Klaus Kinski’s Ghost Gets To Do Whatever He Wants

Revenge of the Stolen Stars aka Six Stars to Sindanao; À la poursuite de la pierre sacrée; Diamant des Grauens (Dir Ulli Lommel, 1985)

Basic plot: Gene McBride inherits his Uncle Duncan’s plantation on the island of Sindanao, but doesn’t realise that there’s a curse that goes with it.  Uncle Duncan’s ghost tells Gene that to lift the curse he must track down some missing rubies (the Six Stars) and return these to the local tribesmen to whom they rightfully belong.  But with several others also seeking the rubies, will Gene succeed in this quest and lift the deadly curse?

Cast: Duncan McBride – Klaus Kinski; Kelly Scanlon – Suzanna Love; Gene McBride – Barry Hickey; Max Stern – Ulli Lommel; Lupe – Kitty O’Shea; Alex – Andy Lyon; Consul – James Marshall; Sukie, the maid – Joycelyne Lew

Filming location: Philippines, Thailand, Mexico, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Colorado Springs

Release date: 1985

Availability:  O, it’s available alright – but do you want it?!!  Only joking, any film with Klaus in is worth having, right?  You’ll need to get the DVD from America though and it costs about £12 plus postage from Amazon sellers.  Otherwise you can pick up old VHS tapes for about £5.  The DVD has extras on it – the theatrical trailer and a 17 minute interview with Ulli Lommel called Revenge of the Stolen Stars Revisited (see below for more on this interview).  

   The film in full – *SPOILER ALERT*:

Okay, let’s get this point out the way – does Ulli Lommel even know how to make a film?  You’d think he would, having worked with Rainer Werner Fassbinder for years (both in front of the camera and behind the scenes), but I’m not so sure.  For example, does he understand about the concept of shot reverse shot and the use of classical Hollywood continuity editing?  With four characters standing in one room supposedly having a conversation, each is shot in turn with their back to a wall – there is absolutely no sense that they are even in the same room together, let alone interacting. 

It comes as no surprise, then, to learn (from the Ulli Lommel interview) that the film was shot in several different locations – Klaus’s chess scene was shot in Mexico; the scenes with the others listening downstairs were shot in both Universal Pictures and Malibu; and then the scenes in the house were shot in the Philippines.  Or something like that.  And the choice of locations did not really address any narrative requirements; Lommel had to work around that because he needed cheap locations.  Anyone think he spent most of the budget on Klaus’s there-as-a-big-name-for-marketing-purposes appearance?  Surely not just me!

Also, during the interview Lommel mentions that he got into some problems in Mexico (aside from his “Kinski Experience”, which I’ll cover in Other Information About the Film) after a random guy offered to let him use his luxury house to shoot in “free of charge” but then later demanded $10,000 in cash for the privilege, retaining the production equipment until Lommel had handed over the money.  More expense! But what a disaster from a film director’s point of view – does this guy even know what he’s doing?!!  And to say he let Klaus trample all over him is an understatement…

Anyway, his screenwriting and direction on Revenge of the Stolen Stars certainly leave something to be desired.  I’ve been mean enough to Ulli now, right?  I’ll try and be nice.  Erm… In the interview he says he hadn’t done any acting since 1977 – that’s okay, some of the “actors” in Revenge of the Stolen Stars didn’t do any acting at all and probably never have and never will.  I’m sorry! I can’t help myself, can I?  But really, Ulli was one of the better actors in the film and it’s safe to say that he’s no Klaus Kinski.

But then, who is?  Even Klaus Kinski’s not his usual self in this film.  It seems like his heart was not in it, for whatever reason.  We all know that with a big fee and the promise of just a couple of days filming, Klaus would have no reservations whatsoever about working on a trashy film, but even Klaus can’t seem to rustle up any enthusiasm for this particular film; and he usually gives his all without discrimination. 

