(By Gerry Wang)

Gerry Wang

(Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, directed by Robert Rodriguez)

My health status is still looking grim. I'm stuck in my dorm w/ nothing to do but watch TV. What better time to rent a video! Hence, the video pick of the week is here.

This week my VPOTW is......... DESPERADO, a modern day western starring Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek, w/ a cameo from our favorite bug-eyed weirdo Steve Buscemi as well as an appearance by ultra-slick film geek/director Quentin Tarantino. The movie was directed by Robert Rodriguez, who obviously has quite a fetish for violence.

DESPERADO picks up where EL MARIACHI, another Rodriguez film, left off. Antonio Banderas is the Mariachi, a nameless guitarist who wanders around Mehico looking for gigs. Except in DESPERADO, he's looking to avenge his girlfriend's death, which occurred in EL MARIACHI.

He finds out that his girlfriend's killer is a local drug dealer named Bucho, and sets out to kill him. The rest of the movie is simply a delightful bloodbath, as Antonio busts out his guitar case full of guns and ammo and regulates on the druglord's men. Along the way Antonio gets into a few scuffles, which obviously end up w/ him blowing the bugger's head off, and he meets Salma Hayek, a local townswoman who happens to be hot.

Salma Hayek has probably got to be my favorite Latino chick. She's got voluptuous curves, nice breasts, awesome legs, and a cute face. Plus, DESPERADO is the first and only movie she's ever done a nude sex scene in. Yummy.

Aside from Salma Hayek, I recommend DESPERADO because of the sheer energy in Robert Rodriguez's direction. His shoot outs are full of awesome stunts and twirling double gun tactics. It's like John Woo, but w/ Mehicans. Rodriguez even manages to get a knife throwing fight and bare knuckle boxing match into the movie. The total package.

The story is a bit weak, but the identity of Bucho did come as a shock to both the audience and Antonio. But watching this movie is a good, bloody pleasure.

Throw a guy party, keep the beers plentiful, play your usual video game tournament, and rent DESPERADO. You will bond.

** (out of 4)
Chick-o-meter: 1 (melee from beginning to end; girls don't like that)