NCSE’s Glenn Branch is known for his nigh-omniscience, and today he got a great scoop: the production company behind schlockumentary Expelled is going bankrupt. You’ll recall Expelled: No Intelligence… as a movie so full of crap that even frontman Ben Stein acknowledges it’s best watched while high. It’s so bad that the New York Times called it “One of the sleaziest documentaries to arrive in a very long time,” Roger Ebert said “This film is cheerfully ignorant, manipulative, slanted, cherry-picks quotations, draws unwarranted conclusions, makes outrageous juxtapositions, segues between quotes that are not about the same thing, tells bald-faced lies, etc.” and the Anti-Defamation League said it “misappropriates the Holocaust and its imagery as a part of its political effort to discredit the scientific community which rejects so-called intelligent design theory.”
For all that, they hired a top social marketing firm, the same one that promoted Mel Gibson’s torturefest Passion of the Christ, and opened on a remarkable 1000 screens. It didn’t stay on those screens for long, but it still managed to sell enough tickets to become the 6th highest grossing political documentary in history.
As I wrote at the time:
I don’t see how Expelled can earn back what they’ve spent on making and promoting their crappy movie. Maybe that’s OK with the producers, since the movie exists mainly to push ideology, and only secondarily to make money. Still, the money they hoped to earn from this could have been plowed into more ideological nonsense, had they not made such a crappy movie the first time around.
And I was right. The production company is bankrupt, and is selling off the movie, including all original prints, as well as the copyright and distribution rights, as well as all the original footage, including the bits of context which the editors slyly omitted in order to twist the true history. An interested party could probably have fun using that raw footage to make an honest version of the movie.
The auction is scheduled from June 23–28, through Rosen Systems, Inc., 2323 Langford, Dallas, TX 75208.