When a director says of his own film, “You have more fun if you just have no expectations and you just get ready for a kind of wacky experience”, you know it’s not gonna be much cop at all.  But I’m kind of perverse in this way, it’s actually made me want to see some more of these films Ulli Lommel says have influenced the film; his own films, that is.  He says that Revenge of the Stolen Stars is a kind of commentary on all the previous horror movies that he had made and that he was getting a kick out of ridiculing his own films and other people’s films too.  My advice?  Have no expectations at all – Klaus is in it, so sit back and enjoy that bit; the rest is just a joke…

So, the story – well, there is some fat guy in a hot tub for no apparent reason.  He’s supposed to be the Counsel who helps Gene McBride get a visa to go over to an island in the South China Seas after his Uncle Duncan has died.  The fat guy, who never seems to wear clothes but lounges around a lot being pampered, appoints himself the narrator of the story.  Well, I guess with Ulli’s film-making abilities someone needed to point out what was happening and the fat guy does not appear to be rushed off his feet so he’s as good as anyone really.

Slightly disturbing – there’s a scene where the camera focuses persistently on this guy getting his fat fingers “massaged” by a lovely delicate lady with childlike hands for no apparent reason – ugh!

Anyway, intermittently he explains some snippet or other through a voice-over and sometimes you have to put up with seeing his naked old man flesh as well, which is not nice.  He also cackles hysterically for no apparent reason.  Quite a lot.  And only his bottom jaw moves when he does this; it’s quite disconcerting. 

Let’s move away from the hot tub for now, the story starts with Duncan McBride (played by KK) getting into a bit of an argument with his business partner of 5 years, Malu.  Duncan believes that Malu has stolen a ruby that Duncan had already promised to some weird couple called Lupe and Alex.  Duncan’s already had a $50,000 down payment on the ruby and, to make matters worse, the ruby does not even belong to them; it’s one of the Six Star rubies – the rarest of the rare – that are specifically excluded from Duncan’s mining rights as they belong to the villagers, who (rather vaguely) “use them in their religion”. 

Duncan tells Malu that he won’t let him out of the room alive unless he returns the ruby but Malu swears he has not stolen it.  Downstairs Lupe and Alex are being asked to wait until Duncan’s “meeting” is over.  Lupe and Alex have indeterminate comedy accents so when Alex asks about the ruby he says, “But ve are still vaiting for the deliver-ee!”  They say their investors are getting nervous; I guess the film’s investors were pretty nervous too when they saw these performances. 

A painting in the background depicts two cocks fighting and it all adds to the (non-existent) atmosphere when eventually Duncan makes good on his promise of not letting Malu leave alive and pulls a gun on him.  At the same time Malu pulls a knife and sticks Duncan one.  So there’s two dead and no sign of the ruby.  Lupe and Alex will want explanations – or their money back…

But Duncan’s secretary, the lovely Miss Kelly, says she knows nothing about their deal with Duncan, and nor does Duncan’s attorney, Max Stern.  They don’t yet know either that the stolen ruby, along with 2 others, means there is a curse on the plantation and its occupants. 

In San Francisco Duncan’s bumbling nephew, Gene, is being sexually molested by his landlady Ursula for not being able to cough up his rent on time.  News that his Uncle Duncan is dead and that he’s inherited his plantation give him an opportunity to escape Ursula’s bear hugs and unwanted attentions; out of the frying pan and into the fire…

Gene travels to Sindanao via Manila and arrives to find a houseful of weirdos (Max Stern, the casual looking butler Alfred, Lupe and Alex) plus Kelly and the sexy cleaning lady Sukie.  Gene is shown to his room, which is his Uncle’s old room.  There’s an amazing portrait of Uncle Duncan on the wall.  I’d like this portrait very much:

With “the comforting image of Uncle Duncan” looking on, things start to get a bit sinister for Gene in no time at all.  First off he’s “attacked” by some bugs and creatures in the shower – a scorpion and a big spider look to be interested in his soap and then a couple of plastic beetles attach themselves to his body.  Gene responds as he responds to almost anything – with a big bug-eyed stare of amazement.  Honestly, that’s his response to everything; I would say look out for it but there’s really no need as he’s just in a constant state of bug-eyed amazement.

After that he’s bitten by mosquitoes and then almost strangled by “carnivorous house plants” (which look like seaweed to me) whilst asleep.  That’s enough for the totally inept Gene, who doesn’t like bugs, and he decides that he wants to sell up and go home.  But then he hears that his Uncle was murdered in the study and for some inexplicable reason he decides to go in there – perhaps hoping to see one of those crime scene chalk outlines of his Uncle’s body.  Instead, however, he gets to see his Uncle for one last time.

