You look at the talent that was gathered for this thing, and you'd be surprised. Except for Malcolm McDowell. There was no going back after this. I still think it's a good idea to use great actors for this. I'd love to see what Fincher would do with this. No Malcolm this time.
The unfairly scoffed at and infamously overlooked historic-erotic masterpiece. Although this film may be mostly soaked in sweat and semen, it is also spattered with blood. Beneath the pornographic exterior, the story of Caligula is ultimately a tragic and maddening tale of love, lust, and power. Our beloved Gaius remains one of the most blood-thirsty, power-hungry, and fascinating characters in human history.
Jaw-dropping excess, all the drama behind the scenes have made a disjointed mess of the film itself but it works brilliantly as pure, balls-out spectacle. Shakespearean actors hamming it up in sublimely grandoise sets and locations, amongst masses of tits, piss, fist-fucking and cocksucking. Fucking awesome.
A supposed attempt to explore the further shores of carnal and political excess - with the boat capsizing on the way. A dire warning that a stranded assemblage of talent alone does not coalesce anything: here just a vulgar display of waste (oh, the irony). Falling to the wrong side of bad taste maroons this neither with the satiric I, Claudius or even the camp pomp of de Mille. A curious orphan and a monstrous bore.
I wasn't shocked or surprised or even pleased at all, it was just a display of bad taste with one or two interesting moments (the baroque head lawn mower)... the sex scenes are cheap like in a dated italian porn flick, judging to the horrible cinematography the guy behind the camera should have parkinson or was frantically polishing Willy. And Malcom acts like if he was Alex in an antique costume. Boring.
The notorious cinematic debacle is barely watchable, even for curiosity sake. Yes, the graphic sex scenes are as shocking as reputed, but the story is an incoherent mess of dull intrigue and hystrionic melodrama - all weighted down by a colossal running time. A stellar cast is completely wasted. The sets and costumes are lavish and elaborate - but the amateurish direction just makes this one a boring waste of time.
I don't care what anyone says. Costumes, soundtrack, sets, design, and all artistic direction (yes, including the hardcore porn scenes) were extravagant. It was raunchy, it was decadent, it was shocking, it was perverse. And I loved every second of it. Not to mention, McDowell OWNED this role.
It's a film that you either love or hate. I appreciate how it shows the depravity of what may or may not have happened but it tries too hard to shock you at times. I personally like McDowell's portrayals of mad men in general, although it may not be everyone's cup of tea.