- "WE GOT GOLD, BABY!!! SANTO GOLD!!!"
- — "Santo Gold"
|Santo Victor Rigatuso|
Santo Rigatuso on the set of Blood Circus.
|Birth||c.1947, Baltimore (aged 66/67)|
This page is an archive of the activities of Santo Victor Rigatuso, also known by his stage name Santo Gold.
Not much is known of Rigatuso's early life. He was born in 1945 in Baltimore.Marketing Professors called him a Genius. At an early age he was diagnosed with Tourette's Syndrome, a mental disorder that varies in symptoms, ranging from slight facial tics to uncontrollable sudden speech. Santo's father was a barber who owned his own barbershop. During his school years, Santo was the victim of constant teasing, most likely due to his disorder, and it is said that this caused him to drop out of school at age 16. After his father died shortly afterwards, Santo took over business of his father's barbershop for a while before converting it into a record shop, which he then sold. He moved to Florida until the 80's, in which he returned to Baltimore to engage in several mail-order schemes, the first of which was a novelty watch that played the song "The Yellow Rose of Texas", which proved to be of poor quality. The women's version of the watch did not play the tune at all, leading to a number of complaints that alerted the U.S. Postal Service of Santo's activities. Santo changed the name of his business to avoid a lawsuit (this was a tactic he would use throughout the 80's with almost all his mail-order schemes).
After the watch debacle, Santo started selling "Santo Gold", a "special" type of gold that was actually just metal jewellery with an incredibly thin layer of gold applied. It was practically worthless, but Santo nevertheless marketed it via late-night TV infomercials and made a considerable amount of money through the scheme (at least $2,000,000). His company predictably amassed thousands of complaints, with former employees claiming that they would receive about 100 complaints a week. Once again the U.S. Postal Service became suspicious of Santo's mail-order schemes and this resulted in Santo's business receiving 3 cease and desist orders. Predictably, Santo yet again changed the name of his business, and began shipping his products via private mail companies such as UPS.
After he had made his millions, Santo began work on "Blood Circus", a sci-fi/horror/comedy movie about a wrestling tournament between the USA and the USSR that is interrupted by man-eating aliens. Unwilling to employ extras to star in the film, Santo cleverly advertised the filming of the movie as a wrestling event, and charged $9 admission for every entrant. It was filmed at Baltimore Civic Center in 1985. Due to a mistake on the part of the set designers, a boxing ring was ordered instead of a wresting ring. Santo himself claims that there were several on-screen injuries that occurred during the filming that were left in the final cut. Editing the film apparently took two years, and when it was finally finished, Santo could not find a distributor for the film, so instead he hired 4 local Baltimore cinemas to screen Blood Circus. It was finally released in 1987, and according to a film reviewer for one of the local newspapers, only 3 people turned up to the premiere: himself, another reviewer and an extra from the film. The reviewer alleges that everybody left about half-way through the film, but he now wishes that he'd stayed to watch the movie in its entirety since he did not know it would later become a lost film. Indeed, the film performed so poorly in the 4 cinemas it was shown at that all 4 of them stopped showing it after a week. After that, it was never shown in public again, and it is thought that most of the reels were destroyed. It is said that the original reel was used as evidence in one of Santo's many court cases, so a possibility is that it could still be sitting in an evidence locker somewhere in Baltimore. If Santo himself is to be believed, however, then the original reel is in his own hands - in 2001, Santo launched a website detailing the production of the movie and offering "The Making of Blood Circus" DVDs for over $20, and in 2008 he attempted to sell what he claimed was the original reel of the film - for $21,000,000. Needless to say, there were no bidders. As for the "Making of" DVD, there are no known copies in existence, and it seems likely that the DVD doesn't actually exist - the "cover" of the DVD shown on Santo's website is obviously a poorly-made mockup created on MS Paint. Also in 2008, Santo successfully sued popular singer Santi White, whose stage name at the time was "Santogold". Santi responded by simply changing her stage name to "Santigold". Santo was obviously bitter at the whole affair, and shortly thereafter released an "album" on his YouTube channel "spraybottl", featuring a song called "I am the real Santo Gold", in which he subtly attacks Santi White with lyrics such as "I don't like people stealing my name". All the songs on the album were written and sung by Santo himself, and a few of them weirdly referenced political figures such as John McCain and Barack Obama without any context whatsoever (an example: his song "Vietnam", about the Vietnam war, is dedicated to McCain). After 2008, Santo semi-regularly updated his website and YouTube channel, uploading short clips from "Blood Circus".
As aforementioned, Santo set up his own "Santo Gold" website around 2001. However, around the same time, he set up two other websites - spraybottles.com and dollarsam.com. The former seems to be Santo's (now going under the name "Bob Rigatuso", a cunning mixture between an alias he used in the 80's, Bob Harris, and his real name, Santo Rigatuso) business venture of choice during the late 90's and early 2000's, and possibly still is. The website deals in transparent plastic spray bottles of many different shapes and sizes. The latter website is a real estate scheme set up by Santo, involving a house he owned (or may still own) in St. Cloud, Florida. It should also be noted that there is another website registered under Santo's company (Contract Fillings LLC) - the bizarre hiredfired.com, which claims to be the website of the "Employment Reporting Bureau". The website allows employees and employers to report their coworkers or superiors at the click of a mouse. To whom the reports are sent to is unknown and probably never will be known. The website requires users to create an account before they are allowed to do anything, although I suspect no-one has tried this yet. It should also be noted that according to ex-employees and others who knew Santo personally, the man could never fire anyone, and was very caring of his employees, so why exactly he'd be connected to a website that essentially allows people to slag off their coworkers is a mystery.
I, with the help of a good friend, can confirm that Santo's business is still operational at his offices. Perhaps best of all, he still responds to the name "Santo Gold".