|Index||3 reviews in total|
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.
I came across this flick while watching the DVD for the Essential Clash compilation. Although coming across as a bit cheap and unusual, it fits an aesthetic one would expect from some of the most creative and innovative minds from the past few decades. The reason I rate so highly is because of the amateur production I found it to work very well as a movie regardless of your affinity for the Clash. The story is told very well despite being silent. I found myself very much engrossed within the first five minutes and was never let down by the interesting ways the story is told as the action unfolds. The soundtrack (exclusively Clash songs) adds a very nice touch and lends a lot of depth and feel to Hell W10. Indeed, the soundtrack alone is worth a watch for Clash as it features a few rarities including a good deal of material from the album Combat Rock sans vocal allowing a good glimpse of the Clash's chops at that stage of their career. I think in terms of being a Clash movie, this delivers a lot more than their earlier attempt at film Rude Boy (also quite good btw) in reflecting the imagination of the band and insistence on underground/amateur/DIY aesthetic feel.
The previous commenter was fairly accurate. This doesn't have too much of a story, aside from a blind guy who has something to do with gangs (Mick Jones as a mob boss, who knew?), and then some other stuff happens, and all the while to Clash songs. Most of the songs are fairly like their better ska material off of Combat Rock, and a few off of London Calling. All are very cool songs and well adjusted to what's on screen, though what Strummer was going for is not too much more than a cinematic experiment. Which does not mean though that it is poorly filmed in the 16mm black and white style, as far as a silent film might go (if it had come out in the 1910's or 1920's it could've been done by Raoul Walsh or other). There is some hip humor thrown in ('Are you auditioning for the part of Black Superman?', plus anything to do with the porn, immature as it is), and even a couple of neat fights and perfect mugs and such, though it is the kind of thing that won't be missed by too many fans of the Clash- at least those that don't have the Essential Clash DVD. In the end it doesn't amount any more or less than a student might make with a few bucks and a lot of friends. But it could've been a lot worse, to put it another way, as opposed to a bunch of blokes getting together and making a gangster flick.
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