Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Stud (1978)



          Disco-era smut that tries for shock value but merely achieves trashiness, The Stud was adapted from one of Jackie Collins’ myriad bestselling novels about the sex lives of rich people, and it stars the author’s sister, Joan Collins, as a bitchy nymphomaniac who chews up and spits out the handsome young man she takes on as her employee and her lover. If Joan Collins’ character represents life in the fast lane, then leading man Oliver Tobias’ character represents discarded junk on the side of the road. Despite giving some lip service to character development and moral consequences, The Stud is nothing more than a glossy survey of attractive people conniving and copulating. It’s also about as enjoyable as an STD. The characters in the movie are uniformly horrible to each other, the “glamorous” settings seem devoid of genuine pleasure, and director Quentin Masters’ weird penchant for fisheye lenses—combined with the disjointed musical underscore—give The Stud the flavor of a horror movie. If the goal was to make something erotic, then the team behind The Stud failed miserably.
          Joan Collins, icy and vampish, plays Fontaine Khaled, trophy wife of a Middle Eastern businessman. For amusement, she spends her husband’s money on a discotheque that she uses as her personal playground, and she hires Tony Blake (Tobias) to manage the club, with the understanding that he should be sexually available to her at all times. Whenever she’s with her jet-set friends, Fontaine flaunts her boy toy, even complaining at one point that while he possesses stamina, he lacks carnal sophistication: “Do you know when I first met him, Tony thought the 69 was a bottle of Scotch?” Despite enjoying the perks of his kept-man lifestyle, Tony bristles at Fontaine’s humiliating treatment, and he dallies with other women. Things really spiral when—wait for it!—Tony meets Fontaine’s pretty stepdaughter, Alex (Emma Jacobs), who is as virginal as Fontaine is slatternly. Sensing that Tony is drifting from her, Fontaine offers Tony’s services to her friends, female and male alike, during a lengthy but uninteresting orgy scene that involves drugs, a massive indoor swimming pool, and Collins flying through the air on an ivy-coated swing while wearing lingerie. (During the orgy, one of Fontaine’s gay male friends dismisses women in general with the memorable line, “As much as I appreciate the extra orifice, they bore me.”)
          About the only palatable sequences in the picture are long, plotless montages of disco dancing set to such slinky hits as “Every 1’s a Winner” and “Love Is Like Oxygen.” Nonetheless, someone must have bought tickets to see The Stud, because the Collins sisters collaborated on a quickie sequel, The Bitch, which was released in England in 1979 and slithered into the American market some time afterward. Both The Stud and The Bitch found new life on cable and home video after Joan Collins made a smash on American television playing Alexis Carrington Colby on the nighttime soap Dynasty (1981-1989).

The Stud: LAME

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