"A Dirty Western"
What You Need To Know:
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.
(O, C, PaPaPa, LLL, VVV, SSS, NNN, AAA, DDD, MMM) Demonic worldview in the generic sense of the term with some negative as well some ambiguous quoting of Scripture & considerable ugly pagan content; 88 obscenities & 39 profanities; extreme grotesque violence including, but not limited to: man being cut in crotch by broken bottle, man being slowly tortured, a man having private parts sewn up, patricide, & numerous shootings & killings; extreme sexual activity including pedophilia, homosexuality, women hopping on top of men in various states of disrobing, & a woman pressing her breast through a jailhouse window so that a man be excited by it; upper male & female nudity & a bloody shot of a man’s private area; drunkenness; drugs & suggested drug use; and, lying, cheating & spiritism.
Genre can be classified in different ways. One of the more literary methods is to go from the mythic to the heroic to the ironic to the demonic. In this scheme, SOUTH OF HEAVEN, WEST OF HELL is a demonic movie.
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.