LOS ANGELES – After 90 days of court-ordered rehab, Lindsay was released back into the wild this week, and the timing couldn’t be better. Lohan’s erotic drama/thriller “The Canyons,” directed by Paul Schrader and written by Bret Easton Ellis, is slated for an August 9 release in theaters, and will be available on VOD (video on demand) platforms August 2.
Breaking from the Hollywood tradition of premiering at a movie theater and opting for more of a party atmosphere, the movie's L.A. debut will take place poolside at swanky hotel The Standard on Sunset Boulevard on Tuesday. And while Lohan is not expected to attend, she doesn't need to, as her rehab release has been news-worthy enough to generate enough buzz to put the low-budget, independent flick on the tip of everyone's tongues.
“Every so often that special movie comes along that's so bad it's good. That camp factor can help a movie to establish a cult following,” New York-based PR expert, Elissa Buchter, told FOX411’s Pop Tarts column.
What’s more, Lohan’s bad behavior in recent times has become a key marketing point for the filmmakers – the mere mention of her name has catapulted “The Canyons” into headlines and the press just keeps coming.
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“Bret Easton Ellis Likes Lindsay, Even If Adderall Makes Her Bossy,” screamed the Gawker headline, while E!’s article was titled “Lindsay Lohan ‘Messed Up,’ ‘Scattered’ & ‘Bossy’ From Adderall Use, Claims ‘The Canyons’ Screenwriter Bret Easton Ellis.” Schrader told Rolling Stone that he was initially against casting her for fear she would bring a lot of “baggage to the movie,” while a New York Post article was called: “Adult-film star James Deen bares all about Lindsay Lohan and 'The Canyons'.”
The film has received a weak 15 percent rating on movie review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes, and while a few reviewers gave it the thumbs up, most referred to it as “insufferable and eternal,” as well as “a deeply ugly film from top to bottom.” Couple this slaughtering from critics with all the attention that has been devoted to Lohan’s personal antics in recent times, and audience curiosity could make the movie a surprise hit.
“I’ll admit I am curious,” one moviegoer tweeted, another wrote “I'm getting more and more fascinated by The Canyons and, honest to God, Lindsay Lohan is only part of why,” while another quipped: “save me a seat.”
But Gene Grabowski of Levick Strategic Communications isn’t quite so optimistic.
“Lindsay Lohan is now like U.S. golfer John Daly. She’s a curiosity who is watched primarily for the side entertainment she offers, not for her professional performance,” he said. “Her stints in rehab and personal life drama likely won’t have much effect on how well ‘The Canyons’ does because the movie has already been panned.”
Lohan doesn’t have any upcoming acting projects beyond “The Canyons.”
“Lindsay is kicking back and relaxing before she starts working again,” a source close to the screen star assured us. “She is focusing on a good support system and having the right people around her. She is taking her life more seriously than ever now.”
But that isn’t stopping her from spinning straight back into the spotlight.
The actress will guest host E!’s “Chelsea Lately” on Monday night, and will also sit down with Oprah Winfrey to detail her time in rehab. OWN is also producing an eight-part docu-series chronicling Lindsay on her quest to rebuild her career and stay sober and out of trouble. But the notion of Lohan romping right from rehab into the heart of Hollywood could spell serious trouble.
“Exposing and immersing Lindsay in the temptations of Hollywood and further encouraging her to exaggerate her extreme personality and vulnerability on television will only help send her back into the addiction she is trying to break free from,” said human behavior expert, Patrick Wanis PhD. “This is just driving the public’s insatiable thirst for Lindsay’s personal life, which has completely overtaken her acting career, and helped destroy it.”
A rep for Lohan did not respond to a request for comment.