The Video Vacuum (thevideovacuum) wrote,
The Video Vacuum

LUST IN THE DUST (1985) **

A showgirl (Divine) and a gunslinger (Tab Hunter) ride into the one horse town of Chili Verde where everyone is looking for gold.  Since it’s a one horse town, they can only afford a three hooker brothel, which is run by a shady madam (Lainie Kazan).  Eventually Divine and Lainie discover that they both have the treasure map tattooed on their ass so they join forces to find the gold.


Lust in the Dust is one of those movies that start off great, with lots of laughs and some incredible sight gags.  You think to yourself, “They’ll never be able to keep this up.”  Sometimes a movie will surprise you and continue to be constantly funny; other times, the film will just get desperate and repeat the same old gags over and over until they stop being funny.  Lust in the Dust is a case of the latter.  After about a half hour, I was ready to give Lust in the Dust ****, but by the time we got our second “comical” musical number, another “hilarious” scene where Divine crushes someone with her thighs, and an additional “funny” shootout, it quickly got tiresome.  In fact, once everyone starts looking for the gold, the laughs completely dry up.  It’s almost as if director Paul (Death Race 2000) Bartel actually thought he was making a legitimate western or something.


The performances are all solid and help to make this mess watachable.  Divine is Divine.  She always had a lot of screen presence, even when she isn’t given a whole lot to do (which is the case here).  Kazan gets some good moments; the best is when she sings “Come South of My Border.”  Hunter doesn’t make much of an impression (mostly because he’s aping Clint Eastwood), but Henry Silva is a riot as a barroom ruffian.  Once his character gets killed off, the film quickly goes down the tubes.


Divine’s breathless overacting will make you wish John Waters wrote this one, but she does at least get one priceless line of dialogue while riding on a donkey:  “My ass is on its last legs!”

Tags: comedy, l, musical, western
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