If you are looking for a complete 28 track CD soundtrack/VHS or R0 DVD unrated copy of the
film, rare R-rated version or Io Caligola contact
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The Making of Gore Vidal's Caligula - Crew | My Summary | My Review
"Comparing an X-rated film to Caligula is like comparing the shootout at the O.K. Corral to the Second World War." - Bob Guccione
|Gaius Caligula||Malcolm McDowell|
|Julia Drusilla||Teresa Ann Savoy|
|Macro, Praetorian Commander||Guido Mannari|
|Tiberius Caesar||Peter O'Toole|
|Ennia, wife of Macro||Adriana Asti|
|Charicles, Imperial Physician||Leopoldo Trieste|
|Chaerea, later commander||Paolo Bonacelli|
|Longinus, Imperial Treasurer||John Steiner|
|Livia, Virigin Priestess of Isis||Mirella Dangelo|
|Subura Singer||Paula Mitchell|
|Messalina||Anneka Di Lorenzo|
|Voice of Macro||Patrick Allen|
|Caligula's horse, Incitatus||Davide|
|A high priest||Eduardo Bergara Leumann|
|Imperial Brothel Worker||Signe Berger|
|Priestess/Imperial Brothel Worker||Valerie Rae Clark|
|Priestess/Imperial Brothel Worker||Jane Hargrave|
|Priestess/Imperial Brothel Worker||Helen Lang|
|Guest at wedding||John Francis Lane|
|Master of Ceremonies||Giuseppe Maffioli|
|Imperial Brothel Worker||Henrietta Kelogg|
|Imperial Brothel Worker||Juliet Morris|
|Imperial Brothel Worker||Carolyn Patsis|
|Imperial Brothel Worker||Susanne Saxon|
|Imperial Brothel Worker||Melanie Sutherland|
|Imperial Brothel Worker||Bonnie Dee Wilson|
From the original pressbook
|Director - Principal Photography||Tinto Brass|
|Adapted from an Original screenplay||Gore Vidal|
|Writer/Cinematography/Director Additional||Giancarlo Lui|
|Art Direction/Costume Design||Danilo Donati|
|Director of Photography||Silvano Ippoliti|
|Film Editor||Nino Baragli|
|Production Manager||Mario Di Biase|
|Original Music/Conductor/Orchestrator||Paul Clemente|
|Musical Excerpts from "Spartacus"||Aram Khachaturian|
|Musical Excerpts from "Romeo and Juliet"||Sergei Prokofiev|
|Unit Manager||Sergio Galiano|
|Sound Engineer||Claudio Maielli|
|Dialogue Director||Louise Vincent|
|Script Continuity||Carla Cipriani|
|Hair Stylist||Jole Cecchini|
|First Assistant Director||Piernico Solinas|
|Casting Director||Paolo Heusch|
|Casting Director||Roberto Tatti|
|Choreographer||Tito Le Duc|
|Special Effects||Franco Celli|
|Special Effects||Marcello Coccia|
|Set Dresser||Luigi Urbani|
|Adaptation of Screenplay||Masolino D'Amico|
|Wardrobe Mistress||Gloria Picone Mussetta|
|Wardrobe Master||Gregorio Simili|
|Master of Property||Gianpiero Grassi|
|Supervising Sound Editor||Winston Ryder|
|Dialogue Editor||Archie Ludski|
|Sound Editor||Roger Van Engel|
|Assistant Editor||Peter Krook|
|Dubbing Mixer||Gerry Humphreys|
|Dubbing Mixer||Robin O'Donoghue|
|Costume Rental||Ferani Veste|
|Shoes||L.C.P. Di Pompei|
|Props||Rancate of Sormani|
|Accounting||Soc. G.E.S.C.A. Spa.|
|Unit Photographer||Mario Tursi|
|Special Photographer||Eddie Adams|
|Special Photographer||Jerry Bauer|
|Special Photographer||Stan Malinowski|
|Special Photographer||Claudio Patriarca|
|Unit Publicist||Walter Alford|
|Unit Publicist||Maria Ruhle|
|Assistant to Producers||Leslie Jay|
|Producer/Line producer||Franco Rossellini|
|Executive producer||Jack H. Silverman|
|Post-production Supervisor||Giancarlo Lui|
|Production Supervisor||Augusto Marabelli|
|Production Supervisor||Alessandro Mattei|
|Boom Operator||Giuliano Maielli|
|Camera Operator||Pino Di Biase|
|Camera Operator||Enrico Sasso|
|Consultant: Gastronomy||Giuseppe Maffioli|
Voted #24 in Entertainment Weekly's list of the 25 Most Controversial Films of all time 6/16/06.
