MAINSTREAM FILMS

HARD BOUNTY

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First, I must admit that I initially thought that this was a softcore film. It was directed by Jim Wynorski, who has directed many excellent softcore films over the years, written by Karen Kelly, who wrote Shannon Tweed’s classic film SCORNED, and one of the stars in this film is Rochelle Swanson, who has starred in several softcore films including Secret Games 3. And she and the other female stars play prostitutes, so obviously this sounds like a softcore film, right?

Well, despite some nudity and sex scenes, it’s really not softcore, I’d just call it a B-movie. Nothing is too exploitative, and the subject matter is taken seriously and played straight by all of the actors. Released in 1995, this film is set back in the Old West, and stars Matt McCoy as Martin Kanning a bounty hunter, who makes a lot of money hunting and catching outlaws. Kelly LeBrock (yes THE Kelly LeBrock!) plays a local prostitute named Donnie. Despite the nature of their jobs, Kanning and Donnie have some kind of relationship. Whenever he’s in town he comes to the saloon she works at and sees her, only her, never any of the other prostitutes. She doesn’t charge him, and she’s the only one who calls him Martin, everyone else just calls him Kanning.

One day Kanning goes out to capture an outlaw and kills him, only to find out that the young man was innocent. This wrecks Kanning’s conscious and he decides to retire from the bounty hunting business. He cashes out all of his savings and buys the saloon that Donnie works at. The other women who work there are Jess (Swanson), Glory (Kimberly Kelley), and Rachel (Felicity Waterman), who is Donnie’s younger sister.

Things mostly go smoothly with Kanning in charge, although he does get into a quick-draw gunfight with three outlaws who come into his saloon. Otherwise, the ladies do their thing. Swanson has one brief but exciting sex scene with a customer (Billy Lang), where she gets nude. Kelley get topless a couple of times, but that’s all the nudity in this film (LeBrock and Waterman keep their clothes on, even during their sex scenes).

Trouble comes in the form of Carver (John Terlesky), an ex-sheriff turned hitman and former adversary of Kannings. When the local sheriff (Ross Hagen) won’t go after Carver because Rachel was “just a whore,” Donnie, Jess, and Glory arm themselves, get dressed in cleavage-baring cowgirl outfits, and then ride out on horseback to track Carver down themselves. Kanning tries to talk them out of it, but doesn’t want to do anything himself because he’s retired. He relents and joins them and gives them some training on how to shoot. But when Carver hears that the women are after him, he hires his own men to kill them before they get to him.

The rest of the film is traditional western. More gun-fights and quick-draws (& everyone seems to have an endless supply of bullets, with no need to ever reload), and exciting chases on horseback. All leading to a major confrontation in the end…which I won’t spoil.

For what it is, this is a pretty decent movie. I’ll give it FOUR STARS

AVAILABLE ON AMAZON

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