Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Everything You've Ever Wanted to See of Sylvester Stallone

Ok, I guess this was bound to happen sooner or later given my interests. I actually saw The Italian Stallion (aka. The Party at Kitty and Stud's) a little while back, but re-watched it today because I'm presenting a paper on it this Thursday morning at a conference (that's right - and I'm going to be showing pictures too...). What interests me about this film is the way they repackaged it for post-Rocky audiences. 

Made in 1970, when Sly was a mere 24-years-old, the film was shelved until Rocky came out to wild acclaim and popularity in 1976. The Party at Kitty and Stud's was promptly re-edited, with the help of adult film director Gail Palmer, and repackaged as The Italian Stallion in 1978 (actually, that's not terribly prompt...). The plot is very, very simple (a relief after my last two posts...): Stud is super hot and hip, and is obsessed with having sex - so much so, that even though he has regular sex with girlfriend Kitty (Henrietta Holm), he still sees apparitions of naked women wherever he goes. They gaze at him, and he gazes back, and for some reason this makes him mad. 

Meanwhile, Kitty is also pretty hip, and somewhat hot, and she just can't get enough of Stud: "It seems like I can’t get enough of that guy. I wish I could have him in me 24 hours a day." Alas, she can't. Instead, they throw a party, and the whole movie deteriorates into a rather confusing "orgy" (people rubbing their naked bodies against each other on a rug, and dancing in a circle naked). 

I should note at this point that there is NO HARDCORE in this movie - there are rumors that a hardcore version exists, but in the course of research, I have surmised that this is false. Some people point to a movie named Bocky, in Germany, but it seems that the hardcore scenes are inserts. Besides, watching all the flaccid penises, it's pretty clear that this is your run-of-the-mill sexploitation/skin-flick, and that's nothing to complain about. 

On to Stallone, seeing as that's the reason why this is available on DVD at all. The most interesting part of the movie is Gail Palmer's introduction (and her speech on the trailer), which not only mocks the size of Stallone's penis, but implies that men are the intended audience, whereas in the trailer she tells us that Stallone is the man of "every woman's dream." Who the spectator is intended to be is a little ambiguous. Or, rather, pretty obvious when it comes down to it - the film is riding on the back of Rocky, which was well-attended by a presumed heterosexual, male audience. In marketing this film, then, the distributors seem to have gone for a "mediated-homoeroticism" angle, cashing in on the existing mediated homoeroticism of Rocky (mediated by violence). By presenting the film as though it were for heterosexual women, the marketing makes it "safe" for heterosexual men to go and indulge in their favorite action hero's penis. Genius!

Aside from the homosocial viewing relations, there are some pretty classic lines, added post-Rocky to enhance the Stallone-centered quality of the movie. The voice-over is supposed to be spoken by Kitty, though it was obviously added in later. The most telling is when Stud prophetically mutters, "When are they gonna recognize me?" Kitty responds, "Soon. Everyone will know who you are." Then, without her mouth moving, she says, "Some day you'll get known as the Italian Stallion."

 I believe my favorite line is when Kitty is bandaging Stud's hand (he fantasized a naked lady, and got so mad he punched a window - this kind of behavior makes Kitty really "hot" and she drinks his blood, then washes the wound and bandages it) and promises Stud that she will be "velvet-mouthed on your shank of love." 

While that line is pretty priceless, there are many other elements to savor in this essentially terrible, and cringe-worthy film (you see a lot more of Stallone's testicles than any other part of his genitalia - if that's "all you've ever wanted to see of Sylvester Stallone," as Ms. Palmer promises in the trailer, then knock yourself out). One scene is worth watching the movie for, though: Sly and a bad-ass black lady dancing on their rug (the same one they all have an orgy on later). It's super cool. Really.


Balberith said...

Hmm... I have had a crush on Sly for a long while now, so for that reason alone I am tempted to watch the film just for the hell of it. Good review though, very entertaining haha

Gore-Gore Girl said...

Thanks! I, too, have a strange crush on Sly. He's charming and irresistible at times, yet I have also seen him in movies that made me look away (Judge Dredd...). Nevertheless, I definitely watched this out of prurient interest. I recommend it (even if it's just to say that you saw it).

Johnny 666 said...

Yeah, I saw this one a few years ago, the 'Bocky' title has badly inserted penetration shots. I really don't remember alot from it, but it was jsut the sheer novelty of seeing Stallones weiner that appealed to me!

Yup, I have issues...

Gore-Gore Girl said...

Wow - I'm totally using that as a quote at my presentation tomorrow.

Johnny 666 said...

Glad I can help in every little way:-D

T.L Bugg said...

Is a preview for this a while back on a 42nd street Forever DVD collection, and I wondered if the film was available. Now that I know that it is I am fascinated to see this one. thanks for the review and good luck on your presentation (I wish I could be a fly on the wall for that!)

Gore-Gore Girl said...

Thanks Bugg! I just got back, and the people attending were really enthusiastic about my paper (and even more so about Stallone! It was fun - lots of laughs!).

Yes, you must see this! It's a shame the "original" film isn't available, but the current version is as original as it gets unfortunately. Still, can't complain!


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