Rosie Perez is Perdita Durango, one helluva hot bitch with an attitude and a taste for danger. A danger she finds in Romeo Dolorosa (played by Javier Barden), the perfect man: he’s a killer, a criminal, he does drugs, has delusions about Latin mysticism and practices human sacrifice before pulling big jobs. That, and he loves his home. Together, they kidnap a young American couple (Aimee Graham is the girl) and go on one great big hit: a truck full of fetuses to be used by a cosmetic company. But it’s not going to be easy, as Perdita and Romeo have to deal with their own personality problems, the young couple’s, a somewhat psychotic FBI agent (played by James Gandolfini) and an eventual double-crossing.
This is one of the most kickass movies I’ve ever seen in my life, almost like the horror movie Quentin Tarantino never made. It has all the characteristics of the ‘cool’ cinema of the nineties, mixing up different genres and serving it up with a heavy duty dose of sex & violence. It’s a good companion piece to another western horror, Robert Rodriguez’ From Dusk Till Dawn (which also features Aimee Graham), although I personally prefer this one. For one, it’s a lot ballsier. FDTD has two different tones for the two halves of the film, the first hour being more serious and the violence being more realistic, while the second half turns into a ridiculous gorefest. This movie contains the same tone throughout, without making it distracting. It’s dark and furious, but also has a great sense of humor, and a dark one at that. This can be clearly seen in the “Herb Albert” scene. While Rosie Perez is top-billed, it’s Javier Bardem who steals the show, playing a character that is wicked and evil, yet so charismatic and interesting that you fall in love with him. And he’s even better looking than Rosie, and that’s quite a thing to say since Rosie’s a fox! Aimee Graham also appears in this, for a while she was a darling of the indie movie scene. Of course, now she’s on CSI and is actually more famous than her sister, Heather. Famous rock n’ roll icon Screamin’ Jay Hawkins also appears as a voodoo priest who accompanies Romeo throughout his adventures, and his role is small but memorable, giving into his typical flamboyance that we all know and love him for.
This film was directed by Alex de la Iglesia, who has directed many Spanish cult films such as the over-rated Accion Mutante and the brilliant El Dia De La Bestia. Those previous movies shows a love for B-movies and genre cinema, and this one is no different. There are a lot of homages to Mexican wrestler films (which I love) and the whole thing looks like it could have been made in the 80’s underground video scene. Mixing action, crime thriller, black comedy and horror film, Perdita Durango is a film that everybody should love, and if they don’t well, that’s just a sad state of affairs we live in.