a film by R. Zane Rutledge

P R E S S    K I T
 Hell Is Texas Synopsis


Charley Stone (Mark Nutter) only thinks he won that game of chicken.

Instead, a lonely stretch of highway has claimed his life.  His transition into death passes so smoothly with the roar of his '61 Corvette he doesn't realize he's crossed over.  And the game has only begun.

Charley soon learns that life after death is not quite what he expected.  Existence is an endless cycle of birth, life, and death, bringing you back to old friends many lifetimes over.  The afterlife seems to be a holding point filled with the junk of the past, with good and bad souls fighting for the chance to live again.

Two of Charley's old friends await him -- a rifleman named Jake (Tyler Mason) and a philosophizing bartender, Cole (Rick Hamby).  Through them Charley discovers his ties to the past and his life as Texas Ranger Ben Kane, whose ruthless justice sent many outlaws to hell in the 1800s.  Now those villainous souls are waiting to return the favor, as Charley desperately competes to return to the land of the living.

Old enemies, a lost love, and an arch nemesis with an unsettled debt to pay -- all these dog Charley's steps through the harsh West Texas drylands.  Unforgiving spirits, longing to pay back their pain.  In spades.

"It's been described as a Gothic Western," says writer/director R. Zane Rutledge.  What began as a short story set in the harsh but striking landscape of West Texas soon evolved into a full-length screenplay.  Friends and colleagues of Rutledge united under the banner of Puppy Dog Head Productions, a small team assembled for the risky business of guerilla filmmaking.  Using Rutledge's script, producer Karen Inwood drew on resources gathered working as a production coordinator and A.D. in Hollywood and Dallas, Texas.  Audio and music fell into the realm of professional musicians Jance Allen and B. Z. Lewis.  Expert special effects pros Randy Moore (RoboCop I and II, JFK, Flesh and Bone) and Dave Whitley (My Boyfriend's Back, The Adventures of Huck Finn, Flesh and Bone) provided everything from gory rifle and sword wounds to the ethereal atmosphere of the afterlife.  Fight director Ron Hubbard and swordmaster Janet Hurley turned raw cowboys raised on rodeo into fencing and broadsword experts.  Their choreography and Moore and Whitley's effects lend a breakneck, heartstopping pace to the film's many action sequences. Digital visual effects sequences transform the harsh Texas landscape into a mystical wasteland.

Hell Is Texas is a western adventure stretching into the unexplored territory of eternity.  Friends and enemies come and go in this purgatory between one life and the next, renewing old ties, resuming old conflicts.  Hate and love build cruel circles, knotting souls in a desperate contest -- the struggle for a new life.  The result is a unique cinematic ride called Hell Is Texas.


"I figure Will Shakespeare died...and came back as Jack Daniels."

Hell is Texas ©1999 by Puppy Dog Head Productions. All Rights Reserved.
668 ©copyright 2000 by r zane rutledge. all rights reserved.