Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Making of a Male Model (1983)

Network: ABC
Original Air Date: October 9th, 1983

Between male strippers ( For Ladies Only, Ladykillers ) and covert top female models (Cover Girls, Model by Day), made for TV movies were brimming with the salaciously salacious and the glamorously glamorous. Leave it up to the great Aaron Spelling to find a way to top them all with The Making of a Male Model. It’s just that glamorous!

The late Jon-Erik Hexum plays Tyler Burnett, a hillbilly type who just happens upon a photo shoot lead by modeling agency exec Kay Dillon (Joan Collins looking fab!). She gets one eyeful of Tyler and New York is calling his name. After he’s dumped by the small town beauty Alma (Tonja Walker), Tyler begrudgingly heads to the Big Apple to find his fortune and fame. Once there, he moves in with Chuck Lanyard (Jeff Conaway), a male model with a fab loft, but is so on his last legs that apparently roommates are the only real income that can help him support his drug habit. Tyler also encounters a slimy competitive male model named Gary Angelo (Ted McGinley) who really is no competition for young Tyler, which might explain why he’s such a jerk. Initially Tyler tries to do things on his own terms but after some snarky photographers break him down a little, Kay gets him in the hairdresser’s chair and thus, a male model is born.

McGinley gets down!

With his raw, sexed up intensity, Tyler becomes the model in town, exploding with a cologne campaign where he tells you to “Catch the Fever.” Boy, does he tell you! He and Kay also develop a relationship that takes them from the boardroom to the bedroom (I’ve always wanted to say that!), but of course love and fame aren’t always meant to go together and Tyler learns the hard way that the making of a male model just may mean the unmaking of the man behind the façade.

So. Deep.

This film is fantastically fun. It’s high energy from the opening frame and pulls out all the stops when it comes to G-L-A-M-O-U-R! Check out the costume party which features Collin’s rack as the star attraction! There’s coke snorting, fashion shoots, models dumping champagne on each other, big hair, even bigger pecks, sex and lots of fun. Oh, and did I mention Roxy Roker?!? Well, she’s in a small, not-so-pivotal role, but c’mon. It’s the Roker! And I haven’t even gotten to Arte Johnson or Kevin McCarthy! My head is about to explode!

This my friends is the X Factor

Collins is tops as the ice queen with a great wardrobe full of silky robes, men’s suits and high neck silk numbers. It’s all 80s and it’s all awesome! Jon-Erik Hexum displays a lot of talent as Tyler. He would go on to star on a television series called Cover Up in 1984. He was killed during an on set accident at the age of 26. It still shocks me to this day and re-watching this movie, I am positive that Hexum was headed for much bigger things. His looks, charisma and talent were undeniable and he was one of those guys, much in the same vein as Tom Selleck, where you didn’t feel completely intimidated by how handsome he was. That is a rare trait in an actor then and now.

This lush piece of camp was directed by Irving J. Moore who helmed such shows as Dallas and Dynasty. So there’s no question about your drama. It’s here, it’s sometimes queer and it’s always incredible.

Visit this Jon-Erik Hexum’s fansite. It’s absolutely amazing.

Read another review of The Making of a Male Model here

This picture just makes me giggle!


VoyagerG said...

Funny and well thought out review! This movie was pure cheese, but I ate it up with crackers. Though, I'm no Joan fan, but Jon-Erik made it completely worthwhile, and Jeff Conway put in quite a performance. Not to mention I get tickled whenever I see Kevin McCarthy, lol. I am a huge Jon fan and run
check it out if you get a chance, there's tons of stuff there. :D

VoyagerG said...

I noticed your link to the cool cinema trash was broken, I found the Male Model page again..

VoyagerG said...

I'm sorry to keep commenting, but I had this window open to get the link to this blog, lol. Go and check out your award from me. Thanks so much! :D

Miss Margaret said...

Hi Amanda! I love this blog on Male Model. I haven't ever really seen a blog on it. And this is the best one yet!!!! ;) I loved how ya explained it perfectly. And ya couldn't have said it better, "the making of a male model just may mean the unmaking of the man behind the façade." Awesome blog, and I hope there's more Jon blogs from you! :D

Amanda By Night said...

Thanks for reading guys! Ginger, I fixed the Cool Cinema Trash link too. It took a couple of months but I did it! YAY!

Btw, I'm going to be doing a write up on the cover up pilot soon... Loved it!

VoyagerG said...

Oh awesome! I can't wait to read that. Don't forget to post it on the forum. :)