Sunday, March 05, 2006

Straight To Hell

Straight To Hell. 1987. dir. Alex Cox

This film is terrible. If Elvis Costello, Joe Strummer, Dennis Hopper, and the Pogues were not in this film, I would have turned the television off at the fifteen-minute mark. It is that bad.

Four bank robbers flee from a crime scene only to get stranded in the desert. With nowhere to go, they hide their money and take shelter in a nearby town. The locals are a bunch of weird coffee addicts and incest kids, mostly with thick Irish accents (courtesy of the fine pub band, the Pogues, who also provide a pretty decent soundtrack). Eventually, the bank robbers are invited as the grand guests of the McMahon family and they spend their time witnessing strange events.

The actual genre of the film lies somewhere between spoof comedy, western, and musical, as characters randomly burst into song in the kooky desert. Actually, the most moving part of the film (perhaps only moving part) is when Cait O’Riordan (Mrs. Elvis Costello at the time) led everyone in singing “O Danny Boy.” Not long after this touching scene, the bank robbers decide they want to kill everybody, so they arm themselves with malfunctioning machine guns provided by a land developer (played by Dennis Hopper).

Looking at the film through an ethical standpoint, it could be deduced that “Greed is bad,” as the bank robbers end up betraying each other for the loot (I don’t want to list any spoilers, but Courtney Love dies… and it is awesome). Almost everyone dies at the end, either due to greed or natural evil impulses brought upon by too much incest. If you want definitive Cox, stick to Repo Man. Overall, I really cannot recommend this film to anyone (except for those who enjoy seeing Courtney Love die… cause really, it was pretty awesome).

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