Total Movie & Entertainment #7 May/June 2002 issue has a list of the top 20 hottest sex scenes in the movies. Here is what they said:
#5 - Caligula. "The original premise behind Caligula - the brainchild of Penthouse founder-publisher Bob Guccione - was to combine graphic sex and violence was artful, intelligence filmmaking. But somewhere along the line, despite Gore Vidal's screenplay and the star power of Malcolm McDowell, Helen Mirren, John Gielgud and Peter O'Toole, groundbreaking cinema got lost amidst gratuitous smut. When presented with a cut of a film, Guccione sensed this and decided to appease the raincoat crowd. So off he went with a camera and a couple Penthouse Pets. The result is some of the most bizarre and realistic sex ever captured on film - mainstream or otherwise. Women fellate midgets, the obese serve as orgy centerpieces and the aforementioned Pets romp from sex scene to sex scene. Art it ain't, but it's awfully mesmerizing."
|Twenty Human Monsters in Purple and in rags from Caligula to Landru: A.D. 12-A.D. 1922||1929||Philip Beaufoy Barry|
|The Emperor Gaius Caligula||1934||J. P. V. D Balsdon|
|The madness of the Emperor Caligula||1958||A. T Sandison|
|Caligula and 3 Other Plays||2/62||Albert Camus|
|Caligula||1963||Florentino S Dauz|
|Caligula: Ou, Le pouvoir à vingt ans||1975||Roland Auguet|
|Familienpropaganda der Kaiser Caligula und Claudius||1978||Walter Trillmich|
|Gore Vidal's Caligula||1/79||William Howard|
|A Production book of Albert Camus' Caligula, and an essay.||80s||Mohammed Kowsar|
|Moi, Caligula: Empereur, prince de Rome||1988||Michel Sauquet|
|Die Bildnisse des Caligula||1989||Dietrich Boschung|
|Caligula The Corruption of Power||5/90||Anthony A. Barrett|
|Caligula: Emperor of Rome||7/91||Arthur Ferrill|
|I, Caligula||1/92||Michel Sauquet|
|Suetonius: Caligula||6/93||H. Lindsay|
|Suetonius' Life of Caligula: A Commentary||1994||D. Wardle|
|An epigraphic commentary on Suetonius's Life of Gaius Caligula||1994||Ruskin Raymond Rosborough|
|Caligula - Dios Cruel||8/95||Siegfried Obermeier|
|Killing Caligula||12/99||Michael Yatron|
|Caligula - Der grausame Gott||8/00||Siegfried Obermeier|
|La Derniere Folie de Caligula||7/00||Herbie Brennan|
|From Caligula to Constantine: Tyranny & Transformation in Roman Portraiture||1/01||Eric R. Varner|
|Caligula Divine Carnage||5/01||Stephen Barber & Jeremy Reed|
|Morderische Poesie: Nero Und Caligula Intertextuelle||6/01||Gabriella Hima|
|Caligula, Wilhelm II und der Caesarenwahnsinn||2001||Karl Holl|
|Caligula Le Mal-Aimé||2002||Roger Caratini|
|Caligula Eine Biographie||3/03||Aloys Winterling|
|Caligula||3/05||J. P. Franceschini & Pierre Lunel|
|Caligula: Grandes Biografias Series||4/1/06||Milagrosa Ruibal|
Separating Man from Myth about the real life Emperor.
