• Italian Stallion (Cinema Epoch) DVD Review

    Released by: Cinema Epoch
    Released on: October 9th, 2007.
    Director: Morton Lewis
    Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Henrietta Holm, Jodi Van Prang, Frank Micelli, Nicholas Warren, Barbara Strom
    Year: 1978
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    Italian Stallion – Movie Review:

    Also known as The Party At Kitty And Studs and released on DVD in Germany as Bocky, The Italian Stallion stars a pre-Rocky Sylvester Stallone who, according to a Playboy Interview, took the job for a paltry $200.00 before he hit the big time. The film was shot over two days in New York in 1970 when Stallone was just twenty-four years old and there it sat, unreleased for years. When a certain boxing movie won an Oscar, The Party At Kitty And Studs became The Italian Stallion and was released to cash in on Sly's new found fame with an intro from Gail Palmer (director of Hot Summer In The City and Prisoner Of Paradise - she worked as an editor on this film) tacked on making comparisons between this film and Rocky and with posters of the now famous Stallone plastered behind her as she sits editing film in front of the camera.

    The story revolves around a couple named Kitty (Henrietta Holm) and Stud (Stallone) who share an apartment together somewhere in New York City. Kitty narrates most of the film, filling us in on what a great lay Stud is and telling us how much she craves him day in, day out. Stud obviously gets her pretty hot, as she's prone to muttering lines like:

    "Give it to me, Stud. Give it all to me. Go ahead, Stud, give me all your juice."

    Stud's happy enough to oblige the less whenever the mood hits him, but he's also interested in other things like gambling, wearing pimped out winter coats, and getting high. After a night of card playing with some pals, Stud comes home and beats the shit out of Kitty with his belt. She writhes in pain but moans with pleasure and soon enough he hops on top and gives her some lovin'. At one point his hand gets cut and she sucks the blood off of him. They have an interesting sex life.

    At any rate, once they're done goofing off and getting it on, they hold a party. A few of their friends come over, the ladies get baked and jiggle, everyone smokes the reefer and imbibes and finally, after a lengthy interracial lesbian love scene on the couch, it's time for a prolonged psychedelic gang bang! The end.

    Directed by Morton Lewis, The Italian Stallion is pretty goofy. The sex isn't hardcore but there are moments where it comes close and the love scenes which make up the vast majority of the film are fairly explicit. Stallone does get naked in the film a few times which might surprise those seeing the film for the first time, but don't expect to see him involved in any visible penetration. He does smoke up quite a bit and talks about getting high a few times, which is funny for reasons that are difficult to explain. That said, there's no real story here. There's an odd subplot of sorts where Stud sees a foxy lady before getting into a cab, only to see her flash him her hooters as he takes off, but this goes nowhere. The 'plot' really only seems to exist to move the film from one sex scene to the next.

    The Rocky-esque music that plays while Sly flexes in the mirror is amusing and the movie has no shortage of camp value but as an erotic film it's pretty dire. Watch it if you want a good laugh or if you dig seventies furniture and home decorating and maybe wanna get some pointers. You're certainly not going to want to watch this one for the acting or the cinematography but as a trashy skeleton from Sly's closet, it's an enjoyably campy throwback.

    Italian Stallion – DVD Review:

    The Italian Stallion is presented in 1.33.1 fullframe and that appears to be the film's original aspect ratio if the compositions are anything to go by. While the colors are a little faded print damage is at least kept to a minimum and while there's a fair bit of grain, it's never overpowering. The image hasn't been properly flagged for progressive scan playback, which is an all too common annoyance but there aren't any problems with mpeg compression artifacts nor is there any heavy edge enhancement to complain about. Supposedly taken from 35mm negative elements the movie looks pretty decent on this DVD.

    The English language Dolby Digital Mono sound mix on this release isn't going to blow you away but it gets the job done. Dialogue, which is minimal, is pretty easy to understand and the funky score sounds quite good. Kitty's narration sounds decent enough and if much of the film is flat, that's probably because it's a cheap old sexploitation film.

    Aside from a fairly simple animated menu using a clip from the film and scene selection, the only supplement on this disc is the film's theatrical trailer, hosted by Gail Palmer who reiterates much of what we hear her say in the film's introduction. It's an amusing spot and it's nice to see it included here though some more background on the film would have been very welcome.

    Italian Stallion – The Final Word:

    While The Italian Stallion isn't really a good film, it is an interesting one and it's nothing short of hilarious to see Stallone playing 'Stud' as it's about as far from Rocky as you can get despite what Gail Palmer's intro tries to tell us! Cinema Epoch's disc is light on extras but it looks and sounds decent even if it should have been flagged for progressive scan playback. Worth a look for fans of 70s NYC sleaze!

    Comments 4 Comments
    1. funkvader's Avatar
      funkvader -
      I unironically dig 70s home decorating.
      (And massive, massive bush.)
    1. funkvader's Avatar
      funkvader -
      Actually watched this today. I'm not an expert on these type of things. It's not that sexy. Kitty has a nice body (for me anyway.)
    1. agent999's Avatar
      agent999 -
      I remember in the early days of video in the UK, there used to be a lot of glossy brochures available in rental shops to try and entice you to rent titles. This film had a nice classy black and gold one. For about 30 seconds I thought it was a new Rocky film, I don't think my parents would have been too impressed if I rented this.
    1. VinceP's Avatar
      VinceP -
      I always thought the "foxy lady" in the park looked like Lucy Grantham, the actress that played Phyllis in Last House on the Left. Maybe an uncredited role?