHOOT
HIM. Or I shoot you.

Azul aims his gun at Rat #1, who immediately aims his gun at
Rat #2. Rat #2 is sweating bullets. Rat #1 puts his gun down.

RAT #1
I can't.

AZUL
Why not?

RAT #1
You said we should be as loyal to
you as we are to each other. I
couldn't shoot him, for that would
be as disloyal as shooting you.

Rat #2 glances back and forth between Rat #1 and Azul.

AZUL
Very good. Now go find my case.

Azul puts his gun down and motions the rats to leave. They
leave. When they exit, Rat #1 turns to Rat #2 and snaps his
fingers. Rat #2 shakes his hand. They leave.

INT. DOMINO'S LOFT - NIGHT

Domino is dabbing hydrogen peroxide onto a cotton swab. She
applies it to Mariachi's body scars on his back. Mariachi
has his eyes closed. He washes the blood from his face.

MARIACHI
Where were you when he came into the
bar?

DOMINO
I was on the phone, talking to a
friend that knows what's going on.

MARIACHI
Did you mention me?

DOMINO
No... He told me the man in black is
Azul.

MARIACHI
If his name is Azul, why doesn't he
wear blue?

DOMINO
I don't know... Anyway, he's killing
the men of the town drug dealer. The
dealer's name is Mauricio. But he's
known as Moco.

MARIACHI
And Moco is sending these men to
find Azul. So, why do they chase me?

DOMINO
They have never seen Azul... only
Moco knows him. My friend says the
description Moco gave his men was
that he wears black, and carries a
guitar case. Sounds like you, no?

MARIACHI
Couldn't you tell your friend that
there are two people like that in
his town? One is a killer, and one
is a mariachi.

DOMINO
Only special people can talk to Moco.
Besides, you've killed a few of his
men, now. Your best option is to
keep out of sight, stop wearing black,
and to hide that stupid case until
this is all over.

EXT. MOCO'S RANCH - DAY

Mean Dude #5 comes in and approaches Moco.

MEAN DUDE #5
He got away... but I got a good look
at him.

Moco takes out a cigarette and puts it in his mouth.

MEAN DUDE #5
Coca, Caca, Beto were killed.

Moco takes out a match.

MEAN DUDE #5
He won't get away again, Moco. I
promise.

Moco lights his match across Mean Dude #5's face and lights
his cigarette. Mean Dude #5 walks away, as Moco flicks his
match at him in slow motion.

INT. DOMINO'S LOFT - NIGHT

Mariachi is about to lay on the floor. She tosses him a
blanket.

MARIACHI
Are you always closed Monday nights,
or did you close since I can't play
my guitar tonight?

DOMINO
Mondays are my day off. Want to play
a game?

MARIACHI
Sure.

The phone rings. Domino gets up to answer it. Mariachi reaches
under his blanket for a small mirror and combs his hair,
putting spit in his hair to slick it down. He quickly stashes
the mirror.

DOMINO
(into phone)
Hello?

MOCO
(into phone)
Come see me.

DOMINO
(into phone)
I can't.

MOCO
(into phone)
Please.

Moco is sitting at a table playing cards.

DOMINO
(into phone)
I don't feel well. I've got to go.

MOCO
(into phone)
Have you ridden the bike?

DOMINO
(into phone)
No... I've got to go...

She hangs up.

MARIACHI
Boyfriend.

DOMINO
(quiet as if thinking)
No...

MARIACHI
I can't figure out something. You
tell me you're poor. Poor family.
Yet you've got this place.

DOMINO
(sighing)
This place is a gift.

MARIACHI
From who?

DOMINO
From Mauricio.

MARIACHI
From EL MOCO? The man trying to kill
me?

DOMINO
He's not trying to kill you, his man
had you confused with Azul.

MARIACHI
Same thing.

DOMINO
Look, you know how if you want to
impress a girl, you send her flowers,
candy, jewelry until you win her
love?

MARIACHI
Yes.

DOMINO
If one present doesn't work, you
keep sending bigger and better things
until you win her or you're broke?

MARIACHI
Correct...

DOMINO
Well, Mauricio sent me flowers, then
jewelry, then he gave me a job at
his saloon, then he gave me the whole
saloon... etc.

