Judge Brett Cullum wonders what Quentin Tarantino would have done with this picture as Luche Basterd.
Is crystal meth ever really all that sexy?
Lucky Bastard is one of those gay films where two guys who look like underwear models work their way through a halfway thought-out script in a production with low budget technical values. Sexy buff architect Rusty (Patrick Tatten, The Wind and the Long Black Scarf) is living the life of his dreams with a steady boyfriend and plenty of restoration projects keeping him busy. One fateful night with his husband out of town, Rusty meets a dangerous drifter named Denny (Dale Dymkoski, Evil Bong). Soon the studious builder is adrift in the hustler's world of crystal meth, dancing, and casual sex. He gets sucked down in to a world he never knew existed, and it all threatens to destroy him.
Director Everett Lewis has always been an interesting filmmaker, and I admired his previous feature FAQS a great deal. This one is a little more rough around the edges and predictable, but it's still intriguing in some ways. The two lead characters have undeniable chemistry from the moment they make out in a convenience store bathroom to the inevitable drug fueled, decimated hotel room they nearly destroy later. The movie is undeniably sexy, and worth a look for that reason alone. It really doesn't make much sense in the plot department, but it plods along okay. The two leads do as well as they can with the barely fleshed out characters, and probably do their best work in the intimate scenes where they discuss their contrasting lives.
Where Lucky Bastard falters is in the shallow script which is all too predictable from the start. We know nothing is going to work out with a drug addled hustler and a successful architect long term, and there's never any illusions that will be a viable end. The emotional core doesn't really work, because we're smarter than the characters are acting. It's hard to care too much about an ill-advised tryst. Odd, but it seems many new gay movies are asking us to do just that. Affairs are being romanticized, and monogamy is shunned in a fantasy world where it's okay to leave your partner for a couple of weeks to play with a drug addict who has great abs. This isn't a great message to put out there, and it's no lesson even basic common sense would not work out on its own.
DVD Verdict was sent a screener copy of Lucky Bastard. The film's transfer was rough, but that may have to do more with a low budget and tight filming schedule. Colors are not too great, and a lot of the film looks shot on poor man's digital cameras. It feels a little like homemade porn in some sequences, very handheld and grainy focusing in on random body parts. The sound was just fine, but nothing impressive with only two channels engaged. Apparently the retail DVD features a commentary, deleted scenes, and the uncut film. I can't speak for its qualities or the value of the extras.
Lucky Bastard is a sexy softcore drama about falling for the wrong guy when you're married to Mr. Right. It's a morality tale with a questionable sense about what is right and wrong. The two leads look great, and they have some steamy scenes that make it worth a look. Just don't expect to find yourself raving about the script or production values, and you should be fine. I can't imagine anybody finding much meaning in Lucky Bastard other than the consequences of what happens when you get excited by the wrong guy.
Guilty of being an interesting drug fueled mess that you know won't end up as
pretty as the leads.
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