This is a hard one to review..... as a film it is very well shot, the dialogue and acting is amazing and no expense has been spared with the production of this film. Its is captivating for almost the entirety of the 2 and a half hour duration of this cinematic epic.
I can't help but wonder how this went at the box office. Whist an excellent depiction of the rise and eventual demise of the roman emperor Caligula (excellently played by Malcom McDowell who some would remember as the main protagonist from A Clockwork Orange) I doubt very seriously many theatre houses would have shown this film. The violence is of an extreme nature including genital mutilation and some pretty grim killings but in addition to this the sex scenes are on the same level as porn. When I say porn, I mean people actually having sex on film. I personally wouldn't categorize this as porn (as the movie does have a very well set out plot and story line and the sex scenes aren't the main focus of the film) but it does blur the lines between porn and drama. if you're watching it with a friend make sure its an open minded friend because it is very sexually confronting
For what its worth the film does have some some underlying moral themes about what happens to a degenerate society and the corruption of power and the more i think about it the film wouldn't have had the same impact without the extreme sex and violence so graphically portrayed.
Upon further research I discovered it was produced by Penthouse magazine so I guess they would have access to plenty of willing stars/starlets prepared to engage in the required nudity and sex on film along side some more well known actors of the time like Peter O'Toole and Helen Mirren (who get to keep their clothes on) I also wonder how this film affected the careers of the main stars after its release ... Might be something to do some research on me thinks.
I guess the best way to judge this for yourself is to check it out.... somehow it has been allowed on you tube so best watch it before they cotton on to it and take it down
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