Perdita Durango

  • 1999
  • Movie
  • R
  • Action, Crime, Thriller

Don't let the generic US video title -- DANCE WITH THE DEVIL -- fool you. Cross TRUE ROMANCE with THE BELIEVERS, add in some pervy gangsters, Mexican wrestling, a truckload of human fetuses headed for a Las Vegas cosmetics lab and a Santeria sex, drugs and murder cult operating across the Texas border in Mexico (think Matamoros), and the result is this wild...read more

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Reviewed by Maitland McDonagh
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Don't let the generic US video title -- DANCE WITH THE DEVIL -- fool you. Cross TRUE ROMANCE with THE BELIEVERS, add in some pervy gangsters, Mexican wrestling, a truckload of human fetuses headed for a Las Vegas cosmetics lab and a Santeria sex, drugs and murder cult operating across the Texas border in Mexico (think Matamoros), and the result is this wild ride of a picture, based on the Barry Gifford novella 59º and Raining: The Story of Perdita Durango.

We first met hellcat Perdita Durango (Rosie Perez) in WILD AT HEART, when she lived in Big Tuna, TX, and shacked up with world-class creep Bobby Peru (Willem Dafoe); Perdita was played then by Isabella Rossellini with an improbable bleach job and an even more improbable accent. Now, Perdita (Rosie Perez) finds love in drug smuggler and all-around bad guy Romeo Delaroso (Spanish actor Javier Bardem, his usual clean-cut sexiness buried under a black leather duster and a fright-night haircut), who, guided by Santeria priest Adolfo (Screamin' Jay Hawkins), sacrifices human victims to the dark gods out on his isolated Mexican ranch. Romeo accepts a job from Marcello "Crazy Eyes" Santos (Don Stroud), owner of the aforementioned truck of fetuses, unaware that an obsessed DEA agent (James Gandolfini) is watching their every move. Meanwhile, Romeo and Perdita have cooked up their own little plan to kidnap a couple of gringos (Aimee Graham, Heather's sister, and former child actor Harley Cross, Martin Sheen's small son in THE BELIEVERS) and do very bad things to them.

This warped, romantic action romp from Spanish director Alex de la Iglesia (DAY OF THE BEAST) packs one hell of a punch. Perez is a revelation (you'll almost forget her annoying trademark yammering), and de la Iglesia's direction is tight and crisp.

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  • Released: 1999
  • Rating: R
  • Review: Don't let the generic US video title -- DANCE WITH THE DEVIL -- fool you. Cross TRUE ROMANCE with THE BELIEVERS, add in some pervy gangsters, Mexican wrestling, a truckload of human fetuses headed for a Las Vegas cosmetics lab and a Santeria sex, drugs and… (more)

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