Tuesday, June 27, 2017

LUST IN THE DUST (1985)

Under the "blistering, burning, blazing, scorching, roasting, toasting, baking, boiling, broiling, steaming, searing, sizzling, grilling, smoldering, very hot New Mexico sun" lays the small settlement of Chile Verde.  It's not much to look at.  Just a bar, a few buildings, an outdoor shower and a gate where they lynch somebody every Saturday night, but travelers still come from all over...in search of gold!

One such traveler is Divine.  After being gang raped (off screen) by some outlaws (including Geoffrey Lewis, Woody Strode and Pedro Gonzalez Gonzalez!), she latches onto traveling gunslinger Tab Hunter.  Together they show up in Chile Verde.  Divine is looking to be a singer, but sadly only gets to sing one song (which is the highlight of the movie). Tab sticks around because he's looking for the secret treasure that is rumored to be hidden in Chile Verde.  Some of the others looking for the gold are local priest Cesar Romero, bar owner Lainie Kazan and local whore Gina Gallego (who broke my heart by never getting naked).

Despite the sinful title, LUST IN THE DUST is surprisingly tame.  Yeah, the subject matter is rough and there's a lot of raunchy stuff talked about, but very little happens onscreen.  And that is the films biggest downfall.  It's too restrained.  As a straight Western, it's fairly entertaining and Tab Hunter plays a great cowboy, but there's too much goofy humor.  As a campy Western...there wasn't enough goofy humor!  I think it would have been a better film if it had been crazier...and with more of Divine singing. 

Still, it's an entertaining low-budget time-waster with a surprising cast.

Fun fact: Tab Hunter met his partner of over 30 years, producer Allan Glaser, during the making of this film.  They're still together!