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Straight to Hell
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Reviews & Ratings for
Straight to Hell More at IMDbPro »

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15 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Probably lotsa fun for the actors, but not so much for the audience...

Author: INFOFREAKO from Perth, Australia
20 August 2001

I'd LOVE to be able to say that 'Straight To Hell' is one of the lost classics of the 80s but frankly, it's almost as bad as the mainstream critics make out. I say ALMOST, because it isn't an entire waste of time. Sy Richardson is as cool as ever, and the eclectic supporting cast (Cox semi-regulars like Sandoval, Berkeley, and Yeager, various musos and the king of weird movies, Dennis Hopper) make this worth watching for the "six degrees of separation" game alone.

Now look, I DO like Leone, and I like punk rock and I love Peckinpah, and I can sorta see what the other comments are saying about it almost prefiguring Tarantino, but there's one BIG problem - the lack of a decent script. For every good moment there four dull ones, and some funny lines or interesting characters wouldn't have gone astray.

So basically, if you watch this expecting the worst you'll enjoy it more than if you expect it to be as great as 'Repo Man'. I also would like to point out that Cox's next movie 'Walker' is a 100% improvement on this one, and almost IS a lost classic of the 80s!

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13 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

funny as Hell

10/10
Author: Raegan Butcher from Rain City, Pacific Northwest
7 August 2005

I saw this twice during its too brief(one week!)run in Seattle in 1987 and i was always showing it to people later on video who thought i was INSANE, which may or may not be beside the point, but this is one of THOSE movies, like Big Trouble in Little China, that can inform you about someones personal sense of humor and taste. Either you get it or you don't. I think this movie is some kind of psychopathic classic that perfectly sends up the extreme amorality of the spaghetti westerns and prefigures the homicidal men in black suits later to turn up in Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs. And few films can top it for sheer nihilistic rip-it-apart glee. I am glad it is finally being seen on DVD in its original aspect ratio, because in the theaters it had very carefully staged WIDE-SCREEN compositions which were lost on video. The cast is uniformly weird and wonderful: Sy Richardson, channeling pure self-righteous macho bad-assness, Joe Strummer, showing a surprisingly light touch for comedy, Dick Rude,hilariously channeling a psycho-punk James Cagney,Courtney Love gives a truly committed performance as a shrill whiny Nancy Spungen caricature, the Pogues almost manage to say their dialog, Elvis Costello doesn't have much dialog but acquits himself well. I could go on and on about the rest of the cast, and there's plenty of them still to mention, including and especially MIGUEL SANDOVER, who does the greatest Clint Eastwood send-up i have ever had the pleasure of watching.

Watch this film ...you'll either get it...or you won't. I laughed like hell.

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11 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

"Lets make that Weiner Kid sing his song....Wanna?"

8/10
Author: lacadaz from San Francisco Bay Area
29 August 2004

The price of man's obsessions are a trip Straight to Hell (in a rented red import no less). There is no nuance in this movie, just blood, money, coffee, guns and sexual tension. There is a pregnant demon named Velma and a Christ figure named Karl. All but two of the characters in the movie are hardly characters at all, just expressions of lust and obsession. Conveniently they are all played by non-actors (Musicians that couldn't get the backing to do a concert in Nicaragua in '87). Dennis Hopper plays what is essentially Mephistophilis calling all the players home to hell. Sy Richardson's Norwood is the only character who is not ruled by his obsessions. In this morality play that is what separates his fate from everyone else's. An important commentary on our modern world. Or maybe it was just all that mescaline.

Seriously folks cut Alex some slack. The picture is beautifully filmed. The people who can't act are given one dimensional roles which is highly preferable to giving someone that has no acting ability a role with weight and importance (Daryl Hannah in Wall Street, Keanu Reeves in Much Ado About Nothing). It's got a fantastic soundtrack and Karl doing the Weiner Dog Song is one of the funniest things ever. Really. Ever.

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15 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

Anarchic fun with a superb cast!

7/10
Author: smiths-4 from United Kingdom
18 January 2003

Picked up the DVD of this for £4.49 and it's worth every penny. Not only is this film a better spoof of westerns than Silverado but it contains enough weird and wonderful characters to give Lynch a run for his money.

Firstly you have got the superb Sy Richardson as Norwood(Tarantinos inspiration for Samuel L's Pulp Fiction character?), Joe Strummer as Simms(RIP), and the 'runt' Dick Rude completing the main trio.

Also popping their heads round Alex Cox's casting room door are: Courtney Love(pregnant Velma), Fox Harris, Kathy Burke, Edward Tudor Pole, Dennis Hopper (IG Farben), Grace Jones, Jim Jarmusch, Miguel Sandoval(Eastwood impression), Xander Berkley(priest), Elvis Costello(butler) and the Pogues(Mcmahon coffee gang)...Superb!!

