More Naked Skin Than You Could Ever Need …

By | October 4, 2009

Caligula… Or want for that matter.

We just watched the “Imperial Edition” of Caligula starring Malcolm McDowell, Teresa Ann Savoy, Peter O’Toole, John Gielgud and Helen Mirren.

Now I thought I’d seen the film when it first made it to VHS many years ago and that might be the case. It must have been in a very cut form because the film is hugely long in the form we just watched it and had a lot more explicit sex in it than I remember. Believe me, I would have remembered.

After nearly two and a half hours of crap directing, thin script and uncomfortable juxtaposition of implausible acts of cruelty and explicit sex scenes I find myself rather annoyed at the whole film. You have great actors, O’Toole and Gielgud trying to draw something more than pantomime performances out of the script, huge and expensive sets but an illogical and unsuccessful film.

I’m no prude, read the blog you’ll see, but the continuous parade of naked bodies was dull in the extreme. I have 4 R18 DVDs sat next to my monitor awaiting review so I don’t have a problem with explicit sex, just not used to hold up a crap script. It could have been so good, the depiction of the fall into insanity of an omnipotent ruler consumed by power, lust, obsession and paranoia. But it wasn’t.

Taking out the sex and putting it in another movie with a script that didn’t try to do anything other than string together the sex scenes would give you a great R18 title. Then take the rest of the movie and depict the way in which power, treachery and lust come together to destroy the supreme leader of the Roman Empire and you have another.

You see, two films for the price of one.

Of course a lot of why the film is as it is derives form the chaotic censorship laws of the time and how if you disguised porn as art you could get a certification but that’s no excuse for the resultant foul smelling porridge that is Caligula.

Late edit: I did a bit of digging and I found the reason why the film is so long and contains the explicit sex scenes. You can read all about it here.