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Dancehall "girl" Rosie Velez, lost in the desert, is helped to safety by gunman Abel Wood. In the town of Chili Verde, at the saloon of Marguerita Ventura, a word of a treasure in gold brings Abel into conflict with outlaw Hard Case Williams and his gang. Written by
Jim Beaver <email@example.com>
Divine, the alter ego of Glen Milstead (1945-1988), first burst onto an unsuspecting public with such notorious John Waters films as the infamous PINK FLAMINGOS, dishing up bad-taste humor in proportion with her truly ample size. But there was more to Divine than drag queen humor, and LUST IN THE DUST offers her a less extreme playground, pitting her against a lone gunman (Tab Hunter), a vicious saloon floozy (Lainie Kazan), and a host of desperadoes in a flyweight send up the spaghetti westerns so popular in the 1970s and 1980s.
Directed by Paul Bartel, best known for his 1982 black comedy EATING RAOUL, LUST IN THE DUST is essentially the very slight story of a search for gold--a search that leads Able Wood (Hunter), Marguarite Ventura (Kazan), and Rosie Velez (Divine) to the isolated old west one horse town of Chile Verde. There, with support from the likes of Cesar Romero, they snap, snarl, break up furniture, sing bawdy songs, show their tattoos, and... well... lust in the dust. What else? I may be overly generous in granting this film five stars. The film is occasionally slow and there's nothing greatly inspired about plot, script, and so on--but the performers make the whole thing a lot of fun. Divine wallows, Kazan hisses, and Hunter sweats with the best of 'em, and when it comes to one-liners the movie overflows with both the obvious and very unexpected. Yes, it's all very silly stuff, but everybody puts it over with flair and a sense of fun; you'll grin in spite of yourself. The DVD offers a reasonable, if not pristine, print of the film--and there's even a bonus package: the film trailer and an entertaining little "making of" documentary.
If you're already a Divine fan, LUST IN THE DUST is a must; if you've never encountered Divine, this would be a good place to start, for it lacks the truly jaw-dropping (and frequently off-putting) content of Divine's work for John Waters. Two tons of fun.
GFT, Amazon Reviewer
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