Director: Lawrence Roberts
Stars: Buck Angel, Lobo, Mylo Deren, Sean Steele
Buck Angel continues to challenge and entertain, but in his porn films he keeps challenging the same idea and entertaining in the same way over and again, and the novelty is starting to wear a little thin. Buckback Mountain tries to throw some long-overdue cream pies in the over-serious and disingenuous face of gay cowboy worship (see Buckleroos, My Own Private Idaho, et al.) but the earnest spotlight on Angel’s cunt is too bright for us to think about anything else than the fact that he has one.
Buckback Mountain’s tag line - “The forbidden sex story of two tough cowboys and their hidden secret. One of them has a pussy and he just can’t keep it to himself!” - tells all about what is on offer here. It’s ninety minutes of Angel worship, riding the coat tails of the Brokeback Mountain frenzy, which was just as misguided and occasionally embarrassing as this quirky porn sometimes is.
Buckback’s homage to/spoof of Brokeback begins with twangy guitar playing over melancholy shots of The West (Buckback was filmed entirely on location in the Joshua Tree Desert) and gently-pulsing Times New Roman opening titles. Buck and Lobo play secretly-attracted farm hands looking for work. Mylo Deren arrives in what looks like a new-model Lexus and instructs Buck and Lobo to go protect his sheep from predators, and the story plays out from there, with extended solo scene from Buck in a tent, Mylo arriving unexpectedly on the scene, the late arrival of Sean Steele, and so on.
Overlong lead-in sequences of Buckback and the cast pitching tents, building fires, shaving etc., add little to the proceedings especially since they’re frame-by-frame takeoffs of corresponding scenes in Brokeback Mountain that don’t offer any kind of irony or commentary beyond the fact that Buck and his unexpected piping is in them, and instead of angling for Oscar attention, he and his cast are going to get busy with the belt buckles and you’re going to wank over what they do (hopefully).
The weakest link by far is Deren: he’s too sybillant to be convincing as any kind of gruff farm boss, and there’s a total lack of professionalism and skill on show during his sex scene where he can be seen repeatedly looking off away from the action, bored, or straight at the camera (by mistake) and just generally killing the mood. I really enjoy straight and bi porn, and watching a guy hungrily eat out pussy is a major turn on (for me) but when the guys involved are so unmistakeably gay, the heat is turned down considerably, especially when they spend half their screen time looking like they’ve got something else on their mind. Non-macho gay porn stars are all right with me too, but Deren’s demeanour isn’t the only issue here - he isn’t a strong performer. Tall, sultry Lobo has a bit more to work with, and he wisely opts to stay silent most of the time.
The inclusion of condoms in all the action - including most of the oral - is so commendable. The safe-sex message is vital, and Buck’s comment that he “always comes prepared” before rolling one on is an unexpected treat in a film that otherwise has such a one-track mind.
Despite its second-coming-of-Christ reception among many gay moviegoers, Brokeback Mountain had all but nothing to do with typical gay rural experiences: the rapture-struck chorus of hyper-urban gays claiming affiliation with Heath & Jake’s dilemnas only underscored how contrived and ridiculously fictional Brokeback’s two cowpokes were. Ironically, it’s Buckback’s excess of gay/queerness that runs too sharply against the rural setting and the whole thing ends up looking like more of a sideshow than Cirque Noir ever did.