Lonesome Cowboys (1968)


(directors: Andy Warhol/Paul Morrissey; screenwriter: Paul Morrissey; cinematographer: Paul Morrissey; editor: Paul Morrissey; cast: Taylor Mead (Nurse), Viva (Ramona Alvarez), Joe Dallesandro (Little Joe), Tom Hompertz (Julian), Louis Waldon (Mickey), Eric Emerson (Eric), Francis Francine (Sheriff), Julian Burrough (Julian’s Brother), Allen Midgette (Brother); Runtime: 104; MPAA Rating: X; producer: Paul Morrissey; Raro Video-PAL DVD format; 1968)
“Looking more like an amateur home video than a professional feature film.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

This Andy Warhol (“Bike Boy”/”Vinyl”/”Bitch”) insane trite Western, his last feature as director, is shot by Paul Morrissey though credited to Warhol. It leaves its 1960’s decadent druggie mark on the trail, as it’s meant to turn heads as a hipster city-boy spoof on the West and raises the possibilities that being lonesome on the trail leads its cowboy characters to a series of homosexual romps. It’s shot on location in Tuscon–in part at the Linda Vista Dude Ranch, owned in part by John Wayne. Though scripted by Morrissey, the Warhol Factory players prefer improvising. The slight film is ineptly shot, looking more like an amateur home video than a professional feature film. It stars Ramona (Viva), a wealthy prostitute from back east who buys a ranch out west and is cared for by the demented shrill stoned male homosexual nurse Taylor Mead.

It’s an unbearable watch, that amuses itself with camp and cruel scenes among its homosexual cowboys. The five queer cowboys are dressed cutely in Stetsons and colorful cowboy garb, who have a grab-ass with Ramona, horse around with each other while bare-chested and fake jerking off with beer cans. The cowboys say such things that they are goofing around just waiting for World War One. The five cutie outlaw cowboys are Tom Hompertz, Eric Emerson, Joe Dallesandro, Julian Burrough and their leader Louis Waldon. The transvestite sheriff (Francis Francine) of the ghost town is dressed in drag. It mercifully ends with one of Ramona’s rapist, the self-loving cutie pie drifter Hompertz, rejecting Ramona’s pleas for him to form a lover’s suicide pact and instead rides off in the sunset with his new lover Emerson–someone who wonders if he should get one of those Eastern perms.