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Perdita Durango is a 1997 film about the main character and her evil lover Romeo Doloros, who sacrifices people during Santeria ceremonies. The two young men kidnap their lovers Dwayne and Estelle and travel with them to Las Vegas.

Directed by Alex de la Iglesia (Bar, Witch and Bitch, The Last Circus, The Oxford Murders, Day of the Beast) from a screenplay co-written with Barry Gifford (Lost Highway), Jorge Guerrichevarria and David Trueba, based on Barry Gifford’s 1992 novel 59° and Rain: The story of Perdita Durango, the Spanish-Mexican action criminal and horror star Rosie Perez, Javier Bardem, Harley Cross, Aimee Graham, Screaming Jay Hawkins and James Gandolfini.

New version :

Perdita Durango will be on the 30th. March 2021 by Severin Films on 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray. The film has recently been restored to 4K with 2.0 and 5.1 audio options and can be ordered directly with a limited edition box. Properties :

Interview with writer Barry Gifford
Interview with director of photography Flavio Labiano
Interview with composer Simon Boswell (Lord of Illusions; Hardware; Phenomena; et al.)
Interview with Morbido Fest main programmer Abraham Castillo Flores and Blood Bowler writer Jim Schutze
Dancing with the Devil : Classification of trailer
of the Dr. Rebecca McKendree filmmaker

Exams [click on the links for more information]:

Perdita Durango is a dam of stimulation and horribly exhausting symbolism that ranges from caricatural hallucinogenicity to all too real violence. It is embroidered with the black humour that is characteristic of De la Iglesia and which often makes the audience shudder and laugh. AllMovie

De La Iglesia stays true to the book and adds its own personal touch that perfectly matches Gifford’s decor. He handles the film very skillfully. The pace is fast and furious […] De La Iglesia’s film is the answer to the exploitation of the Badlands. It’s Natural Born Killers without Hammy’s anti-media rhetoric. It’s a manic, surrealistic love story. DVD conversation

Perdita Durango is a film noir, a sensation of our own idea of controlled and civilized behaviour. It is indeed a modern myth that will undoubtedly reach cult status, opening the door to high-profile film critics of more than 200 words. eFilmCritic

Romeo is dressed in heavy metal. Perdita wears tight T-shirts. The weapon is phallic. Cactus. Murders have become so common that the cries of teenagers have great shock value. It’s all fun for the late audience. Except it’s not. Uncompensated violence is abominable. Cabin sex is fake. Bonnie and Clyde are going to Tex-Mex? In your nightmares. Eye for the cinema

Perdita Durango is a big, irresponsible film. There is a veritable explosion of anarchic brilliance and anger towards Alex de la Iglesia. The film feels like a sarcastic sting to everything middle-class – Harley Cross and Aimee Graham (Heather’s sister) give hilarious performances as white-haired children with hysterical scenes….. Moria

The scene unfolds in an unheard-of madness in the manner of the Beast, but the tone of this dance is confusing: Perez and the conspiracy to kill and eat make everyone laugh. The thread of the flight must pull Romeo to play well, and the end tries to create a heartache. It’s better to stick to the comic tone, because that’s what de la Iglesia does best, and that’s clearly where the film’s importance lies. Film coverage

Perdita Durango has her moments of discomfort (especially sexual violence is a doozy), but being uncomfortable isn’t necessarily a bad thing, is it? Plus, the two best performances are sensational. Perez had never been better and Bardem made one of those crazy hairstyles that would become a recurring motif in his career. Multiglom

The problem with Perdita Durango is that no one in this Spanish-Mexican production knows enough about American culture (played by the characters Dwayne and Estelle), the film is meant to mock the subtleties and nuances that turn simple rudeness into social satire, shock and laughter. See and Hear

This romantic and twisted action film by Spanish director Alex de la Iglesia (The Day of the Beast) has spirit. Perez is a revelation (one almost forgets the annoying sparkle of his signature), and the direction of the Iglesia is tight and clean. tv guide

Although enriched with new elements of black magic, mysticism and religious superstition, and imbued with lots of black humour, dirty sex and explosive, well-made sets, the story seems a little skinny every two hours of filming. A faster cut, especially in the second half, would have made it possible to maintain the hectic rhythm that de la Iglesia managed to capture in the first roles. Variety

The actors and characters:

Rosie Perez… Perdita Durango
Javier Bardem … Romeo
Harley Cross… Dwayne
Aimee Graham… Estelle
James Gandolfini … Dumas
screams Jay Hawkins… Adolfo
Demian Bichir … Catalina (as Demian Bichir)
Carlos Bardem … Reggie
Santiago Segura … Shorty Dee
Harry Porter… Ford
Carlos Arau… Phillips
Don Stroud… Santos
Alex Cox… Doyle
Miguel Galvan… Doug
Regina Orozco… Lilly

Technical details :

129 min
aspect ratio : 2.35 : 1
Audio : Dolby Digital

Alternative title :

A shortened and censored version of Dance with the Devil was also published.

Nice facts:

This film is freely linked to the story of Adolfo Constanzo and Sara Aldrete, which was later faithfully described in the documentary Rituales de Sangre : The true story behind the Matamoros cult murders (2008), Asesino’s instinct: El Padrino (2009), Murderous Cults : Palo Mayombe (2019) and tied up in Frontierland (2007).

When Bigas Luna was chosen to direct the film, Madonna, Javier Bardem and Dennis Hopper initially chose the roles of Perdita, Romeo and Woody Dumas. Madonna leaves the project and Victoria Abril replaces her as Perdita, as does Johnny Depp as Romeo and Ray Liotta as Dumas. Luna leaves production and Alex de la Iglesia replaces him.

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