MARIACHI
He's still giving you things?

DOMINO
He'll never run out of money.

MARIACHI
And you accept it all? What's the
last thing he sent you?

Domino walks over to the counter and picks up a key.

DOMINO
A motorcycle.

Mariachi laughs.

DOMINO
He wants me to ride out to his ranch
when I've decided to be his. He thinks
he's close to having me.

MARIACHI
Is he?

DOMINO
(pause)
He was.

She sits next to Mariachi.

DOMINO
Not anymore.

They kiss. She gets up and is about to turn off the lights.

MARIACHI
So, you really are from a poor family.

CLICK!

DOMINO
(in the dark)
I remember when I was growing up, we
were so poor, that my brothers and
sisters and I all slept on the same
blanket stretched out across the
floor. We had to sleep in a circle,
with our fingers in each other's
ears, to keep the bugs from crawling
into them.

MARIACHI
(after a pause)
Ay, wey...

Domino laughs.

INT. AMADEUS - DAY

Domino hands Mariachi a wad of money.

Mariachi sees the money and looks up at her bewildered.

DOMINO
Here's a little bit I've saved. I
want you to go get a new guitar.

Mariachi starts to put up his hand as if to refuse it.

DOMINO
Take it, stupid. I'm not saying go
by the best one, just a temporary
one so you can play again tonight.

Mariachi stops and thinks... He looks up at her questioningly,
then he shrugs an "OK" and grabs the money and jogs out
excitedly. Domino is smiling.

EXT. STREET - DAY

Mariachi walks down the sidewalk, passing curioso shops. The
camera is low and zoomed in all the way. Mariachi stops by
one of the window that has a guitar in the glass. He pulls
his money and counts it. He stops after he notices someone's
reflection in the window. He turns around and sees it is
Mean Dude #5 right across the street. He meets up with another
Mean Dude. They are standing right behind Mariachi. Mariachi
is pretending to still look at the window. The Mean Dudes
walk past Mariachi so Mariachi walks in the opposite
direction. Mean Dude #5 stops and then turns around slowly.
Far zoomed shot of Mariachi walking down the street with
guys behind him. They start after him.

MEAN DUDE #5
That's him...

Tracking shot following Mariachi.

Tracking shot in front of Mean Dudes walking at Mariachi.

Mean Dude #5 pulls out a small walkie-talkie and calls his
buddy in the truck a block away.

MEAN DUDE #5
(into walkie-talkie)
Loco, he's headed your way... black
pants, white shirt.

IN A TRUCK DOWN THE STREET

LOCO starts the truck and starts driving slowly across the
street. As he turns on the corner, Mariachi sees the truck
and casually climbs inside and hides in the back. Mean Dude
#5 turns the corner when whispers into walkie-talkie.

MEAN DUDE #5
(into walkie-talkie)
Where did he go, Loco?

LOCO
(laughs, into walkie-
talkie)
He got in my truck.

Mean Dude #5 laughs.

MEAN DUDE #5
(into walkie-talkie)
Take him around the block.

Mean Dude #5 taps his buddy and they start running down the
block.

Mariachi is in back the truck searching for a weapon. The
truck stops. Mariachi rolls to the side and gently lifts his
head.

POV Mariachi sees the two Mean Dudes walking at him. Mariachi
turns and Loco is there to knock him in the face with the
rifle butt. Mariachi falls into truck, blood trickling from
his dizzying head. He tries to get up a bit, but Loco is in
the truck now, and slams the rifle down into his face hard...
Blackout.

DUSTY ROAD TO MOCO'S

Mariachi is unconscious in the back of Loco's truck. Mean
Dude #5 and other Mean Dudes are riding in back with Mariachi.

EXT. ROAD TO MOCO'S - DAY

The above scene intercuts back and forth with the arrival of
Loco. Loco arrives at the gate, Mean Dude #5 opens the gate,
they drive through. The truck is facing Moco so he can't see
Mariachi yet. Mean Dude #5 closes the gate and walks over to
the truck, opens the back door, and calls Moco over. Moco
walks over to the truck and looks inside.