If only all of Rome had just one neck.
Let them hate me, so long as they fear me.
Caesar cannot be a fool!
You're an honest man, Proculus, which means a bad Roman! Therefore, you are a traitor! Logical, hmm?
Historical List of Coins bearing Caligula's stamp.
|Coin/Date - AD||Notes|
|AV Aureus (37 to 38)||Caligula bare head right / Radiate head of Divus Augustus right, between two stars|
|AE Sestertius (37 to 38)||Believed to commemorate the accession of Caligula to the throne and his address to the Praetorian guard. The front has Caligula wearing a laurel crown.|
|AR Denarius (37 to 38)||Caligula & Augustus AR Denarius - bare head right / Augustus head, radiate, r., between two stars.|
|AE Quadrans (39)||The front has a picture of the cap of liberty which refers to the dismissal of the tax in AD 38 and the liberation of the people from its burden. Back has the cap of liberty between S C.|
|As (39 to 40)||Was made to honor his father Germanicus. Front has the head of Germanicus encircled by “Germanicus Caesar, son of Tiberius Augustus, grandson of the Deified Augustus.” Back has a large S C in center|
|1980||Penthouse promotional item to promote the film|
10/20/75 - 1st draft of Gore's 187 page screenplay is completed.
6/7/76 - pre-production begins.
7/28/76 - filming begins.
12/31/76 - filming wraps
5/79 - the unfinished 210 minute film debuts at the Cannes Film festival
8/14/79 - the completed film premieres in Italy.
2/1/80 - the film premieres in New York City.
2/15/80 - the film is released around the the US.
9/19/99 - the film is re-released in 2 theaters for the 20th anniversary.
6/3/77 - Roberto Rossellini
1991 - Bruno Nicolai
6/3/92 - Franco Rossellini
5/21/00 - John Gielgud
12/1/01 - Danilo Donati
1/25/03 - Leopoldo Trieste
From the legendary 210 minute version seen at Cannes in 1979 and in underground settings. Verification is tough as it based on 25+ year old memories.
The bull sacrifice with dialog.
The setup with the giant phallus.
The bull is brought in.
Caligula swings the hammer and hits a priest.
The priest falls down and the crowd laughs.
"Yes, Jupiter? What? Shhhh shhh shhh. Yes, I hear you. What? Speak up! He's very angry because I'm king of the gods now, but he has to do what I tell him! Don't you Jupiter?"
More of the freak show and orgy at Tiberius's grotto.
After Caligula becomes the Emperor he moves gold coins around like a child in a sand box.
Caligula restores all laws and freedoms that were banned under Tiberius's rule.
More of the lesbian orgy in the temple.
More of the sex scene between Caligula, Caesonia, and Drusilla.
Caligula has sex with his horse before he collapses from the fever.
Caligula has sex with Drusilla one last time after she dies.
Caligula has sex with a male minstrel and tells him to go and see what Rome is really like.
Caligula storms into the temple of Jupiter and announces that now he is the only God.
Caligula replaces statues of gods with statues of his horses.
More of the ship brothel orgy.
More of the fake war on Britain.
Caligula and Caesonia discuss the black bird after she is freaked out by it.
During the killing machine sequence, Caligula orders Proculus to be thrown in the pit to die, but he escapes death by climbing to the top of the machine. Caligula salutes him with a very angry expression on his face.
And as one person who said he saw it says, "Full on rape with penetration, sodomy, erections every which way and total hard-core sexual perversion. Violence you just wouldn't credit to being filmable let alone able to be released."
