Directed by Robert Rodriguez
With Antonio Banderas, Quentin Tarantino, Salma Hyek
(Columbia Pictures, 1995)
by Ronnie Kray
Movie buffs will remember director Robert Rodriguez’ first film, El Mariachi, a lower-than-low budget Mexican shoot ’em up which he completed in 1993 for a mere $7,000. After directing a segment of Four Rooms and taking the helm for the Tarantino-penned From Dusk Till Dawn, Rodriguez has finally earned the respect of a major studio and was able to make the kind of film he was trying to accomplish with El Mariachi, but didn’t have the budget for.
Desperado follows the legend of a gun-toting mariachi singer and his cohorts. Antonio Banderas shines as a sweaty, 6 Ft., 200 lb. Spanish diesel who pumps lead into Mexican outlaws and romances a scrumptious señiorita. Rodriguez has a talent for using his camera like a weapon. Tarantino spews out caffeine-laced monologues before taking a bullet in the head. While not Oscar quality, Desperado holds its own in the one-horse-town genre.