EXT. TRUCK - DAY

Mariachi is laying there unconscious, Moco puts his arm around
Mean Dude #5, who is looking very proud, and Moco pulls out
a cigarette and a match.

MOCO
That's not him.

Moco strikes the match behind Mean Dude #5's head. Mean Dude
#5 stops smiling.

INT. AMADEUS - DAY

Domino is waiting on customers. She glances at her watch. A
few seconds later she glances at it again. She looks very
worried.

INT. AZUL'S HIDEOUT - DAY

Azul's Rats burst into the hideout. FOUR GIRLS pop up over
the partition with guns. The Rats stop in their tracks. The
girls sigh a "oh, it's them" sigh and slink back to bed. Top
shot of them trying to wake Azul. Azul wakes up and looks
over the partition.

AZUL
Where's my case?

RAT #1
We couldn't find it.

RAT #2
We heard they caught you and were
taking you to Moco's ranch.

RAT #1
...so we came to see if it was true.

Azul thinks a moment. He stands up.

AZUL
They caught the mariachi.

Azul dresses, smiling...

INT. MOCO'S RANCH - DAY

Mariachi is in a holding cell at the ranch. He twitches,
finally waking up.

He sees a GUARD outside and finds a way to escape.

He grabs the guard's assault rifle and turns a corner. Two
men grab him. He slams the butt of the rifle, knocking the
wind and teeth out of BAD GUY #1, then he kicks down and
breaks the shin bone of BAD GUY #2 who screams out in agony.
Mariachi silences him by karate punching his throat. The Bad
Guy gurgles and hits the ground.

Angle from the ground as Mariachi smashes the guy with is
gun.

He crawls up a wall, trying to escape as quietly as he can.
He sees TWO MORE MEN running towards him since they heard
some noise. Mariachi aims his assault rifle at the blue Chevy
parked behind him. He fires and it explodes.

Mariachi jumps Loco, gets him to drive him to the saloon. He
also takes Loco's money.

EXT. BOYSTOWN SALOON - DAY

Azul walks into frame, looks around then proceeds into the
bar.

INT. AMADEUS - DAY

Azul goes inside and finds Domino tending the bar.

DOMINO
What can I get you?

AZUL
One beer.

She grabs a bottle and slams it down on the counter unopened.
He eyes her admirably and then pops the top with one hand.

He guzzles the drink, slamming it down empty.

DOMINO
Anything else?

AZUL
(nodding)
My guitar case.

DOMINO
Where's Mariachi?

AZUL
Where's my case?

DOMINO
Upstairs.

AZUL
Get it.

Domino grabs another beer for him and runs to get the case.

(In between this time, Mariachi escapes with Loco.)

She returns, slamming it to the floor.

AZUL
If you want your mariachi back, come
with me.

DOMINO
Why will you help me?

AZUL
Because you know where Moco's ranch
is... I don't.

Domino calls her Assistant.

AZUL
You help me, I'll help you.

DOMINO
Let's go.

They leave. The Assistant tends to the bar.

ROAD TO MOCO'S

They drive out to Moco's ranch in Azul's truck. Little do
they know, they passed Loco's truck with Mariachi crouched
in the passenger seat. He gets up after the truck passes.
Mariachi didn't know it was Domino in Azul's truck or he
could have turned around and kept her from going to Moco's
ranch.

They arrive at the gate and get out of the truck.

DOMINO
(over the gate)
Mauricio!!

Azul grabs Domino and points a gun to her head. He whispers
to her...

AZUL
Play along...

He kicks at the gate.

AZUL
Open the gate or she's dead!

The gate opens and we see Moco standing at a three-quarter
stance, flanked with his men on both sides. Azul drags Domino
in and faces her at Moco with a gun to her head.

MOCO
(to Domino)
I'm sorry he used you to get to me,
Domino.

Azul cocks the pistol.

MOCO
Azul, let her go and you'll get your
money.

AZUL
Moco, give me my money or I ruin
your clothes with her blood.

Moco signals his men to get the money.

DOMINO
What have you done with Mariachi?

MOCO
Who?

DOMINO
The musician your men confused with
Azul.

MOCO
(staring at her)
So that's why you were busy that
night...

