Sunday, 31 December 2017

The Beware! Encyclopaedia of International Celebrity - Sylvester Stallone

In the galaxy of celebrity, there are some stars that shine so bright that it's almost impossible to believe they are just one star. One such pulsar is Sly "Sylvester" Stallone (born 1946-odd), a man who single-handedly squirted out a billion action films (Check this. Ed). The fastest writer in the business, Sly is said to have scrawled the script for the first "Ricky" film whilst popping to the toilet at Madison Square Garden on the night of the great Mohammed Ali v Henry Cooper fight. The original roll is now on permanent display in the Philadelphia Spread Museum.

After quitting his divinity course, Sly earned money as an extra for several years (third diner on the left in "The Godfather", bank customer in "Dog Day Afternoon", unnamed heavy in "Serpico Goes To Shanghai"). After he hit the big time, unscrupulous producers cashed in on his fame by editing together old audition footage and scenes from the cutting-room floor, recut to make Sly into the star of the highly surreal "God of the Quads".

A young, glistening Sly, courtesy
of Andy for MoMoJaJa.
Famous for catchphrases including "get you off me!", "hey!", and "aaahhaarrgghhh!" Sly cornered the market in action flicks. As hinted earlier, his speed is legendary: he wrote, budgeted, scored, costumed, filmed and edited "Ricky" in a day (the story of a little kid mechanic who becomes a lucha libre wrestler). A series of budget-busting bunker-buggers followed; notably "Ricky IV: The Quest For Democracy", released at the height of Reagan-era Cold War paranoia, in which the title character faced off against Brezhnev in a rigged-up ring in the UN HQ at Geneva; and "Ricky Horror", a gender-bending Vietnam musical which later saw Sly honoured for services to the corset industry.

As a leading box office draw, Sly's varied roles included a wronged man in prison; a wronged man in a mental ward; a man in a wrong prison; a ham in a pickle; and a mental wronged man on the loose. A method actor, Sly tunnelled into Slade Penitentiary to get into character for "The Lock-Down", but then couldn't find his way out again, causing a year-long delay in filming.

His work-out routine is infamously extreme. Gargling raw eggs until they scramble in the mouth, whilst hanging off a zip wire over a ravine. He bench-pressed live crocodiles. He exploded on five separate occasions. He tore down entire parking lots.

Sly still found time for life's little luxuries, like eating fine cuisine (his own restaurant chain, Knock-Down Foods), and sex (his own condom line, Sly's Tiger Eye).

He's held back from the political arena, which is perhaps a good thing as of course he's a Republican. 

With the wisdom of old age and the muscle definition of regular HGH injections, in recent years a still-stunning, still-slurring Sly made a comeback to the big screen with an adaptation of 90s Britcom "Waiting For God", starring all his action hero mates (Mr T, David Hasselhoff, Joan Collins) as residents of a retirement home/concentration camp fighting for dignity and freedom under the watch of bumbling villain Christopher Walken and his henchman, Grace Jones. To his legion of fans, however, Stallone will always be best known as a wronged man on the right screen. Our screen. Wrong may he reign.

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