Caligula (1979)

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Caligula

Here’s a film I wanted to check out because I’m a fan of Roman Empire era films. I wasn’t that familiar with Caligula and his reign so that was an added interest. I learned that the X rated cut of this film has tons of sex and nudity in it but that kind of stuff is not something that I mind if the film has substance. Unfortunately, I can see why this film was basically panned by all parties upon release.

This film is meant to be a bit of a life and time of Caligula’s reign but it just meanders so much into pornographic, unsimulated sex. There’s just not much going story-wise. I read that Tinto Brass (the director) had nothing to do with the hardcore sex scenes that were added to the film, and I can see why he and the cast wanted to distance themselves from the film.

The cast of this film is actually pretty great. You have young Malcolm McDowell and Helen Mirren just to name a few. Its just crazy that a film with starpower like that can fall so off the cliff. I know the initial writer and director didn’t have much to do with the finished product, but damn what where the producers thinking? They must have been looking to shock viewers and create the most controversial film of the decade.

Erm, I can’t really recommend this film because its hard to actually watch with someone else. Its about as close to watching a porno with a plot as you’ll get in Hollywood. The film gets distracted in its multiple sex scenes; so much so that the plot suffers greatly and any interest you have in this long dreary film is lost right away. I can understand mixing sex with Roman culture media (i.e. Spartacus and Rome), just make sure its not excessive.

5/10

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