Straight to Hell (1987)

This comedy-western by Alex Cox originally started as a planned music festival that didn’t pan out, and eventually evolved into this virtually plotless, self-consciously parody-cum-homage of spaghetti westerns that seems to have been made to entertain the cast and film crew alone. It’s not that it’s bad per se, it’s that it’s so purposeless that it’s not even worth the effort to keep up with the plot, whatever there is of it. Instead, the most interesting part of the movie is the parade of familiar faces of musicians that populate the cast: From Grace Jones to Courtney Love to The Clash’s Joe Strummer (among many, many others), it seems like Cox was able to hold on to the majority of the planned music festival’s headliners and parachuted them into the movie inorganically, although that primitive, do-it-yourself approach creates an unmistakable, anything-can-happen vibe. Once the movie was over, I wasn’t sure what I had just watched or why I watched it in the first place, and although it was a distinctively unprincipled cinematic experiment, it’s at least memorable in a WTF way.

Rating: ★★ (out of 5)

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