Movie Reviews : ‘Tennessee Buck’ Misfires

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“The Further Adventures of Tennessee Buck” (selected theaters) should go no further. Stop. Desist.

Set in the wilds of Sri Lanka, in a jungle overrun with cannibals and cliches, this pathetic little porno-comic-adventure saga tries to hornswoggle us into believing it’s already a sequel. But the only thing David Keith’s Buck has in common with his obvious model, Indiana Jones, is haberdashery. Both men wear similar crease-brimmed hats. Keith might as well be playing Oshkosh Ollie or South Dakota Slim.

“Tennessee Buck” (MPAA-rated R for language, sex and violence) does have it over “Jones” in two areas: tastelessness and nudity. There’s a smarmy, sniggery quality to its fusion of boys’ adventure serial with soft-core bawdiness; the disgraceful screenplay suggests a sub-Russ Meyer version of “The Macomber Affair.” Later it swerves into an outlandishly offensive farrago of tortured blondes, wisecracking supermen and lustful depraved cannibals--who are into poisoned arrows, pot lunch and jungle S&M.;


Star-director Keith, normally a good actor, isn’t bad here, though he smirks through all the dishabille like a vacationing lecher. But co-star Kathy Shower is as far from being a great actress as Sri Lanka is from Oshkosh. Watch her expression as a snake pops out of her blouse. Listen to her wild tirade on bigotry against beauty queens.

Most of all, check her memorable inflection in the scene where--after being disrobed, pawed, greased up and thrown into the cannibal chief’s tent--she confronts a would-be ravisher, who is leering and toting her husband’s bloody head. “Waddaya want?” she shrieks, pettishly. Only the late Ed Wood Jr. of “Glen or Glenda?” could appreciate acting like that.