“Found footage” horror and pornography – why hasn’t someone thought of this already? What a refreshing point of view considering this increasingly stale, lifeless genre – OK, hold on, are we all watching the same horror movies? Mindless sex, fleshy nudity, and exploited women have been as prominent in horror as the killings themselves, so I’m a tad bit confused over all the “originality” praise surrounding Lucky Bastard. Sure, writer/director Robert Nathan marries sexual perversion and “found footage” tropes for a “new” type of horror, but man, we’ve all seen pornos, right? Do you really want that kind of acting on screen for an hour and a half? While they aren’t even gettin’ jiggy wit’ it? I’d love to make a punny remark about a script that blows its wad far too soon (I suppose I just did?), but without any resemblance of a satisfactory money shot, we’re left with nothing but blue balls and boredom – sounds like my Saturday nights.
Lucky Bastard revolutionized the pornography industry by letting one lucky winner perform in a sex scene with their favorite actress, bringing amateur filmmaking to an entirely new level. Famous porn star Ashley Saint (Betsy Rue) is the newest name making one lucky bastard’s dream finally come true, and after carefully looking through a pool of potential fuck buddies, the timid Dave (Jay Paulson) is selected. Ashley has her reservations about having sex with a complete stranger, but website runner Mike (Don McManus) convinces her it’s worth the money. What starts as an “innocent” adult film shoot quickly turns into a criminal mystery, as our crew finds out that Dave may not be the shy man his video suggested. Don’t worry, all the insanity is captured on surveillance cameras handily placed throughout the house – like always.
Is it a surprise that Lucky Bastard is rated NC-17? Is it a surprise that this supposed indie darling doesn’t deliver any gratuitous kills, genre defining imagery, or creative insanity to accompany such a rating? Don’t get fooled by the MPAA’s classification horror fans, you’re signing up for a movie chock-full of awkward full-frontal sex, dude cock, and naked porn stars – practical effects work and unique thinking in no way added to Nathan’s attention grabbing NC-17. An hour and twenty minutes worth of sexually charged buildup and all we’re left with is Don McManus taking a raw dildo up the ass and a few gunshot wounds – talk about your embarrassing performance issues.
People don’t watch pornos for the acting or storylines, but Lucky Bastard feels all too reminiscent of a pornographic pseudo-spoof. In no way is this a straight mockumentary or satire, but the seedy greed and gunslinging abandon of moral compasses becomes prevalent between our character’s choices – while nudity and dolled-up faces impede on screen performances that could have ended up on Skinemax’s 2AM slate. Emotions fly off the handle on a whim, bouncing about irrationally and erratically, with our psychopath’s motivations being fueled by “early bird” syndrome. Not to be vulgar or anything, but if you’re voluntarily participating in a recorded sex scene with your favorite porn star, why would you enter knowing your “over-excited” condition? Honestly, Davey walks into his own self-inflicted sticky situation.
Lucky Bastard could have been a tight crime thriller given less “development” and more psychosis, but in taking far too long to develop Dave into a murderous monster, Nathan’s payoff was never going to live up to this sluggish journey. Dave’s inevitable downfall was always going to be sexual performance, mixed with a meek stalker factor that keeps Ashley Saint consistently uncomfortable, but more care could have been put into the cat and mouse chase between our crew and their guest of honor. Tension, horror, and exhilarating pacing are lost trying to tie up all of Dave’s loose ends as quickly and effortlessly as possible. That, and some man dong for good measure – because this is NC-17 and all!
While Lucky Bastard may deserve to be hidden on your laptop in a folder cleverly titled “Homework,” it’s only because you’ll get your rocks off time and time again watching this “found footage” sleaze-fest for some quickie stress relief. Horror fans are going to have their share of problems keeping it up while poor Dave has his own problems keeping it down, as predictability quickly invades this sploogy story of shifty pornographers, amateur performers, and sex-interrupting shootings. Have I exhausted all of my intercourse puns? Is my job done yet? I need a shower to wash this filthy stank off.
Lucky Bastard will regrettably leave most horror fans with a serious case of blue balls after a whimpering climax goes disappointingly soft. Think I can cram any more sexual puns in there? That's what she said.