Beating the Devil
Carlos, a young man who has grown up near El Paso, Texas, succumbs to the allure of Mexico and crosses the Rio Grande to embark on a mythic journey. Bearing the scars of a cruel childhood, Carlos is eager to escape the United States, a country he finds insipid, inauthentic, and hypocritical. In contrast, the northern Mexico countryside offers him a chaotic reality in which he battles a gigantic foe in a boxing match, eats snakes, and befriends a hunchbacked dwarf who tells tales of brutality and revolution in Carlos's newly adopted homeland.
It is from this dwarf that Carlos learns of Chávez, guerilla champion of the oppressed who is engaged in a battle of attrition and vengeance against the militia henchmen of Joaquin Mueller, a land- and power-hungry hacendado. Carlos joins the outlaw Chávez and his band of men in their struggle against Mueller. It is a struggle that will overwhelm Carlos with death and loss, setting him on a path for revenge of his own.