Rosie. F******g. Perez.

We’ve been on a roll with films overshadowed by controversy lately, especially after witnessing the real-life kangaroo violence in Ted Kotcheff’s Wake in Fright and the injuries sustained by the lead actress in Pascal Laugier’s Incident in a Ghostland (on top of a problematic queer killer). We’re keeping things similar this week as we look at Álex de la Iglesia’s 1997 film Perdita Durango, which only just saw its uncut version released last year (courtesy of Severin Films)! It’s also streaming on Shudder if you’re curious, but heed the content warnings below!

In the film, the amoral Perdita Durango (Rosie Perez) joins forces with Romeo Dolorosa (Javier Bardem), a sleek, black-clad, sexually adventurous practitioner of Santería who routinely kills, robs banks, and steals corpses from graves for his cannibalistic blood-soaked rituals. When Romeo is hired to steal a truck filled with human fetuses that are slated to be used for cosmetic experiments, Perdita feels that they must make a human sacrifice or two before he goes. Add in two out-of-their-element gringos, one very annoyed DEA agent (James Gandolfini), a dangerous crime boss (Don Stroud), an angry loan shark (Demián Bichir) and Screamin’ Jay Hawkins himself and you’ve got the ingredients for de la Iglesia’s subversive, darkly comedic action/horror road trip extravaganza.

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Episode 180: Perdita Durango (1997)

Make sure those human fetuses are refrigerated properly because we’re hitting the road with Rosie Perez and Javier Bardem in Álex de la Iglesia’s Perdita Durango (1997). Joining us for the trip is Salem Horror Fest‘s Festival Director Kay Lynch!

Join us as we look at the film’s origins as a sequel to Wild at Heart (yes, really) before discussing the films taboo and challenging subject matter. Rosie Perez’s career-best performance forces us to rationalize loving a character who commits so many heinous acts.

Oh, and content warnings aplenty for this one because we’ve got filicide, f-slurs, voodoo rituals, copious amounts of cocaine, blood sacrifices, corpse mutilations, grave desecrations and, in the words of the director himself, consensual rape??? And that’s all just in the film’s first hour!

Cross out Perdita Durango!

Coming up on Wednesday: We’re going in the exact opposite direction in terms of content with a revisit of Raja Gosnell’s James Gunn-penned live action Scooby-Doo movie for its 20th anniversary!

P.S. Subscribe to our Patreon for more than 180 hours of additional content! This month, we’re discussing our favorite horror movie posters, Jurassic World: Dominion, The Black Phone and releasing an audio commentary on Gremlins 2: The New Batch!

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