Somehow, a quartet of incompetent gangsters - boss Norwood (Sy Richardson),
his pregnant moll Velma (Courtney Love), Willy (Dick Rude) and Sims (Joe
Strummer) - manage to pull of a heist, but getting away through the
Mexican desert, their car breaks down, so they bury the money and hit a
village in the middle of nowhere, where they rather by accident pick the
right side in a gunfioght ... and are suddenly made the guests of honour
by the village's crooked leader Frank (Biff Yeager).
everything in this little town seems to be just like one big party, even
if the villagers all seem a little on edge because they are totally hooked
on coffee, and they might also seem a bit quick in drawing their guns.
Then though the townfolks also learn about the buried money, and they try
one trick after another to make our four heroes tell its location -
without success though, but things do get a little worrysome ... until one
I.G.Farben (Dennis Hopper) stops by with his bodyguard Sonya (Grace
Jones), and since Farben runs an urban renewal project, he is very much
interested in the town blowing itself up and to that end leaves Norwood
and company with a suitcase full of automatic weapons.
The big shootout
does finally begin when Dade (Jim Jarmusch), the boss of Norwood and
company whom they tried to escape, shows up, sides with Frank and the
villagers - and just like Farben planned, everything soon goes up in
flames, most of the villagers are mowed down by machinegun fire, and
several of them use the occasion to get even with each other too.
and Willy, though severely wounded, make it to the location the money is
hidden and dig it up ... only to then shoot it out with each other, and
ultimately being shot by Frank, who has in the meantime teamed up with
Velma. But when the two make an escape with the money, they have to
realize their car has no breaks and ... well, they crash.
among the few who survives the ordeal, and he teams up with a gang of
amazons to take the war to somewhere else ... but on the way there, their
car breaks down, pretty much at the same spot the car of Norwood and gang
has broken down at the beginning of the movie.
synopsis of Straight to Hell doesn't sound like much, but that is
because the story of the film takes backseat to pretty much everything
else - to the film's advantage, actually.
Straight to Hell is
the punkrock version of a spaghetti Western, an over-the-top comedy with
an extremely high body count, an action movie held together by its bizarre
elements, the funniest shootout ever ... and all of this is just beginning
to describe a movie as mad as Straight to Hell. It's a film in
which characters can be found spontaneously breaking out into songs,
shootings or philosophical dialogues, and in the context, all of this
makes sense, in which screen violence turns into silent movie-style
slapstick just like that, in which a silly genre parody can turn into
intelligent commentary and vice versa. Maybe this is the film to end all
parodies, without actually being a parody movie. But above all, this film
is just lots and lots of fun, and without ever becoming just plain stupid.