The Sunday Cult Film Corner: “Straight to Hell (1987)”

03 Jul

Ahh the day of rest. After I imbibed several drinks over the weekend (which consequently ended up with myself and friend Kári pogoing to LCD Soundsystem at 4:30 in the morning) and Mrs Sex Farm going for a reunion night out with her friends from her animal husbandry course. So everything today is a little…. slow. I’Ve spent most fo it putting together a new NITcast. But more on that later. For it’s time for the Sunday Cuuuuuult Film Corrrrrrrrrnerrrrrrr!

And for this week, i introduce a film that is an insane journey of the modern American Wild West that ended up running the career of the director who made it and often had everyone scratching their heads. Ladies and Gents, i give to Alex Cox’s STRAIGHT TO HELL.

In the mix to late 1980’s Alex Cox was riding fairly high as one the hottest indie film directors around with his films Repo Man and Sid and Nancy. During this time he became friends with Clash frontman, Joe Strummer. Hoping to make a concert film with the Clash, The Pogues and Elvis Costello, when that failed, he decided to write a film where all of them could star. The end result of this was Straight to Hell.

Straight to Hell’s “Plot” is centered around a trio of Hitmen (Sy Richardson, Dick Rude, and Strummer himself), who blow a job, rob a bank and decide to flee to Mexico to escape the wrath of their boss (played by Jim Jarmusch!). The movies from there contains a series of absurd twists and occurrences and a very bloody finale. Oh yeah!

The film was hastily written and shot in Spain in 4 weeks and when released died a death of poor Box Office and near universal negative reviews. Indeed the film was actually seen as a bit of an inside joke on the Spaghetti Western, and apparently wasn’t going to be seriously made. Indeed Cox never made another for Hollywood after Straight To Hell and it would be several years before he went back behind the camera.

Straight To Hell can be best described as one big glorious mess. Loads of violence, insanity with lots of coffee and bad “musicians” acting. A weird mex-punk take on the Western. And the soundtrack is of course excellent. Well it should be  considering the number of musicians that appear in the film.

So if fancy some anarchic crazy western action, then get your cup of tea and prepared to be amazed and confused!

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Posted by on July 3, 2011 in Film


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