[Note: This blog post is reprinted from the October 18, 2006 edition of Scoobie Davis Online]
I finally finished seeing the Moonie-produced film Inchon (IMBD entry here) (I got a bootleg copy in June but it was such painful viewing that I had to see a little at a time). Since principle production was done in 1980 and it is conservatively estimated that the film cost $44 million to make (about $104 million in today's dollars) and it made less than $2 million at the box office, it is one of the biggest--if not the biggest--box office disasters in history.
From a critical standpoint, the film received a lot of attention from the Golden Raspberry people--winning four Razzies and is considered one of the worst films of all time.
I can see why the critics and audiences panned it. The script was awful. The opening invasion scenes reminded me of a cross between scenes from The Rat Patrol and The Green Berets. Laurence Oliver, who played General Douglas MacArthur, hammed it up badly and looks ridiculous. The pacing was bad. There were problems with costuming (e.g., in the press room scene, there were actors with late-1970's wardrobe and haircuts).
The badness of Inchon is completely logical: Inchon is to the cinema what Moon's Washington Times is to journalism--bloated white elephants that evoke mocking laughter from serious people. The Washington Times, which has cost Moon over $2 billion, is viewed with derision by real journalists. Total ideologies, by their very nature, create sterile art (think: socialist realism and architecture under the Ceausescu regime, e.g., click here) and the concept of a journalist's search for truth is an alien idea to those with a totalitarian mindset.
Loose Ends: I got my bootleg copy through Superhapppyfun--don't worry, if you buy it, none of the money goes to Moon or the Unification Church.
Rex Reed was in the film. For some reason, Reed has gotten roles in some really bad films (Inchon, Myra Breckenridge, and Hurry Sundown).
In the closing credits, the filmmakers gave thanks to The Little Angels School--the Moonie-run school where Moon's "daughter-in-law" was recruited.
I have an original Inchon movie poster (I got it on Ebay). It is behind me in this photograph for a Radar magazine article on party crashing.
UPDATE: Someone put the first four minutes of Inchon on TouTube. The person took it from the bootleg DVD taken from when someone recorded the film when it was shown on Moon's GoodLife TV Network (now known as the AmericanLife TV Network).