Lust in the Dust

I have known about Lust in The Dust for ages, but didn’t get around to seeing it until now. Although Divine is one of my favorite actors, him appearing in a movie not directed by John Waters seemed like a bad idea. Then I learned that this was directed by Paul Bartel, who also made the great Eating Raoul and Death Race 2000, and so finally decided to watch it. As a satire of Western films, this does not work nearly as well as Mel Brooks’ Blazzing Saddles, and it is not even clear if Bartel even wanted it to be a laugh-out-loud film, which it is not. But there are plenty of corny jokes, such as having the story unfold in town called “Chili Verde” and a treasure map which is tattooed on Divine’s ass. Divine, who is as big as a house, is really trooper in this film, riding a horse under a scorching desert sun while in full drag. He is almost as funny as he was in John Waters’ films, although his role does not seem quite as tailor-made as what he play in, for example, Female Trouble, a role that could only have been done by Divine.

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