Larry W. (Blackettle) from NAMPA, ID Reviewed on 5/7/2010...
Oh this is bad in so many ways. It starts in Spain maybe. You have an actor trying to be Samel Jackson from Pulp Fiction. Then you have a little keystone cops stuff. And then GROSS Courtney Love come on the screen and each time you see her you feel like you just got a bad case of VD. She ozzes of filth. (shudder). Ok then the movie really really falls off track, it moves to an old movie lot that hasn't been repaired for 60 years. It appears camaras were set up and maybe 100 very low rent actors were given some drugs and filmed for a few days as they stumbled around the set. Then the whe mess was cropped and spliced together. Once a really hot girl was filmed getting her neck bitten. I thought, ah Dusk to Dawn but no she didn't turn into a vampire. Then they showed her getting ready to wash a motorbike in a skimpy outfit so I was hopeful maybe some T/A. Nope nothing. I finally gave up. I never did see Dennis Hooper as I just turn the whole pile of film off. Your preschool kids could make a more I interesting film. I'd be ashamed to have been involved with this mess.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Clever, hilarious, and surreal parody of Italian Westerns
hewhoshouldnotbenamed | Seattle, WA United States | 02/20/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Alex Cox's "Straight To Hell" is such a strange and unique pop film that I'm not quite sure how to go about reviewing it. Perhaps if I can break down the elements. The film is based round the time of its release and deliberately has all the cliches of the typical 1960s Italian "Spaghetti" Western; the mood, humour, and style is like that of Jim Jarmusch (who plays "Mr. Dade" in the film), David Lynch, and the Coen Brothers; and the cast is a wonderfully entertaining group of New Wave/Punk Icons and edgy, idiosyncratic character actors; the plot: 3 Hitmen and a pregnant girlfriend oversleep and miss their scheduled "hit" and deside to rob a bank to make up for the loss of money, which leads them to hide out and bury the money; the setting: a virtual "Ghost Town" in Spain--I say virtual, but there are a few occupants: a Spanish tavern keeper, hardware/general store owners consisting of a sexy Latin lady and her war-crazed, half-a-man husband, a Priest and Coffin maker, a mobile butler who consitently serves coffee, a flamboyant singer (ala Liberace), a singer/songwriter who sells hot dogs, the gun-slinging, violent, and caffeine-addicted Mac Mahon Gang, and a few crazed others. Acknowledging the cast during the film is quite fun in itself, from Joe Strummer, Sy Richardson, Dick Rude, Elvis Costello, The Pogues (all of 'em!), Courtney Love, Jim Jarmusch, Dennis Hopper, Xander R. Berkeley, and Grace Jones to others who you'll probably see in a Jim Jarmusch film or in Alex Cox's Sid & Nancy. The soundtrack is a pseudo-Western and Latin mixture of Pogues, Pray For Rain, and Joe Strummer, which works excellently in the film, as well as outside it. Cult stars, guns, black humour, violence, coffee, and a surreal Italian Western setting is what's in store when you go "Straight To Hell". Hilarious!"
¿Ningunas drogas aquí, el derecho?
