Just when I think reality can't get any weirder, I find out it already did. Thanks to DangerousMinds.net for their article The Oddly Inappropriate Spec TV Commercial for Never-Produced Caligula Action Figures. I think.
I've seen a lot of strange things, and I'm happy to say the 1980 movie Caligula directed by Penthouse owner/editor Bob Guccione is not one of them. Although that may change if Richard Metzger's source's story bears fruit. From Metzger's source:
I’m sure you know the general story: Bob Guccione took control of the production of Caligula, fired the director, and edited something with no sense of plot whatsoever. We have all 96 hours of original camera negative and all the location audio, and we are editing these to conform to Gore Vidal’s original script. This new version that we are titling Caligula MMXX will bear no resemblance to the 1980 version. The footage is brilliant; Helen Mirren and Malcolm McDowell actually made a good movie but no one’s ever seen it! (Malcolm has been saying this for 40 years in interviews.)
We are finding tons of odd rarities in the vaults: promotional items, interviews, and over 11,000 set photographs, nearly all of which have never been seen before. Mario Tursi took most of them, and we are compiling the best of them into a book. (One of the other photographers was Eddie Adams who took that award-winning photo of the Vietnamese guy getting shot in the head.)
There was even a proposed Caligula toy line(!!) if you can believe that. A company named Cinco Toys pitched Guccione, who never met a deal he didn’t like, on them getting a license to do a line of action figures. Star Wars action figures were making millions and apparently they pitched him pretty hard for this. Caligula‘s budget was twice that of Star Wars. They made a handful of prototypes for action figures. They even went so far as to make a spec TV commercial to woo Guccione to let them do this, which is extra insane. They made it like he (Guccione) would be (star) in the commercial himself and had someone do a VO as if they were Bob. And there it was on the shelf with the various drafts of the script. There was a 3/4” tape and a VHS of the same commercial with Cinco labels. They also wanted to do Caligula jigsaw puzzles.”
I have to check out that book, although I can't get over the description of "Eddie Adams who took that award-winning photo of the Vietnamese guy getting shot in the head." Anyway...
I have yet to fully check out the Caligula MMXX link, but I will. If nothing else, though, check out the YouTube video on the Caligula action figures. Who in the world thought this was going to be an idea that sells? I want whatever they were on...