The literal story is about a thief who attempts to steal from an alchemist who lives in a giant obelisk, but instead the alchemist converts him and along with several other repenters, attempts to journey to the holy mountain (mentioned in all religions) in order to reach spiritual enlightenment.
You’re pretty much spot-on about the rest. Except chimps. I suspect Jodorowsky enjoys them greatly.
The movie makes plenty of sense. It’s laden with occult and alchemical references through and throughout. Jodorowsky’s vision to portray the manufacturing of Christianity int he manner he did so in the first section of the film as brilliant. Warped? Totally. Bizarre? Indeed. However it opened the eyes of the viewer and hopefully makes them realize that we like in an world where we should escape the molds of ourselves to exceed ourselves. For the year in which it was made, I find the underlining themes to still hold true today, making it a truly timeless masterpiece. It makes you realize contanst handicap and struggle, regrets and anguish… how to explore beyond that to uncover your holy mountain.