Yes! Klaus returns to the film – as a ghost!  But Klaus was of the view that a ghost would not talk loud so he decided to mumble his lines instead, which is why the sound on these scenes is so poor.  From what I can hear (and you’ll read more about this sound problem in the Other information about the film of this review) Uncle Duncan seems to have returned to tell Gene that he cannot go home yet, that elephants and tigers are most difficult to train (uh?), that he has inherited a curse as well as the plantation and that he always liked the way he plays the drums.  Er…

All the time Uncle Duncan’s ghost talks he paces the room, moves from sitting to standing position in a second, moves from one side of the room to another in a flash and drinks alcohol.  That’s what ghosts do.  Apparently. 

Anyway, he continues to tell Gene that he cannot sell the plantation and that he must find the 3 rubies; one of them has been sold to Prince Kali in Bangkok; the other one he gave to Shale Maron; and the most precious one was stolen by Malu.  But all three must be found and returned to the villagers, otherwise the curse will remain.

Uncle Duncan has to know that Gene is the biggest dope in the world, so he could have at least given him more pointers on how to find the rubies.  But it just seems that he really can’t be bothered so he disappears, wishing Gene, “Good night.  Sleep well.”  

And that’s your lot.  Klaus is gone.  The next day Gene goes to see the villagers with Miss Kelly and they tell him that he needs to return the 3 rubies to them before the curse can be lifted, as the rubies are rightfully theirs, and they give him a talisman for good luck; the talisman will grant him one wish should he need it during his quest to find and return the rubies.  He then heads off for Bangkok with Miss Kelly, who in the most unbelievable aspect of the story seems to be rather interested in Gene.  It’s a good job, otherwise Gene would not stand a chance in hell.  Now that Gene and Kelly have joined forces, I propose to rename them, in the style of celebrity uni-names, as Gene Kelly.  Okay?

Meantime, Sukie, the “totally innocent but by no means pure” cleaning lady, who wears a shortie French Maid’s outfit and frilly knickers, makes the terrible mistake of dusting in the sacred room she is not supposed to enter – the room where Uncle Duncan’s ashes are kept, along with a gong and two mummies.  Don’t ask.  The terrible mistake does not go unpunished and she is subsequently chased around the room by invisible insects and bitten to death by them.

You might think this is something to do with the curse of the rubies but when Alfred asks Max why the curse has not affected them, Max tells him that the curse just does not exist.  Hm…

Gene Kelly arrive in Bangkok.  There’s stock footage of interesting landscapes, buildings etc.  I’m guessing it’s stock footage; it looks too interesting to be part of the film.  Gene Kelly asks where he can find the Singapore Bar where the Madame Shale Maron has her brothel.  Kelly is not allowed in the brothel as she’s female, so she creates an alter ego for herself – Russ Conrad.  Not very convincing, uh?

“Russ” has to fight off the advances of a very friendly prostitute (who looks remarkably like the dead Sukie in a different outfit, but I could be totally wrong here) whilst Gene has to smoke opium with the murderous Shale Maron, who has already fallen under the influence of her stolen ruby and kills her clients rather than bothering to give them what they’ve paid for.  Gene’s wearing stupid black leather trousers, so you could say he’d deserve to die but apparently he’s our hero so I’m not supposed to think that way.  I’m trying but it’s hard not to when he’s down to his underwear and still doing the bug-eyed look that means everything and nothing.

Now Lupe and Alex choose their moment to arrive (Lupe also dressed as a man with a drawn on moustache) when Shale Maron decides to try and stab Gene with her ruby encrusted client-killing knife.  The screams of Gene alert “Russ” and Lupe and Alex who force their way into Shale Maron’s room and try to fight her off.  Kelly punches Alex and swipes the knife (and ruby number one) from his sticky mitts. 

Then Gene Kelly escape back to their hotel where they do a bit of smooching.  Gene still has the bug-eyed stare even when he’s kissing.  Yuk!

The next day Gene Kelly simply walk up to the Palace of “the evil and frankly kinky Prince Kali” (that’s what the narrator says, but I’m not sure what’s evil or kinky about him, frankly) and ask where they can find him.  Yes, simple as that.  He’s in the basement and they’re able to just walk down there unchallenged by the “rather lax security”.  As do Lupe and Alex, but they’ve bothered to “disguise” themselves by wearing masks so they can go unnoticed.  Ahem! 

