5.8/10
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Straight to Hell (1987)

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A gang of bank robbers with a suitcase full of money go to the desert to hide out. After burying the loot, they find their way to a surreal town full of cowboys who drink an awful lot of ... See full summary »

Director:

Alex Cox

Writers:

Alex Cox, Dick Rude
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dick Rude Dick Rude ... Willy
Sy Richardson ... Norwood
Courtney Love ... Velma
Joe Strummer ... Simms
Gloria Miralles Ruiz Gloria Miralles Ruiz ... Maid
Juan Uribe Juan Uribe ... Policeman
Joey Cashman Joey Cashman ... Dead Man in Car (as Joe Cashman)
Jose Pomedio Monedero Jose Pomedio Monedero ... Gomez
Sara Sugarman ... Chuch
Miguel Sandoval ... George
Jennifer Balgobin Jennifer Balgobin ... Fabienne
Biff Yeager ... Frank McMahon
Shane MacGowan ... Bruno McMahon
Spider Stacy Spider Stacy ... Angel Eyes McMahon
Frank Murray Frank Murray ... Biff McMahon
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Storyline

A gang of bank robbers with a suitcase full of money go to the desert to hide out. After burying the loot, they find their way to a surreal town full of cowboys who drink an awful lot of coffee. The townspeople are hostile to the outsiders at first, but seem to accept them once they've killed a couple of people. After a while, a mysterious man named Dade arrives, who seems to have unpleasant business to settle with the robbers. A free-for-all shoot-em-up ensues. Written by George S. Davis <mgeorges@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A story of blood, money, guns, coffee, and sexual tension.

Genres:

Action | Comedy | Western

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Alex Cox

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 June 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Caminho do Inferno See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$210,200

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$210,200
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Shot in the same location that was constructed for the Charles Bronson movie Chino (1973). See more »

Quotes

Norwood: They look like coffee addicts to me, boys.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Coming Soon... BACK TO HELL See more »

Connections

Featured in Dennis Hopper: Uneasy Rider (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Body Parts
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User Reviews

 
Splendidly deranged—weak script made up for by desert atmosphere and insane cast
6 May 2016 | by drownnnsodaSee all my reviews

"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.


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