This is an extremely violent, gory, and surreal meditation on the life of a young lad during the time of the Spanish Civil War, as he attempts to find out what happened to his father, who has disappeared. It turns out that his mother, devout in her loyalty to the Falange, has turned him in as a leftist.
Multiple scenes involve castration and the consumption of testicles, in one case by a victimized priest. The grotesquery includes a fantasy scene of a city swamped in the boy's urine, the mother having a bowel movement over the head of his father, and a deeply Oedipal scene with the boy, a bull and his mother.
Not for the faint of heart, this film achieved cult status in New York City shortly after its release.