At this point I should say that Lupe and Alex are obviously very light travellers – they have precisely one outfit each throughout the entire film; Lupe seems to have purloined hers from the wardrobe of the It Ain’t Half Hot Mum set and Alex seems to have a cut-price fancy dress version of a Bond villain’s outfit.  This ties in with the Bond villain always being a foreigner too; Alex has this vague and ridiculous non-specific accent to identify him as being “foreign”.  I guess Lupe must also be “foreign” as she says tout suite at any opportunity. 

The Prince Kali may be “frankly kinky” but he makes life easy for everyone by wearing his ruby on his turban.  He says he’s a magician and a psychic and then promptly turns Kelly into a pig, Lupe into a snake, Alex into a goat and Gene into a chimpanzee. In a fight which kicks off over Prince Kali abusing his powers, and his advisors demanding that he turn everyone back into their former solves again, the Prince’s turban falls off and the idiotic Gene, who has been returned to his former state – which is not far off being a chimpanzee really – manages to pick up the turban and ruby number two, along with Kelly the pig. 

Back at the hotel, Gene uses his talisman to make his wish – the wish is to turn Kelly back into her former self.  Kelly returns to her former physical self but continues to squeal like a pig for a bit.  She seems to think that maybe the villagers will just accept the two rubies as they don’t know where the third is and she proposes that they go back to the island and put this ridiculous idea to them – Du dumme Sau!

At the plantation Alfred is next in line for the curse.  Quite frankly he has done very little so it would not be much of a loss.  He suddenly sees the missing third ruby on a chair in the bedroom, then suspended in mid air, then on the bed, then suspended in mid air – it’s playing with his feeble mind but he’s too stupid to see through it so he climbs on the bed in his filthy looking worn down shoes (could Ulli not even stretch to a pair of decent shoes for the unfortunate Alfred?) to see if he can reach the ruby and somehow gets his empty head caught in between the blades of the ceiling fan.  Naturally he’s a goner.  But given that the blades move at a snail’s pace and that he’s actually caught in between the blades and hasn’t had his head chopped off or anything, I’m not quite sure what injuries he has sustained.  He has a little blood coming from his mouth and he looks dead behind the eyes – but that’s nothing new where Alfred’s concerned.  The fan must be strong as well as he’s still hanging there and it’s still spinning around (very slowly) when he’s discovered some time later.   

Gene Kelly return from Bangkok, having discovered from the villagers that they must find the third ruby by midnight.  Gulp!  At the plantation, the rather mysterious attorney, Max Stern, awaits them.  Why he lives at Duncan McBride’s plantation, I really don’t know.  But in Gene Kelly’s absence he’s clearly had time to think and seems to believe that he created Duncan’s “empire” and should have inherited something upon Duncan’s death.  He wants Gene to sign the plantation over to him for $1,000 and a flight home to San Francisco, but Gene’s not interested.  A storm’s coming and he wants to make sure the house is secured – what?!!  Since when did Gene know what side was up, let alone speak sense? 

Anyway, as Gene Kelly find Alfred’s lifeless body hanging from the ceiling, Max pulls a gun on them and announces that Malu did not steal the ruby; that he hid it in “a special place”.  Moving off into the “sacred space”, whilst making his dramatic announcement that he has two bullets in the gun – one each for Gene Kelly – a strange figure appears behind Max holding a glittery crossbow and promptly shoots Max through the back of the neck with an arrow. 

The mummies that guard Uncle Duncan’s ashes suddenly spring to life and attack Gene Kelly.  One of them is a bit saucy and rips Kelly’s blouse; it doesn’t have to rip Gene’s shirt as it is, yet again, inexplicably open to the waist.  He’s a funny chap, that Gene.  Anyway, he decides to rescue Kelly by banging the gong.  Uncle Duncan always liked the way Gene played the drums, remember?  At that the ashes urn breaks open to reveal… the third ruby!

