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Dance with the Devil (1997)
"Perdita Durango" (original title)

R  |   |  Action, Crime, Horror  |  31 October 1997 (Spain)
6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 6,183 users  
Reviews: 72 user | 40 critic

A psychotic criminal couple kidnaps a random teenage couple. The woman rapes the male captive, and lets him watch his lover being raped by the man. They then plan to sacrifice the couple.

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(novel), (screenplay), 3 more credits »
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Title: Dance with the Devil (1997)

Dance with the Devil (1997) on IMDb 6.3/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Harley Cross ...
Duane
...
Estelle
...
Willie 'Woody' Dumas
Screamin' Jay Hawkins ...
Adolfo
...
Catalina
...
...
Shorty Dee
Harry Porter ...
Ford
Carlos Arau ...
Phillips
...
Alex Cox ...
Doyle
Miguel Galván ...
Doug
Regina Orozco ...
Lilly
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Storyline

Rough girl Perdita and her demonic lover Romeo Dolorosa need humans to sacrifice following Romeo's religion before he can go on a mission ordered by mob boss Santos. They kidnap teen sweethearts Duane and Estelle and travel with them to Las-Vegas. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Get On The Road


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence including rape, sexuality, language and some drug content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

31 October 1997 (Spain)  »

Also Known As:

Dance with the Devil  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

€4,200,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (R-rated) | (unrated) | (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Bigas Luna was due to direct the film, Madonna, Javier Bardem and Dennis Hopper were his first choices to play Perdita, Romeo and Woody Dumas. Madonna deserted the project and Victoria Abril was supposed to replace her as Perdita, alongside Johnny Depp as Romeo and Ray Liotta as Dumas. Then Bigas Luna abandoned the production and Álex De la Iglesia was set to direct with the definitive cast: Rosie Pérez, Javier Bardem and James Gandolfini. See more »

Goofs

Shadow of the dolly and cameraman during the scene in the airplane junkyard. See more »

Quotes

Romeo Dolorosa: Well, the truth is, I'm a scientist.
Perdita Durango: A scientist? No, you're definitely a dentist. I could tell from the stupid smile on your face.
See more »

Connections

References Batman (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

Vera Cruz
H. Friedhofer and Sammy Cahn
Copyright Leo Feist Inc.
Publishing authorized in Spain to United Artists Española
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Another overlooked gem...

Right after the success of his masterpiece, the dark comedy "El Dia De la Bestia", Spanish director Alex De la Iglesia took a stab at Hollywood with this wild ride of marvelous insanity and bizarre entertainment. Sadly, the resulting movie was severely cut in the U.S. and the U.K. and didn't had the expected results as many labeled as another Tarantino-style film. While at first sight "Perdita Durango" indeed looks like a rip off of the movies by the Tarantino-Rodriguez tandem, this really black comedy is more a witty satire than a serious action flick.

The film is the story of Perdita Durango (Rosie Perez), a young criminal who one night meets Romeo Dolorosa (Javier Bardem), a crazed priest of an extreme form of Santeria who makes a life doing jobs for the mob. They fall in love and Perdita comes along in Romeo's latest job: the traffic of human fetuses for the cosmetic industry. On their trip, they kidnap two American teenagers for Romeo's human sacrifices. However, things go wrong as a DEA agent (James Gandolfini) follows them closely and the kidnapped teens try to escape.

Based on Barry Gifford's novel of the same name, the movie follows the criminal couple's adventure in the style of a road trip movie with the two couples (the criminals and their victims) as main characters. I can't tell how faithful the movie is to the novel, but it is definitely closer to Gifford's previous film adaptation, David Lynch's "Wild at Heart" than to the Tarantino films that are often compared to it. The movie is charged with black humor and disturbing violence, and is a brilliant satire of modern society.

Alex De la Iglesia crafts a film that is at the same time disturbing and funny, and he plays with those two very different emotions with very good results. The pacing of the movie is very good although it is true that at times it feels a bit disjointed. Still, De la Iglesia manages to tell an intelligent and different story than what we are used to. On a side note, the edited A-Pix version is missing what is probably the most important moment of the film due to copyright troubles, so to fully appreciate the film, the 125 version is the way to go.

The acting is good for the most part, with Javier Bardem showing exactly why is he considered the best Spanish actor of his generation; his Romeo Delarosa is one of the best performances of his career. Rosie Perez is effective, but at times it feels as if she weren't up to the challenge, something that hurts the film badly, as she is the main character. Harley Cross and Aimee Graham are very believable as the kidnapped teens and show potential for comedy, but the real joy comes from supporting actors Gandolfini and a surprising Screamin' Jay Hawkins.

Personally, I liked the film a lot and it is a personal favorite, but I must be fair and point out that it is not a perfect film. Alex De la Iglesia's main mistake is to focus too much on Romeo Delarosa's character, almost to the point where Rosie Perez almost becomes a supporting actress. The fact that Bardem's acting is enormously superior doesn't really help Perez' performance. On another point, the movie seems to lose steam at the last point, and while it does recover some of its initial power, the edited versions definitely take out this final improvement.

As written above, this is a personal favorite, and while I wouldn't recommend it to everybody (due to its disturbing images), I would definitely recommend it to fans of black comedies, disturbing thrillers and overall bizarre film-making in general. 8/10


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