6.3/10
7,455
72 user 46 critic

Dance with the Devil (1997)

Perdita Durango (original title)
Trailer
1:45 | Trailer

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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.

Writers:

Barry Gifford (novel), Barry Gifford (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
Reviews
6 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Rosie Perez ... Perdita Durango
Javier Bardem ... Romeo
Harley Cross ... Duane
Aimee Graham ... Estelle
James Gandolfini ... Dumas
Screamin' Jay Hawkins Screamin' Jay Hawkins ... Adolfo
Demián Bichir ... Catalina (as Demian Bichir)
Carlos Bardem ... Reggie
Santiago Segura ... Shorty Dee
Harry Porter Harry Porter ... Ford
Carlos Arau Carlos Arau ... Phillips
Don Stroud ... Santos
Alex Cox ... Doyle
Miguel Galván Miguel Galván ... Doug
Regina Orozco 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Mexico | Spain

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

31 October 1997 (Spain) See more »

Also Known As:

Dance with the Devil See more »

Filming Locations:

Las Vegas, Nevada, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

EUR4,200,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

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

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Carlos Bardem and Javier Bardem got badly burnt due to excessive gunpowder and a badly synchronized explosion caused by a special effects technician. Another crew member got second and third degree burns in 80% of his body. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Perdita Durango: [Perdita to Estelle, while Estelle holds a gun to her, threatening to shoot] If you really wanna do something, you just do it. But you don't think about it. That's the difference between you and me.
[Estelle gives Perdita the gun. Perdita then knocks Estelle to the ground and makes her kiss her foot]
See more »

Alternate Versions

UK cinema and video versions were cut by 37 secs with heavy edits to a handcuffed naked woman being raped and a shot of a girl being attacked during the animated scene on the motel television. The cuts were waived in 2006. See more »

Connections

Features Vera Cruz (1954) See more »

Soundtracks

Camel Walk
(Richard Miller - Monkey Dog Music/BMI)
Performed by Southern Culture on the Skids / Geffen Records 1995
Universal Music Hispania
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Ride through Inferno with Perdita Durango
16 April 2003 | by Bogey ManSee all my reviews

Álex de la Iglesia's Perdita Durango (1997) is an outrageously wild and violent road movie that has greater premise than the actual film. The film is based on the Barry Gifford book as was David Lynch's film Wild at Heart (1990), too, and the character Perdita is the lead character in Iglesia's film whereas she had only a small part in Lynch's much more noteworthy film.

Perdita Durango (Rosie Perez) is an attractive and exotic Mexican girl with violent past and future, as we soon learn. She meets mysterious Romeo Dolorosa (Javier Bardem) who practises some strange and bloody voodoo/Satanism rituals and also needs human victims for his acts he performs for and with some cult. They team up, and start their violent journey near the border of Mexico and the USA in order to steal a huge truck carrying loads of human fetuses for some sleazy pedophiliac mafia boss. Yes it sounds very outrageous and once all the characters are introduced the level of wildness reaches its most breathtaking level.

The film is pretty empty in content for sure, unlike David Lynch's film, for example. It has one quite funny bit of commentary about stupid mediocre TV audience that gets its meaning for life through various TV shows and commercialism related to it, and that is exactly the kind of humor that can be found in Iglesia's another outrageous (gore) comedy Acción Mutante (1993). But mostly Perdita Durango seems to concentrate on sudden and rather shocking bursts of violence and steamy sex that will definitely annoy censors throughout the world. There is a silent moment at the end which tells something about what is happening inside the character's head and what she has learnt but still it could have been a whole serious theme for the film. Also the way how the kidnapped couple change in their dangerous situation is quite repulsive as in that world it seems like the more selfish and mean you are the more you will succeed and survive. The young couple is not used as it should have been if Iglesia would have liked to include some serious and dramatic elements to the film and characters and thus make a more noteworthy piece of powerful film.

The other characters are also very nasty and perverse, completely unable to control their violent and sexual instincts, but they are also quite blackly humorous (the mafia boss, the two FBI agents etc.) and so the tone of the film is not too serious at all. Most of the characters are just animals in the burning heat of the border trying to exploit and survive from each other. Romeo's character is definitely as wicked as they come but still he is far from the effect of Willem Dafoe in Lynch's film, where the character was the other side of human nature, whereas Igleasia never seems to be interested in depicting things so deep in this film. His characters are just bad, violent, miserable and selfish scumbags and there are not too many, or any, normal and safe feeling individuals in the film. The FBI caricature played by a film maker Alex Cox (Repo Man) is quite funny and makes fun on all the serious agent characters of the cinematic history.

The film is far from the greatness of Iglesia's wonderful El Dia de la Bestia aka The Day of the Beast (1995) with its philosophic elements and incredible atmosphere with great visuality. Perdita hasn't got any genuinely interesting and inventive camerawork or cinematic magic and even the rites Romeo commits are not as chilling as in, for example, Wes Craven's Serpent and the Rainbow (1987). The soundtrack by Simon Boswell is mediocre, nothing too special in my opinion even though the director praises his work for this film and in general very much. He is a talented composer but his soundtrack for this film is not so memorable.

I saw the most uncut (minus one 3 seconds image of the mafia boss slapping the face of a little girl, still this brief image is in the Spanish festival print) version released on DVD in Germany, and as far as I know, the Spanish tape is like this DVD, too. But all the other versions released, like the Hong Kong, UK, US, Swedish, Finnish and so on versions on VHS and DVD are severely cut for sex, violence and drug use. The "uncut" version I saw is quite strong at times and includes some scenes of extreme and vicious violence that are also more or less gratuitous to say the least, as well as the numerous sex scenes, but they definitely tell something about the brute instincts of the characters as mentioned. Overall the humor in this film is very black and just plain sick and that comes clear at least with the numerous car crash deaths in the film, so Iglesia is definitely not depicting his characters too heroic or lucky in their ways of life!

Perdita Durango is not deep or meaningful film enough but the ending saves the film from even greater failure. Many will find this entertaining as it has graphic violence, "cool" characters, sex and other forbidden taboos on screen, but if one is looking for a film that has something to say and really concentrate on it so that we can call it a theme, then Perdita Durango is not among the best. Still it could have been so much worse, with bad and stupid actors and characters and boring segments: now it runs 124 PAL minutes but never really feels boring or too long so Iglesia's way to tell the story and cut all the unnecessary parts off is present here. He definitely is a talented director but manages to achieve more than 6/10, too.


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