With the biggest investment ever in porn to play with, Brass (and the anonymous editor who contributed a final 150-min. version from the three-and-a-half hour edition seen at Cannes), in a fit of paranoiac obsession, sifts through the pages of first-century Rome under syphilitic Tiberius and epileptic Caligula to demonstrate with violence and horror the unlimited baseness of the human condition and to illustrate an anthology of sexual aberrations in which incest is the only face-saving relationship.... Deletions from the 210-minute version clandestinely screened at Cannes last May, would indicate the filmmaker’s intention to stage a “Fellatio Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire.” Daily Variety 11/21/79
Released 10/2/07 - 3 DVDs & 1 CD
Cover - front
Unrated, uncensored theatrical release
New high-definition transfer from recently uncovered negative elements of the unrated, uncensored feature film.
Theatrical Trailers (Theatrical, Teaser, R-Rated Release)
Alternate pre-release version
Audio commentaries with Malcolm McDowell, moderated by film writer Nick Redman
Audio commentaries with Helen Mirren, moderated by film writers Alan Jones and James Chaffin
Audio commentary with on-set writer Ernest Volkman
Deleted and Alternate scenes: Tiberius' Grotto; Satyrs, Nymphs & Little Fishes, Killing Tiberius (Unfinished workprint edit), Tiberius' Deathbed (extended), Caligula's Counsel with Longinus, Drusilla Comforts Caligula, Proculuc Runs the Gauntlet, Macro's execution (extended), Death of Drusilla (alternate angels), Arriving on the Bordello ship, Bordello ship, Temple of Jupiter
The Making of Caligula documentary (62 minutes)
The Making of Caligula featurette (alternate 10 minute version)
My Roman Holiday with John Steiner featurette (24 minutes)
Caligula's Pet: A Conversation with Lori Wagner featurette (28 minutes)
Tinto Brass: The Orgy of Power featurette (35 minutes)
Behind the scenes footage (15 sequences)
DVD-ROM - Gore Vidal's original screenplay, three Penthouse magazine features, an interview with Bob Guccione, press kit notes, cast and crew bios and filmographies and more.
This discs was dropped at the last minute.
Dolby Digital English 5.1 Surround or Dolby Stereo 2.0
Motion menus with music, scene access
The Making of Caligula 56 minute documentary from 1981
Filmographies for Malcolm McDowell, Helen Mirren, Peter O'Toole & John Gielgud.
Note: The filmographies were blatantly plagiarized from the imdb in 1999 and therefore contain all the errors of the day like Hardcore for Malcolm, etc.
Frolic in the Woods
About the Romans
Paranoia and Fear
A Chosen Fate
The New Emperor
A Seed Planted
Fate of a Traitor
A Wedding Gift
A Spy in the Light
A Bad Roman
Roaming the Streets
God on Earth
Only a Show
I put a black box around a member of the crew seen behind the curtain reaching into a prop.
The version seen at Cannes in May 1979 was 210 minutes.
The original Italian edition in 1979 was 151 minutes.
The original 1980 US edition of the film was 132 minutes.
The original 1980 Argentinean edition of the film was 143 minutes.
The 1981 R-rated edition w/o the hardcore sex is 101 minutes.
The 1984 re-edited edition Italian version called Io Caligola is 118 minutes (the box reads 124 mins)
The 1984 uncut US VHS/LD edition is 143 minutes.
The 1989 10th Anniversary edition is 148 minutes.
The 1993 Spanish re-release was 150 minutes.
The 20th Anniversary UK DVD R-rated edition is 90 minutes.
The 20th Anniversary US DVD uncut edition is 156 minutes.
The 20th Anniversary US DVD R-rated edition is 102 minutes.
Extract the font using a program like winzip. Take the extracted font (A True Type font) and put it in the c:\windows\fonts folder. The font will install automatically for use in programs like word.
