Hell W10 (1983)

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Credited cast:
Martin Degville
Tony James
Mick Jones ...
Paul Simonon ...
Police Officer


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Filmed by 'Strummer, Joe' using friends and family during a break between tours with The Clash. See more »

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Die Hards Only
6 October 2005 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

I would only recommend this film to die-hard fans of the massively influential British band, the Clash. I'm fairly sure that the only way to view this is on the Essential Clash DVD, which accompanies the excellent 2-CD set of the band at their best.

Anyway, this is a bizarre silent, black and white short film directed by the late Joe Strummer, the band's own frontman. The basic plot surrounds a man named Earl (Clash bassist Paul Simonon) and a drug-lord/porn director/crime lord named Socrates (their guitarist/singer Mick Jones). Earl's girlfriend gets involved with Socrates and his business, and soon enough Earl becomes the man's number one enemy. Socrates tries to get his goons on Earl's case, especially after he hocks a batch of Socrates' "special" porn, but Earl manages to wrangle up a group of his friends to rebel against them. He's clearly not going to go down without a fight.

It's really difficult for me to make a decent summary of this because: a) it's only about 49 minutes long b) it's just so bizarre. It's filmed just like the old silent films of the 1920s were, poor quality and all, but at the same time there's something about it that entertained me. Perhaps it was Simonon living up to his then title of the "most handsome man in London", or Jones decked out in 1930s pimp clothes, OR Strummer ironically enough as a cop, with fake moustache and all.

Perhaps it's just because the Clash are one of my all time favorite bands.

Either way, I'd only recommend it to true fans of the band. The movie's got nothing to do with them, but if you love them enough, you'll be able to sit through it and at least partially enjoy it.

If that fails, at least enjoy the fact that the movie's entire score is a 49 minute run of back to back Clash songs.

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