Straight to Hell Returns

1987

Action / Comedy / Western

4
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 30%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 58%
IMDb Rating 5.5 10 2540

punk rock anarchic comedy

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Plot summary


Uploaded by: FREEMAN
June 07, 2021 at 02:48 AM

Director

Top cast

Miguel Sandoval as George
Dennis Hopper as I.G. Farben
Xander Berkeley as Preacher McMahon
Jim Jarmusch as Amos Dade
720p.BLU
834.12 MB
1280*544
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 30 min
P/S 0 / 4

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by bobc-5 7 / 10

I'm the only person I know who enjoyed this film.

Imagine a parody of a French art film version of a spaghetti western built entirely out of oddly distorted cliches. Expect it to be every bit as incomprehensible as the stereotypical art film. Don't expect it to have a plot or anything close to a normal gag. If this still sounds interesting then you may enjoy it as much as I did, but I warn you that I'm the only person I know who doesn't think this movie is awful.

FYI - if you're wondering about the scenes where characters are described as being "Shikseh", the DVD commentary shows that this is how Cox and the actors thought the word "schizo" should be pronounced. I don't know, maybe it's a British thing, but I found it very confusing when I first watched the film.

Reviewed by drownnnsoda 7 / 10

Splendidly deranged—weak script made up for by desert atmosphere and insane cast

"Straight to Hell" follows a trio of criminals (with a female sidekick, making them a quad) who rob a suitcase full of cash and take off into the desert to go into hiding. Their car breaks down, leaving them stranded in the middle of a desert valley, where they find a seemingly abandoned ghost town. The next morning, however, a band of wild, murderous cowboys roll into town with guns, whiskey, and... espresso machines.

This utterly insane late '80s western romp pays homage to spaghetti westerns, Sergio Leone, and Clint Eastwood in equal measure, but drowned in such heavy idiosyncrasies and whacked out writing that the audience can do nothing but sit back and attempt to take it all in. In all truth, the writing here is completely underdeveloped, and the film feels like a melange of punk rockers and culture icons thrown in front of a camera in the Spanish desert—because that's kind of what it is.

Alex Cox, who infamously directed "Repo Man" and "Sid & Nancy," is the director and co-writer here, and while the script is delightfully absurd and full of issues (it has been said that Cox and his co-writer came up with it in a matter of three days), the direction is decent, and the film seems to rise above its production values on a visual level. It utilizes the western ghost town sets in Almeria, Spain, which were historically used in many spaghetti westerns, and even some Eastwood films, and the dusty desert atmosphere is laid on thick.

The real attraction of this film is its cast, largely made up of musicians—we've got Joe Strummer, Sy Richardson, and Dick Rude as the three bandidos, with a pre-Hole, pre-rhinoplasty Courtney Love playing their screeching yet somehow endearing pregnant sidekick. Rounding out the cast is The Pogues, Xander Berkeley, Elvis Costello, an insouciant Grace Jones, and Dennis Hopper, mad as a hatter. The film really seems like an excuse for this ensemble of punk rockers, rejects, and icons to run around the desert dancing, shooting each other, and drinking coffee, and that's just the pretense one has to accept with this film.

All in all, "Straight to Hell" will be a chore for many to sit through, but for anyone who appreciates bizarre cinema, spaghetti westerns, or exploitation trash will have a great time with this film (watching it through, one can see the referential moulds which Quentin Tarantino would come to bring into the cultural lexicon several years later). The narrative is almost completely nonsensical, but the visuals, paired with what is probably one of the weirdest casts in film history, really make this not only a time capsule, but a complete and utter anomaly. 7/10.

Reviewed by Hey_Sweden 6 / 10

Interesting, if not altogether successful.

Filmmaker Alex Cox followed up his previous efforts "Repo Man" and "Sid & Nancy" with this deliberately stylized and off-the-wall ode to Spaghetti Westerns. Sy Richardson, Joe Strummer, and Dick Rude (the last having co-written this with Cox) play an inept trio of hitmen who bungle a job, take it on the lam, rob a bank for some quick cash, and make it to a tiny desert town. There they hope to hide until the heat from their botched assignment dies down, and until they have a prime moment to retrieve the money, which they've hidden outside the town.

Overall, "Straight to Hell" is lacking in the wit and spirit that marked "Repo Man", instead resorting to random bits of oddness, with a generous array of loud & flamboyant characters who often don't care WHO they shoot. This results in a true bloodbath of a finale, which will undoubtedly turn off some viewers. The movie is at the least not boring, and was of some interest for this viewer due to its extremely eclectic cast, which is full to the brim with stars of the music industry. There are also cameos for the likes of Dennis Hopper and Jim Jarmusch (both seen much too briefly). A young Courtney Love (22 at the time) is overly shrill as the protagonists' pregnant female tag-along; Xander Berkeley has a small role, and Fox Harris is a hoot as a REALLY cheesy singer.

Given an appropriate score & assortment of songs by The Pogues and Pray for Rain, "Straight to Hell" is mildly amusing as far as it goes. It really does attempt to get all the mileage it can out of its cast. Strummer (from The Clash) and Richardson are simply too cool for words.

Filmed in Almeria, Spain, where a great many of the Spaghetti Westerns of the 60s and 70s were also shot. The whole thing really does have the feel of an in-joke, except that it's not really that funny (for one thing, actor Biff Yeager plays a guy named Frank and actor Frank Murray plays a guy named Biff). At best, it produces modest chuckles, but not consistently enough.

Six out of 10.

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