Inchon and Blood Circus: Two Exercises in Incompetence

I wrote a VERY long reply last night to a question @SpatulaFlip asked about “movies with HIGH budgets that turned out to be incompetent”. I will let them make a thread if they haven’t already, because it’s an awesome topic.

The topic of “high(er) budget/low execution” made me think of two films in particular, and I’ll copy my reply verbatim.

The first movie I thought of was Inchon . An ULTRA-expensive vanity project that starred a visibly ill Olivier. Editing errors, bad dubbing and very strange sound design throughout. It’s almost sad seeing such wasted talent (including Richard Rountree, Ben Gazzara and TOSHIRO MIFUNE).

It’s really unfortunate that the Unification Church holds all distribution rights, because it’s never been released on home video and there may be around 2-3 separate edits between its theatrical run and its rare TV appearances.

And then, there’s Blood Circus . Another movie completely unavailable to the public due to a shady distributor. Basically, it’s a sci-fi wrestling movie made by an infomercial jewelry salesman starring family, non-actors and pro wrestlers. And whew, the stories I’ve heard…

Moviemaker’s “The Industry” podcast has an unbelievably awesome episode about Blood Circus . Dan Delgado interviews the creator of THE WIRE about his time on set!

And although I’d love if Vinegar Syndrome releases this one day — for all I know, the American Genre Film Archive may already have a print — the likelihood it ever gets released is slim to none. The gentleman behind the film forced one of my favorite artists, Santogold, to change her name!

The web series “Cinematic Excrement” has a GREAT review of Inchon that I highly recommend watching. (Note: Language Warning) It’s stunning how incompetent that film ended up becoming. (Also, CE’s host, Sean Moore, is a MSTie!)

Has anyone heard of — or actually seen — either of these movies? Blood Circus may never be released, but at least we have an INCREDIBLY surreal commercial to show for it…

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After our exchange last night I did some more reading about Blood Circus and one of the folks who claimed to have seen it left a great anecdote.

The most bizarre thing though, was the credits. Inexplicibly they rolled over a large baby photo of one of his kids. The music playing was written by another family member and had the refrain, “Jesus Christ was born on Christmas Day”. Huh?

I also read that someone put a print up for sale on eBay a couple times?

I’m not sure how much of this is true. But hopefully, with our powers combined, we can get to the bottom of it.

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I believe Inchon can be found on YouTube should you care to subject yourself to it.

An anecdote I recall reading concerned Olivier consulting MacArthur’s old ADC Alexander Haig on how to play the character and was told that MacArthur sounded like W.C. Fields. I always wondered if Haig was pranking Olivier and thinking to himself, “Wait, he’s buying this? Keeeeeeeeeep a straight face.”

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Speaking of Vinegar Syndrome, has anyone just used their “Suggest a Film” form to gently suggest they try to secure Blood Circus?

https://vschecklist.com/suggest-a-film/

I mean, now that I know they have a form, I’m going to do it. You might do it too? (hint - do it!)

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How are we defining ‘incompetent’ while also high-budgeted? Because I’d put Dreamcatcher and The Dark Tower up there. But a lot of movies get mangled in post.

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Might take a bit more cash than any rational person would ever spend on Blood Circus. On eBay it was listed with a starting bid of $21 million, and an asking price that… I don’t think would be sane for any movie ever made:

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I have trouble with this question because to me, a lot of movies with budgets look and/or sound really good but don’t hold my attention. Or the leads are people I generally can’t stand, so I end up not letting them sell me the story, whatever it is. There are also several which seem great, but then go off the rails near the end. But all that is too subjective to really brand something “the worst.”

I admit that I found the first Star Wars prequel unwatchable. But that’s not exactly an out-there opinion to have.

I admit these two sound… amazing, though. :turkey:

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I remember seeing the Santo Gold/Blood Circus informational commercials on late night TV a couple of times as an adolescent in late 1980s Maryland. Tremendous.

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Inchon is a such an amazing train wreck. Even after seeing it I still wonder if it was real.

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Has anyone ever told Cinema Snob that he’s an intensely annoying person? Because he is. Kinda’ sad that I have to say that the channel with “excrement” in the title is the far superior selection. :smiley:

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I think the whole gimmick of the Cinema Snob character is that he’s an over-the-top parody of an snobbish, egotistical film critic it’s just… as I understand it the person behind the character sort of started to live the gimmick.

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Ebert’s review of F13 IV inspired the persona.

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I could stand listening to him for about five minutes before I gave up. :upside_down_face:

I honestly think Sean (the host of Cinematic Excrement) seems like one of the more earnest, down-to-earth YouTube reviewers out there. He balances humor with analysis quite well and, like I said, he has a bit of an earnest, honest side to him that’s missing on bigger channels. The fact he’s a prominent MSTie is a plus.

Another reviewer I’ve tended to enjoy is Brandon Tenold, who himself works MST3K into his reviews. I don’t know a lot about him, but he seemed to review a lot of films that made it into MST3K Season 11 and 12 before they aired. The first video I saw was his review of Things…it was perfect catharsis after watching that film’s Rifftrax.

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Random “Blood Circus” update - a print ad for the movie has gone up for sale on eBay. Here is the listing:

If anyone grabs it, let this thread know!

I’ve got an absurdly complicated eBay saved search looking for Blood Circus movie items. It’s tricky because there are a lot of other non-movie items in the “blood circus” search space. But it picked up this listing so if someone tries to list a real copy of the film again someday, I’ll get notified.

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It’s stuff like this that makes me wish I’d gone for that paper :face_exhaling:

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