Matt Davies | Toronto, ON CANADA | 05/12/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"DAY ONE - THE INTRODefinitly one the most ill-received and underated movies of it's time. I first heard it was going to be realesed on DVD a couple months after the (awesome but lacking in the extra's) Repo Man Collector's Edition came out. I was excited, since all I had was the shoddy first edition VHS tape, which neither pan's or scans and just sits in the middle of the screen cutting off about 50% of every shot (not to mention the opening credits - for years I thought it was was called, RAIGHT TO HE)DAY TWO - THE MOVIEThis is a movie for people who like movies out of the ordinary. Hell, this movie is just flat out fun to watch. I mean whats not to like; Senseless Violence, Schickzo Storeowners, Inept Hitmen, Even More Inept Gang Members, Cheesy One-Liners, Clever Swearing, Amazing Photography, Beautiful Set-Designs, Badass Acting, and the WIENER KID!. Not to mention Blood, Money, Coffee, Guns, and Sexual Tension. Reviewers slammed it hard when it first came out, hopefully this time they'll look at the movie for what it is and realize it's comedic genius, it's ground-breaking design, and it's overall greatness. Oh yeah if you don't know the story it's basically this; three hitmen and an overly-annoying girl (played by pre-star, post-stripper, pre-plastic surgery-miracle, Courtney Love, in the only good thing she's ever done), who makes Nancy Spungeon look like Mother Teresa, blow a hit, rob a bank, and hide out in a small, desert town inhabited by a gang of coffee addicted outlaws named the McMahons, a killer caberet singer, a sadly misunderstood weiner kid, a bar keep who finally get's some business, a priest with more bullet belts than John Rambo, a crazy sadistic storeowner with a hot french wife, and the town butler who makes sure everyone has a fresh cup of coffee at all times, no matter the sercumstance.DAY THREE - THE DVDThe picture and sound on this disc are going to get a 10 out of 10 no matter what, since all my tape does is skip and hiss. But the picture on this is excellent, as well as the color and contrast, it's like watching it in a theatre. The sound is clear as can be and it is presented in widescreen format at 1:85:1 ratio. The difference between this and the video is night and day. There's only 3 extras one the disc but they are each interesting in their own right, I only wish they included some deleted scenes and onset (I think Anchor Bay is against this for some reason). First up, the Audio Commentary with Alex Cox and Dick Rude, not the most groundbreaking commentary but it is very funny and an interesting listen. They both joke on the movie, each other, and some of the cast. Also, you get to here some pretty cool stories about the filming and the people involved with the movie. Alex and Dick also teach an important life lesson, when in need of a comedic moment, just throwing a rock and hitting someone is a surefire way to get a laugh. Next is the very cool 20+ minute documentary called Back to Hell, in which they go and interview about 15 or so of the cast and crew and ask them some questions about the movie. Here, you get to here some hilarious stories (most of which involve the maming of Zander Schloss, who, by the way, finally hit puberty), there were parts in here that had me killing myself laughing. There's a couple of deleted scenes thrown in for good measure as well. Finally, there's a short video promo(for the studio who produced the movie, I presume) of the Pogues version of the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly theme made up of clips from the movie and home video footage of the making of it.My only complaint of the entire DVD is the cover.... uggghk. The thing looks like a grade 8 student who's project was to make a video cover using only Photoshop and a copy of Pulp Fiction. Personally they should have stuck with the original video cover of the Joe Strummer drawing with the town burning in the background. Which is sadly, nowhere to be found in the contents of the DVD, they do however include a tiny mediocre japanese poster featuring some of the cast members and the soundtrack (and original poster) artwork.FINAL DAY - THE LAST COMMENTSIf your a fan of Alex Cox or a fan of cult cinema in general, I highly suggest you pick this up. If you have the old VHS version, toss it out (photocopy the cover first then glue in on the DVD case) and get this instead."
Drug induced western spoof
Poor Napoleon | TX United States | 04/14/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Making sense of this spaghetti western parody is about as easy as witnessing Shane Macgowan performing all his songs coherently and bearing a perfect set of teeth. Well, you can at least do the first part by watching Straight To Hell. In fact, Alex Cox recruits quite a number of well known celebrities to make came appearances in the film. The Pogues play a family of caffeine addicts, while Grace Jones and Dennis Hopper make notable cameo appearances. Also, Elvis Costello appears here and there as Hives the Butler. The film is full of amusing moments, but the storyline is almost nonexistent. That's okay, it's an Alex Cox film. What does make this movie worthwhile, despite it's weak story, is Alex Cox's form. His main characters are played out well, with Richardson, Strummer, and Rude giving good performances. Courtney Love's performance, however, leaves much to be desired and is a far cry from some of her later film roles. What one will find here, amongst all the incoherent ruble, is a film that must have at least been seen by Quentin Tarantino (and of course, only a video junkie of his stature would have seen this film).Not a great film, but certainly influential. Alex Cox has great form and the host of indie celebrities are amusing.-Tim"
Hysterically funny reviews
Wayne A. | Belfast, Northern Ireland | 07/17/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Yup, this film--which happens to be one of my all-time faves--is not for everyone. Way back a bit before Sting and Bono gave a whole new meaning to the idea of pompous jerk, British punker musicians brought a real Midlands working class sense of irony and absurdity to the world--often not only through their music but through their stage chatter. Some of the flat-out funniest people I've ever encountered were punkers from the Eighties. The single-most un-funny human I've ever known was a major league grunge performer, and let's not even go near modern rappers and the whole EMO phenomenon. In other words, if you're a Post-Eighties kid this movie probably won't work well for you as you're probably soaked in earnest and dreary. A Brit recently told me that Americans have totally lost their sense of irony. There you have it.
