I always think of Joan Collins as primarily being a television star. After all, I grew up in the 80’s when she was a big hit on Dynasty. However, ever since I started looking at so-called Forgotten Films, she seems to regularly pop up in some strange films I’ve covered, including The Devil Within Her, Tales that Witness Madness, and Empire of the Ants. All of those films were going for scares, but our film today is going for something a bit steamier. It also happens to be based on the second novel by Joan’s sister, Jackie Collins…it’s 1978’s The Stud.
The film focuses on a guy named Tony (Oliver Tobias) who is the manager of a popular London nightclub. Tony’s livin’ the good life. He’s successful, he can get any woman he wants…all is well. But Tony’s duties extend beyond running the club. He’s also regularly called upon by the club’s owner, Fontaine (Collins), to…um…satisfy her needs. Even when she wants those needs taken care of in an elevator in front of security cameras.
Tony has his own dreams, though. He hopes to open his own club and get away from being at Fontaine’s beck and call. He soon starts to lose interest in her, especially when he catches sight of her lovely stepdaughter, Alex (Emma Jacobs). Alex, on the other hand, sees getting cozy with Tony as an opportunity to absolutely infuriate her stepmother. Tony soon starts to fall in love with Alex, but Fontaine is not going to give up so easily. She drags Tony off to Paris which results in an infamous sequence which…let’s just say involves as swimming pool, a swing, and about half a dozen naked people…including Joan Collins.
This movie is just plain trashy. It’s level of excess is absolutely shameless. I will say, though, that Collins is well suited to her role…I’m not sure that should be taken as a compliment, though. Fontaine is a completely repugnant character and Collins’ performance just oozes evil. It’s quite a contrast from the stiff and downright boring approach of Oliver Tobias as Tony. Ultimately, he is the central character of the film, but Collins so overpowers him that he becomes utterly forgettable.
The one performance that actually had me somewhat intrigued was Emma Jacobs as Alex. The story actually began to show some promise when her character was introduced. The idea that the sweet young woman would try to steal away her nymphomaniac stepmother’s lover to get back and her for messing around on her father had promise. However, this whole storyline is pretty much pushed to the side before it really even gets started. I found this strange considering that by the end of the film, we’re supposed to believe that Tony has fallen head over heels for Alex, even though she pretty much vanishes from the second half of the film. I guess there wasn’t time to expand on this part of the plot when you have to leave time for Joan Collins to swing naked over the pool.
In many ways the notorious pool scene just feels like the filmmakers didn’t know what the heck else to do. It’s there simply for shock value. It starts out as ridiculous and quickly nose dives into the realm of embarrassing. There are other moments of the film that also seem to be there for no other reason but to pad out the running time. Extended sequences are devoted just to people dancing in the nightclub. Though, I will say, there is a fun cheesy quality to disco tunes that make up the soundtrack.
I suppose we could say that The Stud is ultimately an exploitation film, but it’s so stinkin’ pretentious that would be an insult to all the hard-working exploitation films out there. In my educated opinion, this “Stud” should never be allowed to reproduce. Too late…there was a sequel.