The Stud (1978)
Joan's Swinging Seventies
When I met him Tony thought 69 was a bottle of scotch - Fontaine Khaled
Up until recently the worst erotic thriller/ drama which I had found myself watching was "Showgirls" and wondered if there could be anything worse. Well I found it in "The Stud" an adaptation of Jackie Collins novel and starring her sister Joan Collins. I've never read Jackie Collins's novel, and to be honest I have no plans to, but I am sure there must have been more to it than what is delivered in the movie because "The Stud" whilst having a semi-decent idea never explores it in preference to delivering cheap thrills as we watch a young man trapped in a life where he is the sexual plaything of his bosses bitchy wife. To put it simply "The Stud" rather than being a clever drama, which it could have been, ends up the sort of movie which teenage boys would have discussed in the playground at the end of the 70s.
To stave of the boredom of her marriage to businessman Ben Khaled (Walter Gotell), Fontaine Khaled (Joan Collins - The Bravados) makes Tony Blake (Oliver Tobias), the manager of her husband's members only club, her personal plaything, calling him up for sex when ever the mood takes her. And much to his annoyance Tony knows that unless he does what Fontaine wants he will lose his job. Fed up of her demands Tony looks for a way out and at the same time starts an affair with Fontaine's step-daughter Alex (Emma Jacobs) but he isn't aware that Alex is as manipulative as her step mother and his life comes crumbling down.
"The Stud" pretends to be a movie about a man who basically having risen to being a club manager and having any woman he wants ends up being taken down a peg or two. And as such a storyline about a man losing everything has the potential to deliver the emotion and pain of a man who reaches rock bottom. But none of that comes across as the storyline focuses on Tony being controlled by Fontaine and so is all rather dull and obvious with next to no mystery and little if anything which is interesting. And to be honest with scenes such as the 5 minutes of unnecessary disco dancing "The Stud" is a hard movie to get into, although I do question why anyone would want to try and get into it in the first place.
In reality "The Stud" is all about sex from the first time we witness Joan Collins topless as Tony satisfies her in an elevator through to the swinging orgy in Paris. Now maybe back in 1978 the sex and nudity on show in "The Stud" was risque and shocking, especially a twist during the Paris orgy scene but to be honest watching it now it all seems rather dull. Yes a topless Joan Collins is a bit of a surprise but everything else such as the various naked women who leaves Tony's bed don't really make it sexy. In fact "The Stud" rather than being this classy erotic thriller which it could have been ends up the sort of movie which teenage boys hide under their beds.
And to be honest the acting fits in with the fact "The Stud" feels almost like soft porn with everyone being shaky and unbelievable. Oliver Tobias as Tony looks permanently nervous and never really achieves the style and sexual appetite of someone who is obviously meant to be a lotahrio. And the supporting cast between looking like they reading their lines off cards and looking just as nervous end up bordering on the laughable. As for Joan Collins, well it most certainly helped revive her flagging career and demonstrate that she could play a domineering bitch but this is by no means Collins on top form. In fact to be honest there are times that Joan Collins looks as nervous as the rest of the cast.
What this all boils down to is that "The Stud" is not a good movie and when it comes to the erotic movie category is actually worse than "Showgirls". There is little which is really commendable about it and probably the most shocking thing is that it was successful enough for Jackie Collins to pen the sequel "The Bitch" and for Joan Collins to appear in it.
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