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Thread: Stars' Scary Starts

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    Red face Stars' Scary Starts

    Live amongst people in such a manner that if you die they weep over you and if you are alive they crave for your company.

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    Horror flicks are popular with movie producers because compared to a sci-fi flick or a period piece, they're cheap to make. Put five good-looking teenagers in a cabin with a psychopath on the loose and you got yourself a movie. Fledgling actors like horror flicks, too, because their grisly on-screen deaths can be stepping-stones to Tinseltown fame and fortune. Of course, once these fledgling actors hit the big time, these flicks can be something of an embarrassment. With Halloween right around the corner, check out the humble horror beginnings of Hollywood's biggest stars.

    Live amongst people in such a manner that if you die they weep over you and if you are alive they crave for your company.

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    Live amongst people in such a manner that if you die they weep over you and if you are alive they crave for your company.

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    ACTOR: Brad Pitt
    MOVIE: "Cutting Class" (1989)

    One of Brad Pitt's first big-screen roles was in the straight-to-VHS slasher flick "Cutting Class." Pitt played Dwight, the lunkhead jock who, along with his cheerleader girlfriend (Jill Schoelen), deduces that the recent rash of high-school slayings might be the handywork of his childhood friend Brian (Donavan Leitch), who was just released from a mental hospital for killing his father. It's the sort of movie that features a gym teacher getting impaled on a flag pole, a strange comedic subplot involving a wounded Martin Mull, and a climactic scene revolving around a math problem. It also ends 80s-style: with a lame joke and a freeze frame.

    During production, Brad started dating his co-star Jill Schoelen. The relationship lasted a couple of months and by some accounts, the two were engaged. Then she went off to Budapest to shoot another movie. One day, she called him up, begging him to come to Europe."I had 800 dollars to my name," Pitt recalled in an interview. "I spent 600 of it getting a ticket from L.A. to Hungary to see her."

    Unfortunately, when he arrived, he learned that she had already fallen for the movie's director. Pitt was left stranded. "I spent my night in Budapest, sitting on a bench, smoking, with just a local bum to talk to who couldn't speak English."

    Pitt's big break happened two years later with his appearance in "Thelma and Louise
    Live amongst people in such a manner that if you die they weep over you and if you are alive they crave for your company.

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    Live amongst people in such a manner that if you die they weep over you and if you are alive they crave for your company.

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    Jen, AnistonACTOR: Jennifer Aniston
    MOVIE: "Leprechaun" (1993)

    After years of waiting tables and getting small TV roles, Jen landed her first leading role in this slasher flick about one really ticked-off little guy in green. The movie bombed at the theater (though it went on to have five sequels). Aniston was so discouraged that she considered quitting acting altogether. Later, when she did hit it big, "Leprechaun" was re-released on video with Jen prominently featured on the cover
    Live amongst people in such a manner that if you die they weep over you and if you are alive they crave for your company.

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    ACTOR: Demi Moore
    MOVIE: "Parasite" (1982)

    In the futuristic year of 1992, after the world has been reduced to rubble by an atomic apocalypse, scientist Dr. Dean creates a parasite in his lab and then has the brilliant idea to hide the thing from the government in his stomach. Somewhere along the way, he meets up with a comely young lemon-grower (Demi Moore) who tries to help Dr. Dean kill his parasitic invention without killing himself. By all accounts, this movie was staggeringly bad, featuring inept direction, special effects, and acting. As Reelfilm writes, "This is the proverbial bottom-of-the-barrel; it really doesn't get much worse than this." On the plus side, Demi met her first husband on this movie, co-star Freddy Moore, from whom she took her professional name.


    Live amongst people in such a manner that if you die they weep over you and if you are alive they crave for your company.

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    ACTOR: Katherine Heigl
    MOVIE: "Bride of Chucky" (1998)

    Before she hit the A-list thanks to "Grey's Anatomy" and "Knocked Up," Katherine Heigl played Jade, a teenaged con artist who, along with her boyfriend, gets kidnapped by a pair of apple-cheeked dolls with the souls of Ted Bundy. As Heigl recalled, "The more seriously you try to take something like this, the more ridiculous it seems. Working on it in Toronto, it seemed to get funnier and funnier, as we kept adding things in."

    Though generally panned by critics, the movie actually proved to be the most profitable flick in the franchise. It even managed to beat out the Oprah Winfrey vehicle "The Beloved." Winfrey admitted in an interview with Piers Morgan that the defeat sent her into "a massive, depressive macaroni-and-cheese-eating tailspin. I remember hearing on Saturday morning that we got beat by something called Chucky.' I didn't even know what Chucky' was."
    Live amongst people in such a manner that if you die they weep over you and if you are alive they crave for your company.

