Buck Adams has had his successes and failures in the adult video market, but The Hustlers represents his biggest triumph to date. The film manages to combine the gritty Adams noir style with several outstanding performances, a terrific script and excellent cinematography, to take its place as one of the best adult dramas of 1993.
The film begins where it ends, in a black and white scene of a T-shirt-clad Adams trying to thumb a ride to…who knows where? Adams is a drifter with only one real talent: he can play a damn good game of pool. The story of why Adams is on the road again is told in flashback, as we see him entering a surprisingly opulent bar in a small town in what looks like rural Colorado. At the counter sipping drinks are pimp Tony Martino, complete with tux and sunglasses; a very svelte-looking Ron Jeremy, playing a rich guy with the moniker “L.A. Money”; and Diva, one of Martino’s girls.
From the beginning, Buck and scripter Cash Markman set the mood perfectly, as when Buck is asked how a hitchhiker like himself can afford a shot of whiskey. “I said I ran our of bus money; I didn’t say I ran out of drinking money,” is his reply. Part of why this works so well is that Buck just naturally looks the part he’s playing – and he plays it to the hilt!
Finding that Jeremy is the local moneybags as well as an expert pool player himself, Adams challenges him to a game – but first, Martino decides to test Adams’ mettle by offering our déclassé hero a $100 game with one of Martino’s hookers (Brittany O’Connell). Fortunately for the viewer, the lady loses – and has to earn back the hundred bucks she lost by ravishing, along with Diva, barkeep Dan Steele. O’Connell provides most of the heat in this encounter, as Steele ravages her pussy while she’s pressed up against a stall divider. The fiery and darkly attractive Diva gets her share of pussy-plunging also, with Brittany holding her under the arms, but Diva mainly spends her time on ball-licking until the final instant when Steele cums on her tits. Too bad the heat of this threesome is lessened somewhat by intercutting it with Adams’ pool game with Jeremy.
The next scene gives us another reason why Adams has come back to town: his girlfriend Savannah, whom he hasn’t seen in months. She still has strong feelings for him, but his anchorless drifting is taking its toll on her psyche. Most of this angst comes across in the dialogue, with lines like, “We all hustle, whether it’s for money or love or power,” as Savannah’s acting ability is still mostly at its best in horizontal positions. But it’s there that the lady excels, in a lovemaking session that starts with her lowering her luscious bush, cowgirl style, onto Adams’ waiting mouth. The couple then trades oral pleasuring until Adams mounts her missionary style, all the while caressing her shapely legs until he throws a spurt that bisects her from pussy to throat. The scene is all the more effective because of its soft jazz background music.
The plot takes a momentary back seat as Martino finds it necessary to discipline one of his girls (Rebecca Wild) for oversleeping. The encounter has promise, as Martino orders Wild to fondle herself all over, but cools in the stretch as Martino licks her, then fucks her doggie style until, with no transition, he finds himself under her for a cowgirl cumshot. Not bad, but nowhere near the heat of the other scenes.
Finally, the big confrontation arrives. Martino backs Adams’ pool game to the tune of $20,000, and all the players congregate at Jeremy’s stately mansion for the big play-off. Martino’s entire stable is there, plus a few of Jeremy’s own female hangers-on. Jeremy offers Adams the run of the table to “get warmed up,” then proceeds to a back room with O’Connell, Wild and Nikki Shane to get warmed up himself. Though technically a group scene, the action quickly evolves to Wild and Shane pairing off together, leaving O’Connell straddling Jeremy’s tool for what seems like hours – and boy, can this little redhead ride a cock! You’ll quickly forget the two blondes on the floor as Jeremy plunges O’Connell in the missionary way, pulling out in time to cream her face.
The cue-and-ball battle that follows should allow your heavy breathing to subside, as Jeremy and Adams fight for every point. At last the final match of the night arrives, where Adams bets everything he has…including girlfriend Savannah. It’s a tense game, which – surprise, surprise! – Adams wins…only to find out that, in Savannah’s words, “You may have won the money, but you lost me.” Yup, she decides to stay with Jeremy, and even puts on a show for him (and the stunned Adams) with Diva and blonde newcomer Victoria Gold. The trio mount the pool table, then each other, with pussy-licking at the top of the bill of fare. The ladies all try hard, but anybody would be hard-pressed to equal the heat of the previous group grope. Give them an A for effort and a B for results.
The main problem with this film is that it’s put a first-rate script and directorial effort at the mercy of generally second-rate performers. Most definitely excluded from this definition are Adams himself, Jeremy and O’Connell – and one only wishes this eminently sexual lady were a big enough star in her own right, so that Savannah’s services could have been replaced by someone better at conveying emotion. Still, this film has everything else going for it, including excellent art direction, and cinematography by Jack Remy. The flick will garner its share of award nominations, and deserves to be stocked heavily and recommended to customers of all tastes.