Perdita Durango

Perdita Durango poster

Her name implies she is the lost woman of Mexico, assumed to be alone and an easy pickup, but Perdita Durango is nobody’s fool, direct and devastating, possessed of claws like the jaguar she dreams of, a survivor in a hard world where not everyone can make that claim, travelling back to Mexico to scatter the ashes of her murdered sister and nieces when she falls in the company of indebted bank robber, drug dealer and Santeria shaman Romeo Dolorosa.

A man with ambitions far above his station and whose schemes involve less planning and more improvisation, abandoning his accomplices as soon as advantage presents itself, Romeo has been hired by the big-time boss Marcello “Crazy Eyes” Santos to convey a refrigerated truck of human embryos for use in the cosmetics industry, pursued by his former partner intent on revenge, a Drug Enforcement Agency officer and the father of a teenage girl kidnapped along with her boyfriend, ostensibly to sacrifice them in a cannibalistic ritual…

Perdita Durango; a woman who is not to be underestimated, Rosie Perez is Perdita Durango.

Based on his novel 59° and Raining: The Story of Perdita Durango, the tempestuous tale which is the third in the Sailor and Lula series which began with Wild at Heart, itself adapted by David Lynch in 1990 with Isabella Rossellini in a cameo as Perdita, the script for Perdita Durango was co-written by author Barry Gifford along with David Trueba, Jorge Guerricaechevarría and maverick cult director Álex de la Iglesia.

His third feature after 1993’s Acción mutante and 1995’s El día de la bestia, while not exactly mainstream Perdita Durango is certainly more conventional than de la Iglesia’s previous films or 2013’s Las brujas de Zugarramurdi, an action/crime/horror/road movie of violence, murder, mythology and bizarre happenstances filled with eccentric and unfortunate characters whose moral standing is dictated by the needs of the moment, with even the late James Gandolfini’s much-suffering DEA officer Woody Dumas content to turn a blind eye to the law in pursuit of his elusive target.

Perdita Durango; taken hostage, Duane and Estelle (Harley Cross and Aimee Graham) are up for sacrifice or trade.

With Dune‘s Javier Bardem as Romeo, described as “an extra in a bad Black Sabbath video” and possessed of a worse haircut than he wore in No Country for Old Men and with supporting roles for Alien: Covenant‘s Demián Bichir, Bill, the Galactic Hero’s fabulously blithe Alex Cox and the legendary Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, Birds of Prey‘s Rosie Perez is the seductive and self-assured Perdita Durango, along for the ride so long as it’s going her way, hardened by tragedy but, when the cracks begin to form, showing unexpected empathy.

Also known as Dance with the Devil, the version of Perdita Durango currently streaming on Arrow is the full uncut two hours and nine minute gonzo trip, uneven and sometimes bordering on kitsch but always full of interesting and unexpected sights as it draws closer to arrival at Las Vegas, an appropriate destination full of colour and light, an oasis in the merciless desert where everything is a lie, a deception to rob desperate people of what little money and dignity they have left.

Perdita Durango is available on the Arrow platform now

Perdita Durango; Shorty Dee (Santiago Segura) makes the mistake of tangling with the Santeria shaman, impervious to harm.



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