The premise of this film was brilliant--let's take a bunch of Brit rockers to Spain (because a concert gig in Central America fell through), write a script in two days, and make a Spaghetti Western using a dilapidated old set from the early 70's. This couldn't happen today for a variety of reasons, one being that a bunch of musicians with any public reputation wouldn't put up with the lousy accommodations in order to have a bit of fun. Then there's that sense of humor thing again, I can't think of any performer today who could pull off what (just to give a few examples) Joe Strummer and all the Pogues do here. They probably lived on Pepsi and hot dogs for the three weeks it took to shoot this wonder, and they probably didn't give a hoot. And then again, this couldn't have happened back then with American punkers who tended to be snots. I think we stopped being funny a long time ago.
The pace is slow because the film does a great job of emulating its models; mainly those classic Clint Eastwood films. So there. However, it's beyond mere parody and there's plenty of terrific slapstick and just goofy humor all the way through the flick. It's one of those films where there are almost too many memorable vignettes--a bit where Strummer is in a clinch with a gal and his gun accidentally goes off and he has to fake having been bitten by a snake is, for me, one of the classic funny moments in film. The soundtrack alone (at least until kids who are easily bored started writing reviews for Amazon) was, for many years, considered to be classic. The, uh, "violence" is farcical and hardly graphic; also, to have fun, they scrupulously avoided obscenity and nudity in the film, which is what everybody expected from this gang. I understand it got an R rating almost by accident.
Anyway, I love Buster Keaton, the Marx Brothers, W.C. Fields, and all those screwball comedies of the 1930's and this film is one of my favorites. Elsewhere in Amazonia another youngster expresses her boredom over the Cary Grant collection that includes "The Awful Truth"--a flick that rivals Shakespeare. Need I write more?
Some day, when all us tedious Americans who think humor is sadism, making fun of people, and/or doing disgusting things (the lowest forms of humor by the way) are all dead and gone, and the country is full of newcomers who can find genuine joy and laughter in things, this film will be regarded as a classic.
[Raegen Butcher down below gets it dead right by describing this film as a people-sorter in the manner of "Big Trouble in Little China"--a gem that is for me up there with "Gone With the Wind" and "Citizen Kane." I generally find that anyone who doesn't like "Big Trouble" or this flick puts ME to sleep in minutes. And while I'm at it, what's with these one-star reviews because something bores you? Everybody I know under the age of thirty these days is bored by anything that isn't exploding in their faces. It tells me more about the reviewer than the product being reviewed]
Funny as Hell
Raegan Butcher | Rain City, USA | 08/21/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"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 WIDESCREEN compositions which were lost on video. The cast is uniformly weird and wonderful: Sy Richardson, channeling pure self-righteous macho bad-ass blackness, JOE STRUMMER, showing a surprisingly light touch for comedy, Dick Rude,hilariously channeling a psycho-punk James Cagney,COURTNEY LOVE (Hang in there, girl!)gives a truly committed performance as a shrill whining NANCY SPUNGEN MONSTER, 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. "