There is also the great setting of Almeira, the funny costumes, Pray For Rain music and the priceless dialogue(regional dilects etc). So stop criticising and just enjoy yourself in Cox country!!

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7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Not that bad...

10/10
Author: nstansfield from Middlesbrough
22 December 2001

To be honest, I can see how this film could be a little tedious to sit through if you are expecting anything clever. It is clever, but it is well hidden. The subtext relates to the American invasion of Nicaragua in the 1980's, relocated to a spaghetti western Spanish village, with the Mcmahon gang (played by pseudo Irish folk-punkers The Pogues, with Elvis Costello as the butler) taking the part of the anarcho-syndicalist Sandanista government and the gang of robbers (including The Clash's Joe Strummer and Courtney Love) turning up and upsetting the status quo. They are playing the roles of the American trained rebels sent in to overthrow the government. Still with me? Good. There is an uneasy alliance until IG Farben (Nazi chemical manufacturer in real life, trivia fans) turns up and provides them with a suitcase full of weapons, which indirectly leads to the kicking off of a huge firefight, resulting in the deaths of everyone who lives in the village. After all the land owners are dead, Farben returns, and sets up his oil drilling business with no competition. Satirical, and quite apt, given the current climate. On the other hand, abandon the politics and enjoy the spectacle of a slew of eighties punk-rockers having a great time in the Spanish desert.

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7 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

What's wrong with the kid? Sexual Tension.

7/10
Author: Johann from United States
14 November 2005

This is a story of three desperadoes and a girl who accidentally go to a small town after screwing up an assassination job and robbing a bank. The town is owned by the McMahon family (the Pogues with a few others thrown in) all of whom are addicted to coffee and enjoy killing and being all in all bastards. There's tension, characters clashing and sexual. The film didn't have a whole lot of a plot, but that doesn't really matter much because it seems to be more of a spoof on spaghetti westerns and even the actors and actresses themselves. It takes repeated viewing to really get down what is going on and how the parties are related to each other, but that doesn't seem to matter quite so much. All in all, I recommend this film to those of you who love weird movies and everyone who remembers the 80's punk scene.

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11 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

Hellishly boring western...thing!

2/10
Author: The_Void from Beverley Hills, England
12 February 2007

Apparently this film was made because a bunch of musicians realised that it would be more profitable to make a film than to hold a big tour. I'm not a fan of any of the artists in this film; but to be honest, I'd rather them have done the show - because at least then I wouldn't have had to suffer it! Quite what this film is supposed to be is anyone's guess - the humour isn't funny, and the Leone spoofs aren't very well worked. The violence isn't shocking and the story isn't interesting - so what's the point? It's a shame really because the idea of a bunch of punks getting together and making a film has 'cult' written all over it, but unfortunately this lot couldn't deliver something worthy of the name. There's barely anything good I can say about this movie - not even the desert setting looks nice. There's a small role for Dennis Hopper, which is always nice; but the rest of the performers are all pretty dire. It would seem that the cast and crew thought that their mere presence would lead to a good film so the story isn't important. They were wrong, Straight to Hell is a sprawling, boring mess of a film and it's one that I don't recommend sitting through.

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

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

7/10
Author: bobc-5 from Silver Spring, MD
26 December 1998

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.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Bold Surrealism!

10/10
Author: magdalen-4 from United States
25 January 2005

This movie is not a cookie-cutter Hollywood picture. The plot wanders through a cast of characters who slightly resemble stereotypes you've seen in other Westerns and gangster movies, but the resemblance is like that seen by someone with a very high fever. Don't worry about the plot, just let the movie flow. If you are upset and confused by the strange and unusual, you won't like this movie. If, however, you long for something different, something funny, something just plain bizarre, this is it. Your jaw will be hanging open as you're mesmerized by this film. If you don't laugh out loud at this movie, you're taking life (and movies) way, way too seriously. It will not move you to tears or inspire you to change your life, but it will probably alter the way you look at coffee and hot dogs forever.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Dennis Hopper, Courtney Love and the Pogues with coffee and whiskey? Say no more

Author: Jeff King from Tennessee
19 January 1999

There are several other people out there who liked this movie. In fact, I went so far as to buy the movie and the soundtrack. Anyone who likes the Pogues should put this on their must see list. If you want to see a movie full of shoot-em-ups, car chases for no reason and lots of dialogue that will make you say to yourself, "Did he say what I think he said?" then turn your brain off for an evening and watch this.

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