Dungeon Classics #19: Desperado

FilmDungeon’s Chief Editor JK sorts through the Dungeon’s DVD-collection to look for old cult favorites….

Desperado (1995, USA | Mexico)

Director: Robert Rodriguez
Cast: Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, Joaquim de Almeida
Running Time: 104 mins.

He not only plays, he can shoot too… Antonio Banderas is the mariachi turned gunslinger in this sequel to Texan filmmaker Robert Rodriquez’s 1992 debut El Mariachi. Rather than the 7.000 dollars he had for his debut film, he now had 7 million bucks and spent the money well on some serious acting talent and loads of shootouts and explosions. Banderas is full of rage and passion as the tortured Mariachi; there is so much fire in his performance. And he has great chemistry with Hayek’s touching bookstore owner Carolina. Rodriquez also added some comedic talent to the supporting cast, like Steve Buscemi who’s unforgettable in the movie’s perfect opening scene. Rodriquez completed his ‘Mexico’ trilogy in 2003 with Once Upon a Time in Mexico, but this one is the most fun. A year later, Rodriquez and many cast members (Cheech Marin, Salma Hayek, Quentin Tarantino and Danny Trejo) came together again for From Dusk Till Dawn.




Take one minute to learn Jordan Belfort’s ‘straight line system’

A week ago I went to see the Wolf of Wall Street live in Amsterdam. The place was packed with wannabe sales tigers, paying 100 bucks a pop to learn the ropes from the Master of Sales (and Capital Fraud) himself. Off course, Willem and me had free access, that goes without saying. We are after all the cream the la cream of the Dutch financials press.

What we didn’t have access to was free beer however. The setting was balder than Dr. Evil’s bald pussyface, and the catering was not up to our usual standards. Or any standard for that matter. A missed opportunity, especially for a sales oriented event like this. Still Jordan scored. 3000 tickets sold X 100 euro = 300 K. The marketing spend to fill the place up is probably 150 K, so he made a reasonable profit. Still, compared to his days on Wall Street its peanuts, but we don’t have to feel too sorry for him.

So no beer, or food, but we came for the content and we got some of that. The highly energetic Jordan – who had probably taken some ludes before walking onto the stage – had some amusing lessons to increase your sales by tenfold at least. Even though you’re not into sales. Jordan proved he can teach any mutt the game. His crew basically consisted of clowns with the intelligence of Forrest Gump on three hits of acid. It didn’t matter. As long as you know the straight line system anyone with any background – and Jordan Belfort as sales trainer – can succeed.

How does it work? Easy as cake. Every bloody sales call is the same and is supposed to end with a close! To do this, you must establish three things within the first four seconds of the phone call:
1. That you are sharp as a tack;
2. That you are enthusiastic as hell;
3. That you are an absolute expert in your field.

Watch Leo do this in this scene:

If you manage this, the person on the other end of the line – considering he is your target group, marketing is crucial to get this right – will hand the control of the conversation to you. Human beings are fear based creatures, so the first impression is extremely important. You get this right, and the client will be like wash in your hands, and you can lead him to the closing. ‘But’, Jordan emphasises, ‘you must only sell him something if the product is right for him.’ This is ethics, people.

Jordan learned his lesson in jail. His cellmate was Chong by the way. You know, the pothead that formed a duo with Cheech Marin in the eighties. I have all those movies, love them. They put Chong and the Wolf together because they were high profile prisoners. Jordan told Chong stories about his life, and he thought it was bullshit. But then Chong learned he was telling the truth and he inspired the Wolf to write an autobiography, which he did, leading to a bestseller and the kick-ass movie by Marty with Leo.

So what’s the lesson? The straight line system. And don’t forget the four C’s, people. I keep yelling that to my colleagues whenever they go stuttering when the boss or a client asks them a difficult question. The four C’s are:
● Confidence
● Certainty
● Clarity
● Courage

Thanks Jordan, thanks a lot. I’ll let you know my achievements in a year and I will dedicate my first million bucks profit you buddy. Hell yeah. I am the shit! (screaming now). I Have the skills! And what I don’t have I’ll go out and get!!!!