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Overall Rating

Awesome: 27.91%
Worth A Look: 9.3%
Just Average: 4.65%
Pretty Crappy: 16.28%

1 review, 37 user ratings

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by The Ultimate Dancing Machine

"Gives porno a bad name"
1 stars

I've heard that Gore Vidal's original script for the cinematic monstrosity known as "Caligula" was a pretty dull, straightforward historical piece. But at least it wasn't porno, which is what it turned into after Penthouse kingpin Bob Guccione, rumors say, decided he wasn't happy with the first cut. Consequently, the name Gore Vidal is now linked to two of the worst "major" movies ever--the other being "Myra Breckinridge," adapted from his novel. Now that I think of it, Malcolm McDowell hasn't been in too many decent movies since either.

Of course, no movie that contains a scene featuring Malcolm McDowell vomiting in slow motion can be all that bad. Okay, I'm lying--it really is that bad. Like a lot of awful exploitation flicks, "Caligula" is alternately revolting and tedious. The boredom comes whenever the proceedings veer, briefly, into straight drama; this kind of "power corrupts" message has been done far better elsewhere, and, let's face it, McDowell just isn't convincing as a Roman emperor.

But mainly, "Caligula" is a deeply unappetizing mix of sex and violence. The former provides much unintentional comic relief, as hard-core scenes are incongruously dropped into the movie out of nowhere--a sure sign of post-production tampering. Fans of outrageous cinema (you know who you are) may find merit in the mass decapitation scene, in which a giant lawn mower shears off the heads of some unfortunates buried up to their necks in the ground...but, trust me, it's not something you really have to see.

This ghastly mess goes on for about 2 1/2 hours, whereupon patient viewers are treated to an abrupt, tacked-on ending and a most beautiful sight: the credits.

It doesn't even qualify as good camp. If you want porno, do yourself a favor and dig up those old Radley Metzger flicks.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=2035&reviewer=223
originally posted: 11/03/00 01:58:06
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2012 Fantasia International Film Festival For more in the Fantasia International Film Festival 2012 series, click here.

User Comments

8/22/17 Louise An embarrassment for all concerned. 1 stars
9/07/10 satin this film needs to die 1 stars
10/16/09 Not true. Great acting. Unbelievable satire of humanity. The Talking Elbow 5 stars
9/28/07 JimmyC The music is the best part 5 stars
9/08/06 Joyce E. Craig I starred in "Caligula" on stage, appearing nude on stage for the lesbian incest scene. 5 stars
3/22/06 malcolm really a good film. the sex is too big a distraction for most people to see it, though. 4 stars
10/10/05 allan young bob guccione, you are a stupid freak to produce such a meaningless film 1 stars
6/26/05 Andrew Austin This film tries to convince you it's meaningful, but it's just bad porn 1 stars
3/19/05 Tay Acting wasnt all that great and its extremely graphic in some areas 3 stars
2/04/05 Elaine Bradley I love the scene where Caligula rapes the bride. 5 stars
1/27/05 The Lurchprong Splitter "no story to hang on to", John? Would it be well hung if there were? 2 stars
11/19/04 screb boring 2 stars
10/23/04 ODH A porno with a storyline? I thought some parts were funny and you never see in other films 3 stars
5/03/04 John the idea is intriguing but there is no story to hang on to 2 stars
9/04/03 eddie WONDERFUL - an example of the greatness in us all. murder,insanity,sex, power FFFFUUUNNNNN 5 stars
4/21/03 Rider in the Bloo "Clockwork Orange" but in the 1st century AD. But much sexier... :) 5 stars
4/21/03 Angolmois Take it in its 1980 context! That movie was better than most porns but as drama it was soso 5 stars
11/12/02 chris wonderful film 5 stars
10/24/02 Charles Tatum Terrible 1 stars
8/29/02 eliza I want my 2 1/2 hours back!!! 1 stars
6/27/02 the Grinch Good actors, good prop department/creative team, good smut, disgusting tripe/shit direction 2 stars
4/05/02 John Roberson Dirty? Fine, but must you be so ugly and boring too? 1 stars
4/02/02 George Smith Sucks 1 stars
2/26/02 Alan Smithee 7 or so minutes of really great hard-core still isn't worth sitting through this turd. 1 stars
1/02/02 brian great movie, it gives meaning to the phrase "not your everyday roll in the hay" 5 stars
11/11/01 Jon C. Ericson Worst film I've ever seen. Caligula ( Sex + Violence + Bad Direction = Boring ). 1 stars
10/13/01 Baz Garrod Utterly appalling, unpleasant and unconvincing. A really boring waste of time. 1 stars
9/04/01 Movie Man A well made movie only frowned down upon by those who can not stand the beauty of nudity. 5 stars
7/23/01 Peter Vozzo Loved it, especially malcoms performance 5 stars
3/30/01 Zoticus The unrated version once put a room full of horny freshmen to sleep. Beware. 2 stars
9/12/00 Boy In The Designer Bubble Instead of Roman History 101, they should show this film to students. 2 stars
7/03/00 jarle haugen top ten!!!! 5 stars
11/30/99 Dr. Acula What a mess,Great cast wasted, Not even good porn 1 stars
10/02/99 Heather A movie so bad it is entertaining, a porno movie disguised as art 4 stars
9/04/99 Weird Andy Hail Caesar! 4 stars
9/03/99 Elizaveta Oh GOD no! Yiiikes. Worth a look at Malcolm, but that's IT. 2 stars
5/06/99 little jerry Anything by Brass is worth watching.A pity Helen Mirren didn't get into the hardcore action 4 stars
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  01-Feb-1980 (NC-17)
  DVD: 30-Nov-1999


  02-Jul-1980 (R)

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