27 October 2015 | lor_
Disappointing, uneventful porno Western
Despite its unearned industry awards, "Rawhide" is a sad excuse for an X-rated Western. Director Nicholas Steele is known for his visual style, but works with a lousy script here, pulling all its punches to yield a pastoral saga about as exciting as a Whitman's sampler.
Sure there are numerous sex scenes for the fans, but this lengthy opus is not all-sex but aspires to telling a story. The narrative avoids action or violence, staples of the genre, much to its detriment.
Porn westerns in the '60s and '70s were famous for adding sadism and other violence into the Adult genre, with notorious examples like "Hot Spur", "Brand of Shame" and "Sweet Savage". But p.c. evidently led to the self-censorship of "Rawhide". It's so cleaned up that no real conflict between the characters remains.
Corny proceedings concern beautiful Carmen Luvana, trying to run her late daddy's ranch. Evil railroad interests want to buy her out, personified by sinister Randy Spears, in a brief appearance, mainly to hump his beauty, Olivia Del Rio.
To fill out the padded running time and maximize the number of sex scenes there are several pointless romances among local women and the ranch hands, of which big- dicked Julian stands out. Unfortunately his very modern stylized tattoos don't fit the 19th Century period atmosphere.
Luvana is a favorite actress for me, but her acting is flat here, and the assignment seems merely to prove that horseback riding can be listed on her acting resume. Steven St. Croix and Evan Stone, who can be dramatically forceful on screen, are pretty much walking through their routine roles.
I kept waiting for an action set-piece, a shoot-out or even a fist-fight/brawl, but for nearly 3 hours nothing happens. By the unimpressive finale, I wished that instead of emulating Terrence Malick, Steele had hero-worshiped Peckinpah, Anthony Mann or even Andrew McLaglen.
Six years later the distributor Adam & Eve fashioned an excellent followup "Rawhide II" that abandoned the old West in favor of a contemporary setting.