SOUTH OF HEAVEN, WEST OF HELL
A Dirty Western
Release Date: June 15, 2001
Starring: Billy Bob Thornton, Bridget
Fonda, Peter Fonda, Dwight
Yoakam, & Michael Jeter
Runtime: 139 minutes
Distributor: Phaedra Cinema
Director: Dwight Yoakam
Executive Producer: Oscar Gubernati
Producer: Gray Frederickson
Writer: Stan Bertheaud & Dwight Yoakam
Address Comments To:
The movie tells the story of a Marshal Valentine Casey and his life in Arizona in the early 1900s. The movie opens in 1907, but it is later revealed that Val actually died in 1898 in Cuba. For some strange reason, Val is the object of the lust of the numerous good-looking women in this desolate territory.
The movie opens with some children watching THE GREAT TRAIN ROBBERY and a preacher outside quoting Scripture to condemn movies as a tool of the devil. At this point, one of the people in the theater, offended when the robber in THE GREAT TRAIN ROBBERY points his gun at the audience, pulls his own gun and shoots the screen to smithereens. This hothead is put in jail where he can watch the marshal start to fornicate with Tess.
Soon, the marshal’s adopted family, a bunch of bad hombres known as the Henry family, ride into town. They kill, maim, mutilate, and rob the bank.
Years later, the marshal is in another border town. Adeline, a beautiful girl played by Bridget Fonda, comes into town accompanied by a man who purportedly died years ago. Adeline has slashes on her wrist because she tried to commit suicide, but didn’t succeed. She wants to take her deaf little sister to a school that can care for her in San Francisco.
The Henry family rides into this town, kills the father, shoots Adeline in the shoulder, and fondles the little girl. Adeline breaks a lamp and cuts up a man’s crotch. Then, the killing, maiming and mutilating intensifies. Val decides to go after the Henrys, and the violence gets even worse.
In between the bloodshed, people seem normal and nice. Val seems to be a hero except that he gets high on gunpowder and chili peppers. The father of the Henry clan is addicted to an Opium derivative. Furthermore, several of the “nice” characters are supposed to be dead, although they’re acting very much alive.
SOUTH OF HEAVEN, WEST OF HELL is a mess! It is reminiscent of something directed by Sam Peckinpah, director of THE WILD BUNCH, if he were completely stoned on drugs and quoting Scripture.
Scripture, by the way, is quoted and misquoted throughout the movie. Drugs, alcohol and drug substitutes are used throughout the movie. Women are nymphomaniacs, jumping on men at the slightest provocation. One woman enjoys sticking her breast through the jailhouse window so the prisoner can get excited by it.
Although this movie is not billed as a horror film or filled with the overt occultism of DRACULA, it is in fact demonic, and deserves condemnation and ignominy.
SOUTH OF HEAVEN, WEST OF HELL is a mess! It is reminiscent of something directed by Sam Peckinpah, director of THE WILD BUNCH, if he were on drugs quoting Scripture. Scripture, by the way, is quoted throughout the movie. Drugs, alcohol and drug substitutes are used throughout the movie. Women are nymphomaniacs, jumping on men at the slightest provocation. Although this movie is not billed as a horror film or filled with overt occultism, it is in fact demonic, and deserves condemnation and ignominy.