Santo Gold Infomercial
I don't even know where to start with this one. Big shoutout to The Virtual Santo Gold Museum for gathering all the great information that I've liberally paraphrased below.
Back in the 1980s, a successful businessman named Santo Rigatuso decided to create a film. Through his "Santo Gold" mail-order fake jewelry business, Santo had racked up a considerable amount of cash - more than enough to fund his first feature film. The result? Blood Circus, a "science-fiction wrestling movie" featuring cannibals, washed-up professional wrestlers, aliens from the planet Zoran and, naturally, lots of Santo Gold mail-order jewelry.
Strangely enough, Santo had a hard time finding distribution for his creative masterpiece. His solution? Promote it through his Santo Gold infomercials and rent out a few theaters in Baltimore to show it in. Sadly, only three people showed up for the premiere - not quite enough to make up for the film's $2 million budget. Perhaps out of desperation, Santo moved on to crazier money-making schemes: selling credit cards to people with bad credit for $49.95 (redeemable only for Santo Gold merchandise), and offering $2000 blocks of an unnamed millionaire's fortune for the low, low price of $52 a pop. The law eventually caught up with Santo and he ended up indicted on twelve counts of mail fraud, and sadly, his film lives on today only in the memories of those (un)fortunate enough to have seen it: there are allegedly no copies remaining in circulation.
You can read more about Santo Rigatuso (that's him screaming in the white suit and sunglasses FYI), his films, and his legal troubles here. There is also a longer clip from his infomercial available here, and a completely baffling, typo-riddled, barely-functional website promising sundry goods at SantoGold.com. It has pictures of office buildings on it, so I'm pretty sure it's legit.
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