Lupe and Alex go to see Ursula, the cheeky landlady who takes payment in kind.  Dangerous if you ask me.  They want to know where Gene is but he has paid his back rent and headed off to Colorado Springs.  They head off there tout suite only to find that he’s already been and gone, possibly to Acapulco.  Gene Kelly is on the beach there and Kelly senses that something is wrong when she finds Alex’s monocle in the sand.  Suddenly out of nowhere she remembers that Uncle Duncan owed Lupe and Alex $50,000 and she suspects they may be back to collect now.  She’s right, of course, and they demand their money but Gene does not have it; he has sold the mansion and he doesn’t have $50,000. 

How will Gene Kelly pay off Lupe and Alex then?  IMPORT! EXPORT! announces Alex in his ridiculous comedy voice.  He’ll cancel out the debt but only if Gene Kelly help out on a project involving emeralds in Rio de Janeiro.  Good lord, please tell me there is NOT a follow-up to Revenge of the Stolen Stars!!!

Kinski’s acting methods:

This is an exciting moment for me – this is the first time I have ever seen Klaus with his hands in his… wait for it… back pockets!

That’s all you’re getting from this film as Klaus isn’t in it for terribly long (approximately 4 to 5 minutes tops) and with such a restricted role there wasn’t much chance for Klaus to display his usual acting techniques.  I do love the fact that after editing down so much footage of Klaus doing whatever he wants as a ghost, he appears to say the name Gene a lot for no apparent reason:

“You can’t go home, Gene.  Not yet.  I am dead, Gene.  Some of us… can’t rest in peace.  I’m sorry, Gene.  I didn’t mean to make your life miserable… You can’t go back tomorrow, Gene.  This is not a game, Gene…” etc. etc.

Another favourite moment is when Klaus asks Gene, if he’s had such an exciting time in Sindanao, “So why are you going back?”  Maybe it’s just me, but the unexpected hand gesture he makes at that point made me laugh out loud.  I understand that Klaus had his own idea of what ghosts do and don’t do but him reaching out with his arm all of a sudden and rolling up his sleeve was just unexpected for me. 

Other than this, it’s pretty sad to watch Klaus in this film – he just looks so tired and terribly, terribly bored. 

Other information about the film:  The interview with Ulli Lommel is quite hilarious.  If you’ve not seen it, here’s a partial transcript:

“I didn’t want to work with Klaus Kinski because he had such a bad reputation and I didn’t want to have to put up with somebody crazy on the set like him.  But then his agent said, ‘Don’t worry, he has completely changed.  He has mellowed.  He’s a different person.’  And I didn’t trust that so I said I wanted to meet him. 

I met him at the Chateau Marmont hotel on the Sunset Strip and he was so nice and so sweet and so gentle.  And I said, wow! you know, maybe he has changed.  And so we started shooting with him in Mexico – [the chess scene] was the first scene and he immediately, when we were about to do the first take, he showed his other side.  I mean, like, instantly. 

And he said, ‘Oh my god!’, he said, ‘What’s this light doing?  I can’t do this, the light! The light!’  I said, well, what light?  There are lots of lights here and we can’t do this without lights.  ‘Yeah. No! No!  I can’t take it.  I can’t take it.  You’ve got to take off this light!’  So we took off this light and he’s, ‘This light over here, oh my god! No, I can’t take it, I can’t take it!’  So I said, in the end you’re gonna be in the dark.  He said, ‘I don’t care! I don’t care, I can’t take it! I can’t open my eyes, I can’t open my eyes!’  I said, but Klaus, you made 150 pictures and, you know, this is nothing – we  work with a few lights.  And he was, ‘Oh, no, no! Take off all the lights, take off all the lights!’  So we ended up shooting with a few inkies … we made sure they didn’t hit him too much in the face.  And that took about 4 or 5 hours to do the re-lighting and everything. 

So we’re getting ready to do the first take with him finally and he says that the boom man holds the boom pretty close to him… to get a good sound, and he says, ‘Oh my god! What’s this?  What’s this?!!’  And I said, Klaus, come on – it’s the boom.  Haven’t you seen this before?  It’s the boom.  ‘Oh, no, no!  It has to go.  I can’t have it!  I can’t have it here!’  So, I went to the sound guy and I said what else can we do and he said, well, I can put a little mic near the chair so it’s invisible there.  And so it took a while and then he had this little mic that he put under the chair and so we’re getting ready to do the shot and, wouldn’t you know it! Klaus hit the chair!!!  And the sound man went, ‘Oh my god! Stop, stop, stop!’  I said, Klaus, what are you doing?  The mic is there.  ‘Well, then put it somewhere else!’, he said.  So it went on and on and on like this with him.  And I knew then already that we were in big trouble…

