Straight to Hell Film Details
Overview: A shorter, less violent, less musical version of STRAIGHT TO HELL RETURNS.
Tagline: A story of blood, money, guns, coffee, and sexual tension.
Review: This is, as the British might say, taking a p*ss. It’s Alex Cox, a usually talented writer/director, taking a cast of rag-tag punk rockers and a capable crew to the Spanish location of an obscure 1973 Charles Bronson film, and going wild. I wish I could say it’s an homage, but it might be an insult to the likes of Quentin Tarantino’s far more lucid interpretations compared to this. This isn’t homage, it’s rip-off, like when a 2nd rate punk rock band covers the Who’s Substitute for no reason except that it’s the Who. And the sad thing is that there are glimmers of really funny, whacked-out humor. I’m sure there even was thought put into this circle-of-hell environment that the characters are in, but in the end it doesn’t all gel. Plot? Um… I guess all it is is a few criminals donned up in black suits and skinny ties take a suitcase of cash into the desert to hide out and await orders from their boss Mr. Dade. But the car breaks down, and they wind up in the weirdest town. When I mean weird, this is an understatement: there is no order to anything, not even to the group of gunslingers who ride into town every so often, get drunk off their asses and do sing-alongs to “Delilah” and “Danny Boy”, or they shoot one another for the hell of it, or pick on the poor hot dog vendor. I guess that’s it, and then uh, someone else dies, there’s a funeral that’s not real since the guy isn’t dead, and uh, Dennis Hopper shows up too giving advice of “there’s no two bosses, only one boss”. Did I mention Jim Jarmusch shows up in the one truly funny cameo as Mr. Dade? What is Straight to Hell? It certainly has nothing to do with the song by the Clash (I imagine that’s not the only reason Joe Strummer was here- he lived in Spain for a while so maybe it was a free trip and time to hang out with the Pogues). It’s more akin to Rob Zombie’s the Devil’s Rejects, where the purpose isn’t so much to follow outlaws and killers in a plot but rather to hang out with them: this is their world, we’re guests, and all be damned if we get caught up in the anarchy. And Cox like Zombie, or visa-versa, displays some true moments of brilliance in terms of outrageous button-pushing. Some of this is very funny. But it takes so long to get to some of these scenes; we see characters talk complete bulls*** in odd-for-the-sake-of-odd framing, and we see dynamics that have no reason or development. It’s sad to see it as such as it is, which is what happens when writing is rushed such as this. I don’t even blame the cast so much since they fill in their not-all-there roles to the best of their abilities. It’s an oddity that is not total fiasco or a surreal masterpiece none of us “get”. It’s a pretentious bummer with some fantastic photography sprinkled here and there and a few clever lines.
Country: United Kingdom
Duration: 86 min
Genre: Action, Comedy, Western
Also known as: Z piekła rodem,A Caminho do Inferno,ストレート・トゥ・ヘル,Diritti all’inferno,Straight to Hell,Kalos irthate stin Kolasi,Suoraan helvettiin,Направо в ада,Egyenesen a pokolba,Straight to Hell (Dritti all’inferno),Прямо в ад,Derechos al infierno,Straight to Hell – Fahr zur Hölle,Directos al infierno