Director: Jerry Douglas and John Rutherford
Stars: Dean Phoenix, Marcus Iron, Zak Spears, Brad Benton
A mini-industry of its own even before the release of Buckleroos Part Two, Buckleroos Part One won 11 GayVN Awards and spawned a feature-length making-of mocumentary (eXposed: The Making of a Legend) which played at g&l film festivals around the world. Five years after its 2004 release it’s a little hard to see what all the fuss was about as this “groundbreaking” gay porn film is pretty indistinguishable from innumerable other gay porn flicks set down home on the range such as Muscle Ranch, Farm Hands or even Spokes, which is also set in a barnyard.
Indeed, everything from Christian Haren’s original Marlboro Man to Brokeback Mountain and some of Tom of Finland’s drawings all drew from the same evergreen well of reverent cowboy erotica that Buckleroos drinks at. You just can’t beat the allure of tight denims, sleeveless checked shirts and that sore-from-the-saddle swagger, topped by a pair of stale-cigarette, bourbon lips, especially if you’re a present day urban gay guy who dreams of a life more exotic waiting beyond weekdays at the call centre and weekends on amphetamines.
In Buckleroos, a magic belt buckle - wielded by a phantom cowboy clad in top to toe black (Zak Spears in a non-sexual role - the equivalent of putting Fred Astaire in a non-dancing role) - offers to its wearer the power to fuck whoever they want. This comes in handy for buddies Kick (Dean Phoenix) and Jed (Marcus Iron) who have lived together for ten years, but who haven’t had sex with each other since the first night they met. They’re convinced that having sex with the same person twice leads to an irretrievable loss of heat that’s steadily replaced by what they call the “life sentence” of an increasingly platonic partnership.
So instead, they loll about the house jacking off on the couch together while watching their massive gay porn collection, and hitting the local gay bar at night to score some hot ass. The bar in question comes via The Shining, replete with a ghost-host who occasionally takes physical form to lend patrons enchanted sex accessories & who says that he’s been in the hotel “forever” and a cast of half-dead automata who drop their daks and start screwing on the pool table the minute the licensee calls “last drinks”.
The twist in all of this is that a plot line arguing the pros and cons of the single life versus commitment was present in what is otherwise an all-star gay porn film. It is interesting that such a story has been threaded through the proceedings, but a) no one watches a porn film from start to finish like a non-porn movie - viewers usually skip ahead to the parts of the sex scenes that are going to get them over the line so they can get back on with the day and b) beyond the odd line of dialogue in Buckleroos that asserts that sex is never as good with the same person the second time around (which isn’t an especially strong thesis as hot sex can often be just as hot the two hundred and twentieth time around, if you and your partner are in a good groove with each other) Buckleroos doesn’t really explore its core theme in any depth and so, many viewers may be left wondering why the idea was introduced in the first place.
Indeed, the highlight of the film is the appearance of Brad Benton/Dylan Vox, the multi-talented journalism/law graduate and former pro ice skater who won back-to-back GayVN Best Supporting Actor awards in 2004-05 for his roles in There Goes The Neighborhood and Freak: Jet Set Direct, Take 1.
Known for his recurring role in The Lair, Benton’s sexy southern twang and sexual acrobatics (his scene takes place first in a moving, roofless car, then a threeway by the side of the road), his vain plea to his crap-ass new lover that they hook up and be boyfriends so they can “fuck all the time” make for a far more attractive propsition than anything else on offer by the rest of the cast, who writhe about in mock-anguish for no apparent reason, when they aren’t doing money scenes.