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  Stud, The Disco Sucker
Year: 1978
Director: Quentin Masters
Stars: Joan Collins, Oliver Tobias, Sue Lloyd, Mark Burns, Doug Fisher, Walter Gotell, Tony Allyn, Emma Jacobs, Peter Lukas, Natalie Ogle, Constantine Gregory, Merlyn Ward, Sarah Lawson, Jeremy Child, Franco De Rosa, Shango Baku, Chris Jagger, Minah Bird
Genre: Drama, TrashBuy from Amazon
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: Another morning, another woman who Tony Blake (Oliver Tobias) wakes up next to in his bed; he lets her see herself out, after asking her name of course, it would be rude not to. Tony thinks he is living the good life as a manager of a swish disco nightclub in the heart of London, and he is surely enjoying the perks of the job, which include bedding the owner, Fontaine Khaled (Joan Collins), the rich wife of a richer businessman - or does she bed him? Certainly tonight, when she takes him back to her place, she cannot wait to get him to her boudoir and seduces him in the lift... but there is a security camera filming them.

Before there was The Bitch, there was The Stud, similarly a Jackie Collins-penned story (based on her bestselling book) starring her sister Joan, and met with the same measure of derision. The film is essentially a wallow in the seamier side of the jet set, although the jetting only reaches as far as Paris, and even then we have to take that as read: no establishing shots of the Eiffel Tower here. Our hero is supposedly irresistable to the opposite sex (and some of the same sex as well), but there's a curious reversal of roles here, with Tony the one who is used by the females rather than the other way around.

Chief among the predators is Fontaine, with Joan in full on "she knows what she wants and she's going to get it" mode, purring her way through a surplus of dodgy dialogue, all themed around sex and money. And for real placing of this film in nowhere else but 1978, there are those scenes of Tony's disco in a somewhat embarrassing attempt to recreate to mood of those dancing sequences from Saturday Night Fever - if only Tony had taken to the floor like John Travolta, then the kitsch quotient would have gone through the roof. It's already in the rafters here in the lengthy musical bits all accompanied by the likes of Baccara and Hot Chocolate...

...so much so that you begin to check your watch wondering when the plot is going to start up again. It all hinges around that videotape taken of the coupling in the lift, and at first it's a source of amusement for Fontaine and her best friend Vanessa (Sue Lloyd) as Vanessa demands that Tony be handed over to her so she may have her wicked way with him, whether he's up for it or not. Poor old Tony begins to look worn out by the halfway mark as his dissolute lifestyle takes its toll, and there's a sense that Jackie Collins has mixed feelings about this playboy existence.

But along with that is an impression that she cannot recommend it highly enough as long as you're not an upstart social climber like Tony. Keep to your own class, would appear to be the message as the protagonist feels the pressures of running a nightclub and satisfying a long line of willing partners. In fact, what The Stud is most interesting for is mapping out what people in the late seventies thought was worth aspiring to, the whole sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll thing; punk was for the plebs, after all. The part best recalled is the swimming pool orgy sequence, but this is actually a queasy interlude with Tony looking as if he's enduring some kind of sexual nightmare, although there is one funny item: the French parrot who says "Bonjour!". By the end Tony is washed up and disillusioned, but glad to be out of the claustrophobic atmosphere; you may well sympathise. Music by Biddu.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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