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Posts Tagged ‘Santiago Segura’

Perdita Durango

Thursday, January 6th, 2022

Twenty years ago when I was an enthusiastic but not that good internet movie reviewer I wrote a column called “I have seen the future of Badass pictures,” because I had seen THE DAY OF THE BEAST (1995) and PERDITA DURANGO (1997), the second and third films of Spanish director Alex de la Iglesia. Although the director hasn’t quite become a household name here in the intervening years, he has made many interesting films, of which I’ve reviewed 800 BULLETS (2002), FERPECT CRIME (2004) and THE LAST CIRCUS (2010). He’s still going strong, for example I’ve heard good things about his recent TV show 30 Coins.

For the holidays I rewatched the Christmas-Eve-set THE DAY OF THE BEAST (it held up – I wrote about it a little bit on Letterboxd) and I’d been meaning to revisit PERDITA DURANGO for quite some time. Reviewing Javier Bardem’s first English language movie, where he plays a human-sacrificing psycho who looks like this…


…as a followup to his more Oscar-baity turn in BEING THE RICARDOS is the sort of thing that amuses me, so I pulled the trigger.

PERDITA DURANGO is based on a 1992 book called 59° and Raining: The Story of Perdita Durango by Barry Gifford (who co-wrote the script with de la Iglesia and two others). It’s part 3 in the Sailor and Lula series, part 1 being the basis of WILD AT HEART. (Isabella Rossellini played Perdita in David Lynch’s movie.) (read the rest of this shit…)

The Last Circus

Wednesday, October 7th, 2015

tn_lastcircusFrom the monster clowns on the cover and the opening scene set in 1937 I really thought this was gonna be some kind of ghost or demon story, but it’s actually set in the sort-of-real-world. Director Alex de la Iglesia (DAY OF THE BEAST, 800 BULLETS) gives us another hard-to-classify brew of insanity, whimsy, tragedy and cruelty, like a Jean-Pierre Jeunet movie that got left out too long and went rancid.

It’s the tragic tale of Javier (Carlos Areces, EXTRATERRESTRIAL, I’M SO EXCITED), son of a clown (Santiago Segura, BLADE II, BEYOND RE-ANIMATOR, PERDITA DURANGO) who as a child watched his father’s troupe dragged away from a performance and conscripted to kill some rebels. Some resist, but his pop takes the machete they give him and goes to town, still wearing his makeup like a fuckin nightmare. Afterwards a Colonel (Sancho Gracia) enslaves him in a mine for years, until nerdy little Javier tries to avenge him with a guerrilla bombing, which has mixed results. On one hand, it kicks off a ruckus and some of the prisoners escape. On the other hand his father has his face stomped in by the Colonel’s panicking horse.

As an adult  in the ’70s Javier gets a job as the sad clown in a traveling circus. He immediately gets a crush on the aerialist, Natalia (Carolina Bang, AS LUCK WOULD HAVE IT, WITCHING & BITCHING), but she’s the property of his abusive funny clown superior Sergio. (read the rest of this shit…)