Once upon a long time ago, cable was new and not available everywhere.
In those long gone days, if you wanted to watch something more than ABC, CBS, NBC or PBS you had to head to the UHF dial.
“What’s that?” our younger reader(s) might ask. Well, it used to be the home of old movies, local legends and, of course, wrestling.
It was also the first home of the infomercial.
All of these things came together in a truly surreal moment back in the mid-80s.
Its been well chronicled on this website that I like(d) wrestling. As a kid I used to love to travel to visit my relatives in Mississippi because I could see regional shows I couldn’t catch in Louisiana.
It was my search for one of these regional shows that led me to discover Santo Gold.
I was sleeping in my cousin’s room fiddling with the UHF dial (and no that’s not a euphemism) on a small black and white television when I saw a pair of oversized lummoxes (lummi?) in tights beating each other up.
As I continued to fine tune the dial, the match came into focus…and it was accompanied by a song.
You heard me right…a song.
But not just any song. No, this was a song about Santo Gold…the man AND the product.
Now I had heard of El Santo so I thought maybe this had something to do with him. But doesn’t he wear a silver mask? Guess I’ll have to keep watching.
That’s when things got weird. Yeah…then.
The match was interrupted by aliens. Then it cut away to some guy in big sunglasses and a white disco suit hocking bad looking jewelry.
I’m not making this up.
The wrestling and the aliens were from a movie produced by Santo Gold himself. The movie was called “Blood Circus” according to the bad graphics that kept popping up.
Apparently Santo Gold was using his late night infomercial to:
Promote “Blood Circus”
Selling cheap jewelry
He was multi-tasking before the term was invented.
I kept watching, mesmerized by the staticy call to commerce. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with this information. Never was.
Funny thing was, I saw that same infomercial in the same time slot the next half dozen times I was in Jackson.
Then Santo Gold simply disappeared like the fever dream I had convinced myself that he was.
Turns out Santo Gold was really Baltimore based scammer Bob Harris. He produced the sub-B “Blood Circus” on his own dime as an attempt to make a movie and sell his gold-plated jewelry.
He failed at both.
The guys over at Infomercial-Hell.com have done a great piece of Santo Gold and “Blood Circus.” It even includes some of the video. Do yourself a favor. Stop reading this entry and click on that link. Then watch the video for the “Santo Gold Song.” I can’t figure out how to link it, but you’ve GOT to see it.
You can thank me later.
“Blood Circus” never found a distributor and after a brief run in Baltimore faded into obscurity. The original copy of the film was lost. Or was it?
In 2008, the Santo Gold website announced that the original had finally been found and producers were being sought for release.
Here’s hoping my loyal reader(s). Here’s hoping.