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Skeletons in superstar’s closet In Focus by Richard Crouse IN FOCUS May 22, 2009

1979_acs01If not for the success of Twilight, a movie called Little Ashes about superstar surrealist Salvador Dalí’s relationship with poet Federico García Lorca would likely have languished on the shelf, never to be seen in theatres.

So why is it coming to some theatres this weekend? Well, Little Ashes stars a pre-Twilight Robert Pattison as Dalí in a role decidedly different from the one that made him a star and the film’s producers are hoping to cash in on his newfound popularity.

Pattison joins the list of actors to have films come back from the dead to haunt them. Matthew McConaughey and Renee Zellweger purportedly took legal action to prevent the re-release of a skeleton from their collective closets, Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation and if Nicole Kidman didn’t try and buy up all the copies of BMX Bandits, she should have.

In 1979, Madonna starred in the erotic thriller A Certain Sacrifice as Bruna, a Lower East Side local rooming with three love slaves who help her get revenge on a man who attacked her. Shot on a budget of $20,000 US, the film was forgotten until 1985 when it was released on VHS to coincide with the release of Like a Virgin.

Unhappy about this relic from her past popping up, she screamed obscenities at director Stephen Jon Lewicki, called the film “mediocre” and her performance “second rate.”

Lewicki declined the singer’s $10,000 buyout to keep the film off video store shelves and became a millionaire on the film’s proceeds.

Sylvester Stallone had a similar experience. As a starving actor, he appeared in a sexploitation movie called Party at Kitty and Studs. “I played Studs, who posts a sign on a bulletin board inviting people to come to a party,” he told Playboy.

“About ten people show up and they do a lot of kissing and necking, and that’s about it.”
He says he was literally a starving artist when he made the film. “I mean, I was desperate. That’s why I thought it was extraordinary when I read in one of the trade papers that I could make $100 a day. And the fact that I had to take off my clothes to do it was no big deal.”

Years later when offered the chance to buy the rights and keep the movie out of the marketplace Stallone said no and since then has developed a sense of humour about his embarrassing porn legacy.

When asked about “remake fever” in Hollywood, he said: “My real dream is that the highest-priced actor working today has the huevos to remake the classic Party at Kitty and Studs.”

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