After the first take, which we finally got, we needed to shoot this from another angle and I said to him, okay, Klaus, you have to sit down there again in the chair while the camera’s taking from a different angle.  ‘Oh,’ he said, ‘I don’t want to sit down there again.  I said, well, you have to – the script continuity.  We have to get you from another angle.  I mean, come on!  He said, ‘No, I can’t sit in this chair; I wanna walk.’  I said, but you can’t walk; we’re doing the same scene again, different angle, you have to sit where you sat before.  ‘I can’t do it!  I have to walk!’

So I went to my assistant, I’m about to lose my mind.  What am I gonna do with him?  And she said, well you’re just going to have to reason with him.  I said, I’m tired of it.  I don’t want to talk to him anymore.  And then I said I have an idea – we’ll make him a ghost and as a ghost he can be wherever he wants to be; there’s no continuity or nothing because ghosts don’t have continuity. 

So I went to him and said, look here, Klaus, we’ve found the solution – you’re gonna be a ghost.  ‘A ghost?,’ he said.  I said yeah, because as a ghost you can do whatever you want; there’s no continuity, nothing.  So he looked at me and says, ‘Oh my god! You’re a fucking genius!’  [Ulli laughs]  And then he said to me, ‘You’re the only director I’ll ever work with and I’ll tell all the producers from now on it’s only Ulli Lommel I’m gonna work with!’  And I said, yeah, right…

And so we kept shooting but it was a total nightmare and towards the end of the day, we shot already 12 or 13 hours, he comes to me and says, ‘I’m feeling really good now.’  I said, well, that’s fine, Klaus, and I saw though that he finished one bottle after the other of whisky, champagne, vodka and cognac.  And there were all, like, real props, you know.  I mean, there was real cognac in there, real whisky… And he was getting awfully drunk and so I finally said to everybody, okay, let’s call it a day; we’re gonna go home and continue tomorrow.  ‘What?!!’, he said, ‘I can’t stop right now!  I need to continue; I’m just beginning to feel it.’  I said, Klaus, we’ve been working for 15 hours now, everybody wants to go home.  ‘No, no, no, no, no!  I need to continue, I can’t go home!  You can’t have me tomorrow; tonight, I want to shoot tonight!’  So I went to everybody and I said, look, maybe we should just get it over with – we’ll shoot all the scenes with him until we’re done and then we never have to put up with him again.  And then we’ll take off tomorrow and, if necessary, the next day too because we had him for 3 days. [Author’s Note: this bit of the anecdote made me laugh out loud when I heard Uncle Duncan saying to Gene, “Trust me, Gene, just listen and do what I say, or the curse will be with you.  Forever!” As Werner Herzog would say, Pestilence!]

And so everybody said okay, we’ll do it and so we kept on shooting and shooting and shooting and he got more and more drunk and drunk and drunk and less and less continuity.  He did whatever he wanted to do, no more lines that were discussed; he invented all the stuff.  It was impossible to end it in the end; it was just a total nightmare. 

And I think after about almost 30 hours of non-stop shooting with him he just dropped dead.  And that was it.  We still had a couple of scenes to shoot which I didn’t shoot and everybody was kind of exhausted.  And so they carried him back to the hotel and I was really glad that it was over, because he was such a pain in the ass. 

Then we took 2 days off and on the second day off I was on the beach in Mexico and he came to me and said, ‘I just want to tell you, you know, it was really great working with you and you have so much imagination!’  [Ulli laughs]  And I said, well, thanks Klaus – it’s very kind of you.”

I can imagine that a lot of this is true but I think it’s also probably true to say that some of Ulli’s anecdote smacks of what Peter Geyer calls the Werner Herzog Syndrome, which is, as he says, that whenever it is about Kinski, you have to come up with a great story simply to make Kinski larger than life.

Note that Ulli Lommel says Klaus was due to film for three days; in Christian David’s great (but sadly not translated into English!) book Kinski, die Biographie (Aufbau, Berlin, 2008) it states that Klaus went to Mexico with Lommel on 6 December 1984 and stayed the night at the Rosarito Beach Hotel, filming in a villa in Tijuana for two days, with a good salary (of course); and Klaus’s co-star Barry Hickey (a reliable source of info?  who can say…) backs this up in an interview where he says Klaus was paid $75,000 for 2 days’ work.