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    ACTOR: Johnny Depp
    MOVIE: "A Nightmare on Elm Street" (1984)

    One of Freddy Krueger's first victims was none other than Johnny Depp, in his screen debut. After he became a bona fide A-list movie star playing another famed cinematic character with bladed extremities in "Edward Scissorhands," Depp made a cameo in the sixth and supposed final chapter in the horror franchise "Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare."
    Live amongst people in such a manner that if you die they weep over you and if you are alive they crave for your company.

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    ACTOR: Leonardo DiCaprio
    MOVIE: "Critters 3" (1991)

    Leonardo's cinematic debut was with this straight-to-video horror flick. Leo played one of a handful of woefully underwritten characters stranded on the roof of a burning Los Angeles tenement as they are terrorized by the toothy, malevolent "Gremlin" knock-offs from another planet. Not long after this flick, DiCaprio landed a recurring role on the sitcom "Growing Pains."
    Live amongst people in such a manner that if you die they weep over you and if you are alive they crave for your company.

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    ACTOR: Paul Rudd
    MOVIE: "Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers" (1995)

    Paul Rudd appeared in this sixth sequel to the hoary Halloween franchise just before hitting it big with "Clueless." He played the grown-up version of the kid from the first movie who is, of course, haunted by memories of a masked mass murderer. The shoot was famously fraught, with the director and producers constantly arguing on set. And when the producers insisted on a complete (and completely unintelligible) reshoot of the ending, many from the movie's cast and crew disavowed the flick. The reviews weren't kind, either. The San Francisco Chronicle called the movie, "by far the worst in the series...bland and deadening."

    Live amongst people in such a manner that if you die they weep over you and if you are alive they crave for your company.

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    ACTOR: Meg Ryan
    MOVIE: "Amityville 3D" (1983)

    Meg Ryan had appeared in one movie and a soap opera before getting cast in the third film in the "Amityville Horror" series, but it didn't exactly launch her career. Alongside future "Full House" star Lori Loughlin, Ryan didn't make much of an impression in this haunted-house movie that tried to capitalize on the short-lived 3D craze of the early '80s. Three years later, Ryan finally broke out as the wife of the doomed Goose in "Top Gun."
    Live amongst people in such a manner that if you die they weep over you and if you are alive they crave for your company.

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    ACTOR: Tom Hanks
    MOVIE: "He Knows You're Alone" (1980)

    Even back-to-back Oscar winners have to get their start somewhere. Tom Hanks's first screen appearance was in this low-budget slasher that was originally entitled "Blood Wedding." Still, his star power was evident even then. In the script, Hanks's character was supposed to die, but the filmmakers found him so charming they rewrote it, and he survived


    Live amongst people in such a manner that if you die they weep over you and if you are alive they crave for your company.

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    ACTOR: Kevin Bacon
    MOVIE: "Friday the 13th" (1980)

    Though Kevin Bacon's first film role was as Chip Diller in the frat-comedy classic "Animal House," his career didn't really take off until he starred in "Diner" some four years later. In the meantime, he was still waiting tables while appearing in the odd film role. One of these was in the original "Friday the 13th," where he played a fresh-faced camp counselor who, after a round of casual, pre-marital sex, gets a poker driven through his neck. That's right, in a series spanning decades that saw scores of teenagers die gruesome deaths after acting on their hormonal urges, Bacon was one of the first.

    Live amongst people in such a manner that if you die they weep over you and if you are alive they crave for your company.

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    ACTORS: Matthew McConaughey and Renee Zellweger
    MOVIE: "Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation" (1994)

    Here's a movie that managed to nab not one, but two, stars just before they vaulted into the limelight. Matthew McConaughey played a sociopathic redneck cannibal with an electronically controlled fake leg, while Renee Zellweger played a screaming virginal nerd in a prom dress. The movie was shot in 1994 and sat on the shelf for three years as studios and producers argued over its fate. When McConaughey landed the lead in "A Time to Kill" and Zellweger starred in "Jerry Maguire," however, everyone was eager to get the film out except Matthew McConaughey. Through his agent, he put pressure on the filmmakers "not to release the film theatrically." The star lost out, ultimately. "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" was given a limited release in 1997


    Live amongst people in such a manner that if you die they weep over you and if you are alive they crave for your company.

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