Director – Paul Bartel (Clueless, Death Race 2000)
Starring – Tab Hunter (Polyester, Grease 2), Divine (Hairspray, Pink Flamingos), and Lainie Kazan (Harry and the Hendersons, Dayton’s Devils)
Release Date – 1984
Rating – 4/5
Blu Release – 4/5
Tagline – “He rode the west…the girls rode the rest! Together they ravaged the land”
When you look at other people from the area I grew up in and compare them to myself you will easily see that I’m very different. I became obsessed with movies when I was younger but I could never find a particular genre to latch onto. The horror obsession didn’t start until my teenage years. Until then I was watching anything and everything I could get my hands on.
I was in elementary school when I first discovered John Waters and Divine and their trashy cinema helped shape my taste in films. In 1984 Divine starred in the western comedy Lust in the Dust with her Polyester co-star Tab Hunter for director Paul Bartel. I remember watching the film as a kid but I don’t remember a lot about it. When Vinegar Syndrome announced the release I knew I needed this one with the sleeve for my collection so I ordered myself a copy.
**Spoiler Alert**The film follows Rosie (Divine) who is travelling to the small town of Chili Verde in hopes of becoming a singer in the saloon. She becomes lost in the desert and is saved by gunfighter Abel Wood (Hunter). The two sleep together but they both have their own plans once they reach Chili Verde. When they arrive they meet the owner of the saloon, Marguerita (Kazan) who is secretly searching for buried treasure that is rumored to be there. Tensions come to a boil between Rosie and Marguerita and when an outlaw gang arrives at Chili Verde they learn that Rosie has a tattoo on her ass that could be the clue to where the gold is buried. Abel stops the gang from killing Rosie and soon Abel, Rosie, Marguerita, and the leader of the outlaw gang find themselves in a Mexican stand off fight over the gold.**Spoiler Alert**
I realized that this was one I had seen before when I was about 20 minutes in and I was reminded with how great this movie really was. I admitted to being a Divine fan but I have to say that I absolutely love this movie. I will be revisiting this one a few more times.
The acting in this one is great by the entire cast. Divine gives an amazing performance along with Tab Hunter and Lainie Kazan. Their characters are fun and the they do an amazing job and making them appear larger than life. I also enjoyed the supporting cast as well. I really enjoyed screen legend Geoffrey Lewis’ performance as well. I loved the cast and I loved how the characters were written.
The story for this one is rather generic. I grew up in a house where westerns were spinning 24/7 so I can’t say this is something I’ve never seen before… but adding Divine to anything makes it stand out. The movie has some humor scattered throughout with some action and a fair amount of drama to keep it interesting.
Finally, there is no blood and gore in this one. There is some fun sets and costumes but those looking for the red stuff will be extremely upset. Overall, Lust in the Dust is a fun western comedy that I will soon be pairing with Wagons East. It has laughs, a great cast, and some fun moments. Highly recommend grabbing the blu now from Vinegar Syndrome.
Newly scanned & restored in 4k from it’s 35mm original negative
“Return to Chile Verde” – the making of Lust in the Dust with Tab Hunter and Allan Glaser
“The Importance of Being Paul” – an archival featurette on the films of Paul Bartel
“More Lust, Less Dust” – an archival making-of featurette
Presented in two different aspect ratios: 1.85:1 and 2:35.1
Original theatrical trailer
Archival article gallery
Reversible cover artwork
English SDH subtitles