Based on the myth that blues legend Robert Johnson sold his soul to the Devil, this is essentially a musical version of The Karate Kid (1984).
Instead of Pat Morita as the sage imparting wisdom to fresh-faced Ralph Macchio, we have Joe Seneca as Willie Brown, an old compadre of Johnson’s who persuades gifted young guitarist Eugene Martone to take him home to Mississippi.
En route, Eugene (Macchio) meets and falls for sexy runaway Frances (Jami Gertz).
Only Seneca’s yarns and Ry Cooder‘s lazy score make the trek tolerable, though it’s infinitely more entertaining than the ludicrous finale, in which Martone trades riffs with Frank Zappa‘s old axeman, Steve Vai.
Director Walter Hill was clearly having an off day.
Harry Carey Jr