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Straight to Hell returns

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Straight to Hell (1987) was a bizarre tour south of the border that left film critics divided over whether the flashy/schlocky project was intended as a parody or celebration of spaghetti Westerns. Director Alex Cox (Sid and Nancy, Repo Man, Walker) wanted to organize a concert featuring a slate of punk bands in Nicaragua, but during the late 1980s' demonization of the Sandinistas by President Ronald Reagan and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, it was easier for him to get a star-studded lineup of musicians in a film shot in Spain. The title, obviously, is taken from the Clash song, and the picture stars the Clash's Joe Strummer, whose album Sandinista! (1980) weighed in against Thatcher's anti-Communist stance. The film also features Dennis Hopper, Sy Richardson, Elvis Costello, Shane MacGowan and Spider Stacy of The Pogues, members of the Circle Jerks, Grace Jones, Jim Jarmusch (director of Down By Law) and a young Courtney Love. It's a quirky and violent film about a trio of hitmen who mess up a job, rob a bank instead and head to a Mexican desert town to hide. A sequel, Back to Hell, was rumored though never made, but with the advent of digital technology, Cox went back and re-edited the film, adding more violence to create this version. Tickets $7 general admission, $6 students/seniors, $5 Zeitgeist members. — Will Coviello

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Thru Nov. 11

Straight to Hell Returns

9 p.m. Wed.-Fri., Nov. 3-5 & Sun.-Thu., Nov. 7-11

Zeitgeist Multi-Disciplinary Arts Center, 1618 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., 827-5858; www.zeitgeistinc.net

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