STRAIGHT TO HELL (1987) – For a glib, one sentence review of this movie, how about “Quentin Tarantino minus Quentin Tarantino equals Straight to Hell?” Though this flick came out years before Tarantino’s films it clearly influenced him and to this day it feels like a lost, inferior effort by Quentin.
After Alex Cox became known as one of THE up-and-coming directors following his films Repo Man and Sid & Nancy he was trying to arrange a punk concert film (or documentary of an entire concert tour, depending on what source you read) in Nicaragua.
Given the violent and unstable situation in the country at that time, few wanted to invest in a concert film being made under such risky conditions. However, investors WERE willing to shell out a million dollars for a movie directed by Cox and starring many of the punk acts who were going to perform in Nicaragua.
Alex threw in some of his stable of regulars from his two earlier films, slapped together a script in three days (co-written by Dick Rude) and used a mere few weeks to make this oddball genre-bender in Spain.
The result was a movie that the post-Tarantino world can easily relate to, but which audiences and critics of the time dismissed as a rambling mess. Straight to Hell is certainly too self-indulgent and self-satisfied to qualify as a good film, but it’s far from the one-star or two-star disaster that many IMDb reviewers dismiss it as.
THE STORY – A gang of inept Los Angeles hitmen trying to impress their criminal employer botch their assigned assassination. Fearing reprisals from the powerful crime boss, they rob a bank and flee across the border to Mexico, where they bury their loot and lie low in an incredibly strange town full of sweaty, violent weirdos and a lot of gunplay. Continue reading