Germany - Aufsteig und fall eines tyrannen (Rise and Fall of a Tyrant)
Italy - Gore Vidal's Caligula (original title), later Caligola
Italy - Io, Caligola (1984 Re edited edition)
UK - Caligula, My Son
Yugoslavia - Kaligula
CED / VHS-PAL + NTSC / LD / DVD R1+R2 (R-rated + Unrated)
May 1980 Issue
12 Pet pictorials - Old spreads of women who appeared in the film
Anneka + Lori's lesbian love scene from the film
Interview with Bob Guccione
195 total pictures w/many from the film
Cover price $3.95
November/December 2007 Issue
Malcolm McDowell breaks his silence on Caligula, Bob Guccione & More
Comes with DVD
I started a new page for this 1984 Italian recut of the film.
Independent UK with Bob Guccione
8/30/99 Calgary Sun Malcolm for the Caligula 20th anniversary
5/80 Penthouse with Bob Guccione
America's Got Talent during the third episode of auditions for 2009 they are used the main Caligula theme just like for the DVD menus.
Front page of The Independent UK newspaper 8/26/08
Censors lift ban on Helen Mirren's porn epic Caligula
Alex Agran, of distributors Arrow Films, said: "Looking at what else is getting through these days, we thought let's try for the ultimate bete noire, the big daddy of obscene films. Never in our hearts did we think Caligula would get through intact but we figured a longer version would be possible. When it came back uncut, we were stunned. Censorship in the UK has taken a radical step into uncharted waters. Caligula has broken every last sexual taboo the 18 certificate once held back from public consumption."
Sue Clark, of the BBFC, said: "We looked at the work in light of our '18' guidelines, which say that adults should be free to choose their own entertainment within the law. Given that Caligula is a film of historical interest, we felt we could pass it uncut."
Helen Mirren, "It was like being on an acid trip. It went in where angels fear to tread. In many scenes you're going, 'Oh my god, I can't believe we're actually going to shoot this.' It was sort of horrific, but it was also wonderful."
At the time their address was: Penthouse Films International, Ltd. 909 Third Avenue, New York NY 10022 (212) 593-3301
Filmed in 35mm, 1.85:1 widescreen
The budget was around $17 million - a fortune at the time. For example Star Wars in 1977 cost only $10 million to make.
Grossed over $23,000,000 in the US.
Anneka + Lori's lesbian love scene alone was originally 12 minutes.
"Messalina, Messalina" was made using the same sets from Caligula.
A Penthouse Films International and Felix Cinematografica, S.R.L. Production
Re-recorded at Twickenham Film Studios - London, England
Filmed at Dear Studios, Rome, Italy
Lui the French celebrity magazine #199, August 1980 features a David Hamilton nude pictorial of Teresa Ann Savoy - 10 pages w/9 photos.
For the premiere Guiccione only showed it in his own Penthouse East NYC theater and charged a record $7.50 per ticket and no one got in for free, not even the press.
The Making of was filmed in 16mm.
Maria Schneider was the original Drusilla, but she was disturbed by her revealing toga and the graphic incest scenes and walked off the set during her first scene one month into shooting.
The Judge Dredd comic book introduced Judge Caligula in 1982.
There is a metal band called Caligula, an alternative band called Caligula, a Dominion Caligula and a singer Joey Caligula. Macy Gray did a song "Caligula" in 1999. On Harkonin 'Ghanima' CD the song "Caligula" samples Malcolm's voice.
Based on Gore Vidal's original screen play by William Howard
Cover - Front
US Cover - Back
Published by Warner Books 82-701, 2/79, 222 pages, 16 pages of B/W photos, $2.25
Back Cover Text:
"...I've written a screenplay about one of the most astonishing young men that ever lived - perhaps one of the wickedest. The Roman Emperor, Caligula. He was regarded as a monster..." Gore Vidal
Cover - Front
UK Cover - Back
Published by Futura Publications Limited 1979, 208 pages.
Back Cover Text:
A man, a monster, an Emperor...he murdered his grandfather, slept with his sister, made a Senator of his horse...he terrorized Rome, made a brothel of the Senate, altered the very nature of the Empire...
