“You ain’t got to pull that Blacula shit with me.” The line is an attempt to link what seems to be a half-hearted star-vehicle with something else: blaxploitation. By simultaneously comparing Murphy’s ’90s effort with its ’70s predecessor, whilst slyly digging at the older genre’s foibles, the gag it is a somewhat noble, if pithy, effort to give Vampire in Brooklyn more heft.
It’s fair to say that Straight to Hell isn’t widely considered to be one of director Alex Cox’s best films. Some people may even consider it to be his worst.
However, whilst its creation, cast, setting and gonzo punk style, make it an undeniable curiosity, it is its adaptation and reclamation of popular genre style, that may make Straight to Hell Cox’s most notably cine-literate film. For the uninitiated: Cox was the punk filmmaker who made it big early on, blew it nearly as quickly, and has steadfastly done his own thing ever since.
“A story of blood, money, guns, coffee, and sexual tension.”
As you are no doubt aware, having found this particular website, in the late ’70s space was the shit. In the wake of Star Wars, numerous projects were green-lit, ranging from Ridley Scott’s franchise-launching Alien to the bottom-of-the-barrel Disney project The Black Hole. Saturn 3 was American-born, British TV supremo Lord Lew Grade’s attempt to cash in on the public’s new-found love of sci-fi. And, on the surface, its got a lot going for it.