DVD (Region 1)
Features: Interactive Menus; Scene Access; Filmographies; "The Making Of Gore Vidal's Caligula" documentary
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Sound: English (Dolby Digital 5.1) English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
The Movie: 1980's "Caligula" has the distinction of being one of the most infamous films ever made. Produced and co-directed by Penthouse founder Bob Guccione, this $15M Italian production plays like a cross between deep Shakespeare and "Deep Throat"! Basically, the movie tells the story of the mad Roman Emperor Caligula and his brief reign (37-41AD) of terror. As played by the lithe and reptilian Malcolm McDowell ("A Clockwork Orange"), Caligula is one sick, demented bastard!! Other notable appearances include the late, great Sir John Gielgud ("Arthur"), the great Peter O'Toole ("Lawrence Of Arabia"), Helen Mirren ("Excalibur") and a bevy of Guccione's Penthouse Pets. After the completion and departure of director Tinto Brass, Guccione went in and shot about another 60 minutes worth of hard-core porno action and later edited it into the finished film!
The Video: Essentially, the transfer is fine. The problem here is that the 20-year old film print has plenty of specks and scratches on it. However, this might actually ADD to the novelty of viewing this flick. I don't know...
The Sound: Image Entertainment was kind enough to remaster the soundtrack to DD 5.1. The R-rated DVD version only has the 2.0 Stereo... sucker!!
The Extras: Image actually outdid themselves here as well, giving us filmographies and a way-cool 60 minute documentary on the making of the movie. Awesome!! The only thing lacking was a trailer or two. But hey, it's only a small thing to complain about.
Conclusion: Okay, here's where I get to tell you what I think (hee hee hee). For 20 years, I've heard about this movie and how dirty and crappy it was.You know what I think? I kinda liked it! It was decadent, disgusting, sleazy and yes, something that the principal actors would not be proud to be in, but on the other hand, it was well-made (the production design is incredible). Yeah, it's pornographic, but at least the actors were attractive enough to watch in action. Hey folks, this is what Rome was like during this time period. It definitely mirrors the excesses of the late 1970's (sex, disco, sex, Studio 54, sex, etc.), when this flick was made. For better or worse, "Caligula" is a cult classic. I'm recommending it, because it would make a fun movie to show during a stag party. So, if you're going to buy this filth, at least buy the 156-minute unedited version and not the wussy, R-rated 98-minute "I, Claudius" one. Enjoy.
Now where are those slave girls I ordered...