STREETS OF FIRE 2: THE ROAD TO HELL!
One of my guiltiest pleasures is repeated watchings of Streets of Fire, director Walter Hill’s much-maligned 1984 cult hit starring Michael Pare`, Diane Lane, Amy Madigan, and Willem Dafoe. Pare is perfect as the cool Tom Cody, and Diane Lane may have been in many better films, but she has never looked hotter – and the music , courtesy of Jack Mack and the Heart Attack provided a soundtrack I listen to over and over.
Now word is out horror director Albet Pyun is filming a sequel to Streets of Fire – again with Pare` in the lead role – entitled The Road To Hell. Twenty-five years later, Pare` – who has made the most of his career in Europe (I still fondly remember the TV series Houston Knights with Pare and Michael Beck – from Walter Hill’s Warriors – for it’s shoot-em-up action) – still looks lean and mean. I like the guy and will watch almost any film he’s in – especially his turns in Eddie And The Cruisers and its sequel.
This is a surprising turn of events as Streets of Fire was critically panned, died at the box office, and created a malstrom at Warner Bros. when it ran way, way, way over budget. Still, years of showing on cable has given Streets of Fire a huge cult following – so, perhaps Pyun (who says Streets of Fire is his all time favorite film) might know what he is doing.
Utilizing green screen to provide the scenario with an unreal setting (and cut costs), the production seems somewhat similar to Robert Rodriguez's Sin City in style and content.
In Road To Hell, Cody (Pare`) who has been fighting a long war is driven mad because he no longer believes in any purpose or righteous truth behind killing. He comes home to a surreal world looking for his first and only love from his youth, believing she will rescue him from his demons. On the road to Edge City he encounters two seductive spree killers who oppose his efforts to find his love and the redemption he desperately seeks.
Pyun belives the ending to the original film is the most romantic film ending ever. I can rate it that high, actually it’s a pretty silly statement, but I did think the ending was more romantic than tragic as many fans of the film believe.
When Pyun met Pare`at a film festival in Estepona, Spain in 2007 – where Pare` received Career Achievement and Best Actor awards – their chance meeting put Road To Hell on the filmic map – the idea being to convey what might have happened overtime to Cody, a professional killer, after turning his back on true love Ellen Aim, might have set him on... a road to hell.
The horror magazine Fangoria has an indepth article on the film:
Many fans probably don’t know that Walter Hill’s apocalyptic 1984 cult favorite Streets of Fire was originally intended to be the first film in an epic trilogy. But poor box office kiboshed those plans. But the repeated television airings has left fans wondering just what would have happened to antihero Tom Cody if the Streets saga was to continue.
Pyun describes this new movie as more of a horror film than its predecessor. “An ex-soldier and now hunted killer, Cody is stranded when his jeep breaks down in the desert, on the road to Edge City,” the director explains. “Edge City is where people who have crossed the line of darkness go to have their souls reborn. Cody is hunting for his lost love, the rock star Ellen Aim, believing she is the key to his redemption.”
When Cody hitches a ride with two female spree killers the film takes a dark and violent turn. “It’s not standard horror,” Pyun elaborates, “because we go deeper into the characters and how they arrived at this point in their lives. The true horror is how life can create monsters when things go awry. Disappointment, disillusionment and bitterness fuel the horror in Road To Hell. That makes the shocks and terror far more disturbing.”
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