Valentine Casey is a Marshal in the desolate Tucson territory of the early 1900's. On Christmas Eve, his outlaw family pays him a disturbing visit. He must confront the sins of his past. He... See full summary »
Valentine Casey is a Marshal in the desolate Tucson territory of the early 1900's. On Christmas Eve, his outlaw family pays him a disturbing visit. He must confront the sins of his past. He and his partner, U.S. Christmas, journey through the desert to a small town that the ruthless Henry Clan has hit in order to save Casey's love, Adelyne. Written by
Sujit R. Varma
When one of the Henry boys goes to wake up Doc, he taps him with the pistol, and then we hear the click of him cocking it. If you watch closely, you can see that the gun was cocked when Doc was originally woke up. See more »
While some viewers may have difficulty in unraveling this sardonic allegory, Dwight Yoakam's diehard fans will be able to recognize their star at his zenith. South of Heaven, West of Hell is filled with irony, parody, and quiet innuendo. It is a gem of a movie which is sure to attract even those not acquainted with Yoakam's intellectuality. Pervasive black humor weaves its way in and out of nearly every scene. Some may be put off by what appears to be gratuitous violence, but a further look sets up Yoakam's metaphorical statement regarding the internal conflict humans experience in their transformation from victims ambling through the ravages of hell toward survival in the most unexpected heavens, thus rescuing themselves from the morbidity of life. The film seems to be disjointed and vague in spots, and leaves the viewer seeking answers to subtle understated plot twists. Like Yoakam, himself, the mysterious, baffling, and somewhat enigmatic writing accomplishes just what he has set out to do: engage the audience just uncomfortably enough to evoke deeper thinking. South of Heaven, West of Hell embraces both the past and the future, much like Yoakam's latest song collection, Tomorrow's Sounds Today. The film tells a story of redemption and vindication, a shedding of old nightmares in search of new dreams. It is about tying up loose ends while scaling new heights. It is at once ancient ritual and oddly nouveau. Dwight Yoakam is always pushing the parameters while remaining true to who he is. He has never forsaken that identity, or given in to mediocrity. While South of Heaven, West of Hell may be Yoakam's first attempt in breaking through the barriers into film production, one can only hope this will not be his last endeavor in this genre. He is a quintessential artist who deserves more recognition than he seems to get. If Hollywood is smart, they will sit up and take notice of the rare gem quietly walking among them. True talent is true talent, no matter how different the package. Dwight Yoakam may be just becoming the brightest diamond around.
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