Speaking of Barry Hickey, you may want to check out this absolutely amazing interview with Barry Hickey by Dan Taylor (of The Klaus Kinski Files http://thekinskifiles.blogspot.com/ – look at these, along with all the other resources on The Guide to Klaus Kinski).  The Barry Hickey interview, which is just about the funniest thing I have read since Kinski Uncut, can be found here http://dantenet.com/er/Kinski/hickey.html Barry Hickey recounts how he got involved in Revenge of the Stolen Stars; how Klaus was the third choice for the film after Tony Curtis and Ernest Borgnine had to politely decline (or whatever); and how Klaus made a nuisance of himself on set in many, many ways.  So the story goes…

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About tinynoggin

I love films (anything from exploitation stuff to stylish Eastern European cinema, but I'm not really into blockbusters and modern Hollywood), music (Serge Gainsbourg, Jane Birkin, Michel Polnareff, Left Banke, Francoise Hardy, The Seeds, Love, The Zombies, etc) and books (Kurt Vonnegut, Julian Maclaren-Ross, Michel Houellebecq, Patrick Hamilton, Alan Sillitoe, and more). I take photographs with my Lomography Diana F plus or my Olympus Trip and like making stuff in my spare time.
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3 Responses to Klaus Kinski’s Ghost Gets To Do Whatever He Wants

  1. This is Barry Hickey. I played the lead character of Gene in the film. The reason I appear bug-eyed in the scipt is because I never knew what the hell was going on. The script I signed on for was changed more frequently than a baby’s diapers. The picture was shot over a 9-month period. Klaus Kinski wouldn’t talk to me because he was a ghost – the screenwriters were dragged in as actors… Continuity, you ask? Silly string can only be pulled so long… I adore Ulli as a friend… He is inventive, throws things at you on a moment’s notice that make no sense except for “we have this location for an hour so just do the scene like this… Trust me. It will work.” My character went from being a violinist in a symphony to being a gong player with a quintet (if you can believe that) and then the director decides to turn my gorlfriend into a pig months later. “Hey, Abbott and Costello – Who’s on First?” Many scenes were shot in places Ulli wanted to visit. Sort of a let’s make a movie while I’m on vacation… Malibu, Mexico, Colorado Springs, a mansion in Colorado Springs, the Banaui rice fields in the Phillipines… This is Ed Wood territory… The making of the film is better fodder than the work itself. But I did make my $1,800 as a movies star in his first film… As a sidebar, Revenge opened at an art house for 1 week and ticket sales beat out the second or third installment of Indiana Jones – If you take into consideration that there were 3,000 theaters to see Indie and work the percentages on a seat by seat basis… Realize these were the days of the new medium of Home Video… and only one arthouse to see Hickey and Klaus and the gang that couldn’t shoot straight… I did a few more films, had the Hollywood experience… I write novels now. Books with continuity and well-drawn characters… Here’s my website: http://www.barryhickey.com
    I have a blog if you’d like to follow or locate me on Facebook.

    • tinynoggin says:

      Barry, this is amazing! I’m honoured that you have replied to my post, really. Despite my general cheekiness about the film (see the other reviews, they’re all the same), it’s all in good humour. Believe me, I have seen many films like Revenge of the Stolen Stars – films that are so bad, they’re good! Do you know what, though, all I’m thinking is, I’m interacting with someone who actually met Klaus Kinski and worked with him – and I can’t believe it; it’s almost like having physical contact with him! Ahem! My boyfriend will kill me… I tell myself, I’ll never get to meet Klaus now, of course, but had I met him I would definitely stand a chance with him – not because I’m a looker or anything, but just because Klaus didn’t discriminate. That’s my kind of boy! Anyway, thanks ever so – do you have any Klaus related anecdotes to share with us Klaus fans? Send them tout suite as Lupe would say! I LOVED the interview you did with Dan Taylor – very, very funny. Stay in touch with Du dumme Sau, please.

  2. Pingback: An interview with Revenge of the Stolen Stars actor Barry Hickey | Du dumme Sau – a Kinski Blog

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