Newest Reviews
American Fiction
Poor Things
Legend of the Bat
Party Line
Night Fright
Pacha, Le
Assemble Insert
Venus Tear Diamond, The
Beauty's Evil Roses, The
Free Guy
Huck and Tom's Mississippi Adventure
Rejuvenator, The
Who Fears the Devil?
Guignolo, Le
Batman, The
Land of Many Perfumes
Cat vs. Rat
Tom & Jerry: The Movie
Naked Violence
Joyeuses Pacques
Strangeness, The
How I Became a Superhero
Golden Nun
Incident at Phantom Hill
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City
Maigret Sets a Trap
Hell's Wind Staff, The
Topo Gigio and the Missile War
Battant, Le
Penguin Highway
Cazadore de Demonios
Imperial Swordsman
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
  Perdita Durango Quite The Pair
Year: 1997
Director: Alex de la Iglesia
Stars: Rosie Perez, Javier Bardem, Harley Cross, Aimee Graham, James Gandolfini, Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Demian Bichir, Carlos Bardem, Santiago Segura, Harry Porter, Carlos Arau, Don Stroud, Alex Cox, Miguel Galvan, Regina Orozco, Roger Cudney, Erika Carlsson
Genre: Thriller, Romance, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Mexican Perdita Durango (Rosie Perez) is in the United States to scatter her sister's ashes, but that does not prevent her being hit on at the airport by some presumptuous guy who she sends packing with a few well-chosen words. Once she has done what she set out to do, she heads back to the border where she happens to meet Romeo (Javier Bardem), a man who has recently completed a successful bank robbery in America and is bringing both his spoils and a dead body back to Mexico, for he has a sideline in voodoo ceremonies. There's some animal magnetism about him that Perdita finds appealing, so she decides to stick by him...

The movies are littered with couples on the run, be they a folie a deux or something more professional, and at first glance there was little to distinguish Spanish director Alex de la Iglesia's reprise of the themes and general anything goes tone of Wild at Heart, the David Lynch and Barry Gifford film that had introduced Perdita to the world in the person of Isabella Rossellini. It says something that this was the last we saw of her too, for unlike the Lynch movie it did not make much of a splash, though there were those who caught it at the time and intermittently since who have expressed a fondness for it, in all its wayward excesses and dubious choices.

It was clear the director here was out to shock, and possibly regarded this as his opportunity to cross over to the Hollywood audience after establishing himself as a horror movie creator in Spain, though as it was that did not happen, and he returned to Europe thereafter where he carved out a successful career for decades afterwards. But if you wanted to be shocked, this was lurid enough to accommodate you, a heady mixture of sex and death that nevertheless never felt as if there was an actual plot in danger of appearing any time soon. For much of the running time it was like a preamble to something more substantial that never quite showed up.

But if for most of the excessive two hours plus running time it resembled a series of sex and death setpieces that never coalesced into a proper plotline, there was a lot to be said for the style it went about its mayhem. Coloured in hues of burnished gold as the Mexican desert dominated the imagery, you could almost sense the heat in this climate, and Perez and Bardem certainly enjoyed chemistry with each other where their lust convincingly translated into a deeper love that was at least halfway believable, on Perdita's part anyway. What some audiences had problems with was the white American couple they pick up on the journey as hostages, played by former child star Harley Cross and Heather Graham's less famous sister Aimee Graham.

They spent most of their screen time being thoroughly humiliated and we were expected to accept they found this experience - which included rape and beatings - a liberating one by the time events had built to the denouement. If that was offensive to you then you were advised to give Perdita Durango a wide berth, but if you fancied something more transgressive, this casually presented that idea, though not without consequences for the characters, some better than others. The details included various depravities that were taken for granted by the central couple, ranging from the low level such as messing with people on the street in violent fashion to high level, such as a gang boss abusing a little girl or the MacGuffin, an articulated lorry full of human foetuses to be used in the cosmetics industry. De la Iglesia evidently had a fairly big budget to play with here, and his movie did look great, even with these lowlifes (including James Gandolfini as a scuzzy DEA agent hot on their trail). If it rambled, well, that was in the nature of a Gifford story. Music by Simon Boswell.

[Click here to join the Arrow Player website - there's a free trial available.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 1441 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside

Recent Visitors
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
  Louise Hackett
Mark Le Surf-hall
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M


Last Updated: