When you walk into an antique store you hope to be surprised by some random treasure you didn’t know you needed. You do not expect to see a naked Sylvester Stallone kneeling on the ground tied to a dolly. And yet, that’s exactly what one woman found more than a week ago when she was browsing a shop in Australia. Naturally, posts went out on social and Reddit, the whole thing went viral, and a lot of people told the same joke about the Dennis sex doll from Always Sunny. End of story? Not necessarily, because the story of the original Naked Sly prop from the 1993 film Demolition Man is kinda bonkers, involving missing body parts, theme restaurants, debates about dick size representation, Working Girl star Melanie Griffith, and an Oscar-nominated craftsman who won’t make you a celebrity sex suit.
For the unfamiliar, Demolition Man stars Stallone as John Spartan, a police officer who is set up, cryogenically frozen, and later thawed to go after a super criminal in the future (zestfully played by Wesley Snipes). For one of the opening scenes of the film, a prop was created to show Stallone’s body in stasis (they also made one for Snipes and about 20 random ones to represent other frozen prisoners). 80 replicas were then made to exhibit at various Planet Hollywoods, a worldwide chain of theme restaurants/Hollywood paraphernalia showcases that Stallone (and many of his movie star brethren) had an ownership stake in. The one for sale in Australia (reportedly for $4,000) is one of these replicas.
During the '90s, prop versions of Sylvester Stallone's cryogenically frozen character in Demolition Man hung from the ceilings of Planet Hollywood restaurants.
Now a defrosted John Spartan has surfaced in an Australian country town. pic.twitter.com/skOpt2e3ys
— Adam Howes (@Howsito) August 28, 2022
As you can see, that Sly is in pretty good shape for being nearly 30 years old. You wouldn’t want to lay eyes on the original now according to Alec Gillis, one of the artisans responsible for it (and the replicas).
Gillis is an Oscar nominee and the co-founder of Amalgamated Dynamics, the prop house that worked on Demolition Man. You’ve also seen their work in a diverse and epic slate of films going back to Tremors through to Prey and beyond. He has had a lot of people send him articles about the antique store Sly.
“The one that we made for the film was made out of urethane, which is a far less stable product [than silicone, which is what the replicas are made from],” Gillis explained to Uproxx. “It’s probably pretty ghastly [now].” If you’ve seen that creepy image of a rotted Ninja Turtle and its pearly whites, you get the picture, but the original Stallone prop is also missing some key equipment.
“The body made its way all through the shooting [of the film]. And then it was discovered, when we went to pick it up on set, [that] it had been decapitated and its penis cut off as well. So I think somebody stole it as a souvenir, stole those two things from it. It sounds like a mob hit, but fans sometimes get excited.”
Okay, let’s sit with all that for a second. Before you start thinking that some kind of true-to-life Stallone phallus is circulating in the world, however, let me disabuse you of that notion and utterly devastate the original penis thief. While Demolition Man producer Joel Silver mentioned on the DVD commentary that the original prop was well-endowed and that that was a priority for Stallone, the molded member was not modeled after Rocky’s cock. But it was magnificent.
Initially, Gillis and company were told that they couldn’t hang dong in the film, meaning there would be no need to add a penis to the prop. But while the initial solve was a “generic kind of mound,” it didn’t pass muster on set.
“I think between Wesley and Stallone there was good-natured kind of ribbing each of other back and forth about having no genitalia [and] about comparative sizes and all that. So we were asked to go back and put a penis on the Stallone [prop]. I can’t remember if we did it on Wesley Snipes.”
We’re really getting into the nitty gritty of Hollywood magic here, folks. Not only was the penis not modeled after Stallone’s, but even the body is an approximation.
“We did what we often do for a body replica where we’ll do the head cast of the actor, but we didn’t really put the actor through the body casting process. So they hired a body double who was a very fit guy.” Not fit enough, apparently, as Gillis adds that they had to add more definition to the clay model that came out of the process to catch up to Stallone, who was nearly 50 at the time. “We had to take the 20-year-old body double and make him as fit as Stallone was.”
While the materials were different, Gillis and company used the same molds from Demolition Man on the Planet Hollywood project with the 80 recreations. “Hairs that were punched in one at a time, skin texture, pores,” Gillis says, adding, “They’re quite detailed.” Still, the anatomical correctness isn’t quite as pronounced on those, leading to another entertaining story, this one surrounding the grand opening of a new Planet Hollywood, the installation of the first Stallone replica prop, and a random celebrity cameo.
“They decided at the last minute that he should have briefs on. So there was no real penis form in there,” says Gillis. “My guys had to roll up a napkin off a table and stuff it in. And they were sort of going, ‘Oh, I don’t know, what about size?’ And then, as the story goes, Melanie Griffith came over and advised them as to her opinion what the ideal size should be.”
In case you are wondering, Gillis has had a few calls over the years from people inquiring about where they can get one of the replicas. He also confides that he’s had calls from people asking if he’ll make them wearable fuck suits with different (ostensibly celebrity) faces on them (which, no, he cannot), so the replica Stallone’s aren’t nearly the weirdest request he gets. Still, when I inquire as to if he would pay the reported fee of $4,000 to be reunited with one of his creations, he’s emphatic. “Absolutely not. I wouldn’t want a naked silicone Stallone. But to each their own.”
Insert Dennis sex doll joke here.