Caligula - 1979 (Unrated)


Year of Release: 1979
Rated: Unrated
Director(s): Tinto Brass (principal photography)and Bob Guccione (uncredited)
Approx. Running Time: 156 minutes
Format(s): DVD
My Rating: 1 Star (Out of 5)

From Back Cover:

CALIGULA may very well be the most controversial film in history. Only one movie dares to show the perversion behind Imperial Rome, and that movie is CALIGULA, the epic story of Rome's mad emporer. All the details of his cruel, bizarre reign are revealed right here: his unholy sexual passion for his sister, his marriage to Rome's most infamous prostitute, his fiendishly inventive means of disposing those who would oppose him, and more.

The combined talents of cinematic giants Malcolm McDowell, Peter O'Toole, John Gielgud and Shakespearean actress Helen Mirren, along with an acclaimed international cast and a bevy of beautiful Penthouse Pets, make this unique historical drama a master-work of the screen.

Not for the squeamish, not for the prudish, CALIGULA will shock and arouse you as it reveals the deviance and decadence beneath the surface of the grandeur that once was Rome.

My Comments:

This is a porno. Full stop.

It tries to pass itself off as a real movie with big name actors (there was even an R-rated version of the film and a 3-disc Collector's Edition box set is due out in October 2007), but it's a porno. Some of the actors in it claim that they had no idea that the film was going to be like this - and it is true that some of the more hardcore scenes were added to the film after initial shooting had wrapped - but it was created and released by Penthouse Video. That's right, the same Penthouse that is essentially a smuttier (is that a word?) version of Playboy. That being said, I find it hard to believe the actors' claims of ignorance.

Granted, as a film about Rome's most notorious emporer, Caligula cannot help but to have some graphic scenes of perversion and cruelty (and a lot of the things depicted are historically accurate), but I've seen other depictions of him that were done far more tastefully and artfully than in this film. Nearly every imaginable act of sex and perversion is either shown or implied - orgies, fellatio, cunnilingus, rape, sodomy, sexual mutilation, bondage, beastiality, "golden showers," sex with midgets, sex with people that have grotesque physical deformities; the list is endless.

If you like hard-core pornography, watch this. If you just want to watch a movie, choose something else.

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