Irish Film Institute -Perdita Durango

Perdita Durango

Director: Alex De la Iglesia

The wild man of contemporary Spanish cinema, Alex de la Iglesia (Acci’n Mutante, The Day of the Beast) makes an assault on English-language film-making with this explosive adaptation of a Barry Gifford novel. Gifford will be best known to cinemagoers as the writer of David Lynch’s Wild at Heart. Perdita Durango isn’t exactly a sequel to the Lynch picture, but it shares some of its characters (Isabella Rossellini played Perdita Durango in Wild at Heart) and is another tale of murderous sex and voodoo rituals framed by a passionate love story and set against a background of American corruption and violence.
Half Texan, half Mexican, Perdita Durango (Rosie Perez) fleeces anyone who drops their guard and lives her life to the limit. She finds her animal lover in Romeo Dolorosa (hunky Javier Bardem from Pedro Almod’var’s Live Flesh), a handome killer who dresses like an extra from a bad Black Sabbath video. Dolorosa combines robbing banks with the trafficking of corpses and drugs, and leads a Santero death cult at his desert hideaway. On a whim, Perdita and Romeo kidnap a young American couple, with the idea of slaughtering them at Romeo’s next ritual mass. In addition, the pair are hired to drive a cargo of frozen foetuses from the Mexican border to a cosmetics company in Las Vegas.
A former cartoonist, de la Iglesia has a strong visual sense and mounts the film as a comic-strip journey through the wild side of the American nightmare. The cast are game, with the smouldering Perez and Bardem supported by amusing turns form the likes of James Gandolfini, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins and film-maker Alex Cox.

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