Azul is glancing between Domino and Moco.

MOCO
...you had that little monkey climbing
all over you.

AZUL
Give me my money or I kill her NOW!!!

MOCO
After all I've done for you, this is
how you treat me?

DOMINO
I never asked you for anything until
now. Let Mariachi go.

Azul is anxious now.

AZUL
I swear I'll kill her!

MOCO
No you won't. I will.

Moco pulls out his gun and shoots her in the heart. She falls
limp in Azul's arms. Azul tries hold her up, but she's dead.
Azul rests her on the ground, looking down at her, wondering
why it's all come to this.

AZUL
All I wanted was my rightful share.
But you've got to kill everybody.

MOCO
You feel sorry for her, don't you?
See, that's why you can't ever be as
big as me.

Azul slowly looks at Moco.

MOCO
(aiming gun)
Because you have too much heart.

Moco shoots Azul in the heart. Azul had his hands to his
side, and now he falls to his knees. Moco shoots him again,
and Azul dies next to Domino.

Mean Dude #5 is exchanging glances with the others. No one
seems to be on Moco's side.

EXT. NEAR SALOON - DAY

Mariachi is still in Loco's truck.

MARIACHI
Stop here.

Loco stops the truck and Mariachi gets out. Loco drives back
when Mariachi motions for him to leave. Mariachi watches him
go then dashes around the corner to the saloon.

INT. AMADEUS - DAY

Mariachi runs into the bar...

MARIACHI
Domino!!! We're leaving!!! Right
now!!!

The Assistant rushes over to Mariachi.

ASSISTANT
She's gone.

MARIACHI
Where is she?

ASSISTANT
Looking for you.

Mariachi is about to race upstairs.

ASSISTANT
She gave the case back to that guy.
She left with him to find you.

Mariachi tries to make sense of it all for a minute before
grabbing the gun from under the counter and rushing upstairs.

INT. DOMINO'S LOFT - DAY

Mariachi grabs the key to the motorcycle and runs out. The
motorcycle burns down the road.

MARIACHI ON THE ROAD TO MOCO'S

Mariachi barrels down the road on the motorcycle.

EXT. MOCO'S RANCH - DAY

Moco is walking away from the bodies.

MOCO
Bring that musician out here so he
can be reunited with my Domino.

Some men go to check.

Cut back and forth with Mariachi coming.

MEN
He's gone, sir.

MOCO
Find him!!

Mariachi rides through the semi-open gate... stopping at the
bodies. He dismounts the bike and holds Domino.

He has the gun in the back of his pants. You can see it while
his back is to the camera and men are approaching him. Moco
comes for the show.

MOCO
(good shot)
So you're the little mariachi that
came to town, killed my men, and
stole my girl...

Mariachi slowly lifts his eyes to Moco.

MOCO
You are very talented.

Mariachi stands, hands up.

MOCO
I bet you play the guitarra real
well, huh?

Mariachi says nothing.

MOCO
(raising gun)
Not anymore.

Moco fires into Mariachi's left hand. Mariachi grimaces,
crumbling to the floor. He keeps a tight grip on his hand.
When he opens his hand to see the damage, the camera can see
right through his hand for a reverse shot of his face through
the hole.

MOCO
Now get the hell off my property and
take your hand with you!!!

Moco is laughing and looking at his men for support, but no
one else laughs. Mariachi tries to stand, but he falls back.
When he rises again he has the gun in his hand. He shoots
Moco in the chest. Moco falls back and hits the ground hard.
He gasps for air...

Moco's men gather around him. Mean Dude #5 crouches down to
check Moco's throat pulse. Moco's dead. Mean Dude #5 strikes
a match across Moco's face and lights up a cigarette. He
turns and walks away. The others follow.

Mariachi wraps a tourniquet on his arm, kisses Domino, opens
Azul's case, sees the weapons, and rides off with it.

MARIACHI ON THE ROAD

He looks back at the town behind him, then places his hand
on the motorcycle to drive off. We notice the metal brace on
his hand.

Mariachi rides into the sunset road. He speeds pas a sign:
"ACUÑA 18 miles"

"Coming soon EL MARIACHI II"

FADE OUT:

THE END

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