Gore Vidal's Caligula
A novel in the grand manner, sexy, colorful, memorable...the 'hero' one of history's most remarkable characters, the era one of history's most decadent...
Gore Vidal's Caligula
A truly remarkable motion picture, lavish, spectacular, glittering with stars, glistening with superb settings, costumes...the sort of movie 'they don't make any more'...
FICTION 0 7088 1 387 9
U.K. 95p - AUSTRALIA $2.95* - NEW ZEALAND $2.90 - EIRE 1.04 1/2 *Recommended Price
I showed this item to Malcolm in person and he loved it,
thought it was hilarious and wondered where I got it from as he'd never see it
before. It comes in a plain white box which it sits on in the picture and it a
little less than 8 inches long.
Promo Letter opener for 1984 VHS release - Front
Promo Letter opener for 1984 VHS release - Back
DVD Cover - Front
DVD Cover - Back
DVD Cover - Insert
MM Autographed Caligula 8x10
Soundtrack Album - Front
Soundtrack Album - Gatefold Front
Soundtrack Album - Gatefold Back
Soundtrack Album - Back
Soundtrack Album - Label: We Are One - Love Theme
Soundtrack Album - Label: We Are One - Dance Version
Single - Sleeve Front & Back
Single - Side 1
Single - Side A
Caligula - 1st scene in white toga & cape
Malcolm's screen credit
Caligula - 2nd scene in blue toga
Caligula - 3rd scene in full military garb with Nerva
The Little Boots Dance - 1st Sequence
The Little Boots Dance - 2nd Sequence
The Little Boots Dance - 3rd Sequence
The Little Boots Dance - 4th Sequence
The Little Boots Dance - 5th Sequence
Caligula Head Shot
Re-release of "Caligula" will stir up new controversy over sexually explicit film that depicts the reign of the infamous roman emperor for 30th anniversary year of Penthouse Magazine. Bob Guccione's 1979 classic film to be re-issued in digitally re-mastered Dolby sound versions for theaters in September and in DVD and video versions in November.
New York City (August, 1999) - When four of the most widely respected actors
of their generation played starring roles in a sexually explicit film 20 years
ago, the entertainment world was stunned. Now the re-release, in selected
theatres and in new 20th Anniversary Special Edition DVD and video versions of
Bob Guccione's controversial "Caligula," is likely to have an equally
"Caligula," which runs 148 minutes, will be distributed to theaters by Independent Artists Company in a limited run starting September 17th in New York and continuing into the fall. Some of the exhibiting markets will also include Boston, Buffalo, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle and St. Louis. A new 20th Anniversary Special Edition video and DVD will be available on November 23rd in stores across the country and through select online outlets.
Starring Malcolm McDowell, Sir John Gielgud, Helen Mirren and Peter O'Toole, "Caligula" is definitely not for the squeamish, or for those who do not wish to be aroused by a movie. In depicting the degradation of Rome in the first century, Guccione and co-producer Franco Rossellini meticulously followed the record set forth by contemporary writers. In doing so, they set off a raging controversy over whether their movie had gone too far.
"Caligula" spares nothing as it takes the viewer deep into the degeneration that was Rome, with shockingly realistic dramatizations of the sexual orgies and wanton cruelty in the courts of emperors Tiberius and Caligula. When the film first opened in February 1979 on the East Side of New York City, authorities tried-unsuccessfully-to close it.
The new "Caligula" has been digitally re-mastered and the sound track, featuring the dramatic works by Prokofiev and other classical composers, has been enhanced with Dolby stereo. The performances by the famous stars stand up well two decades later, as does the screenplay by Gore Vidal. The re-release is one of the events marking the 30th anniversary of the launch of Penthouse magazine in the U.S., which made its debut in September 1969.
"'Caligula' has become a cult film with its own loyal international following," Guccione notes. "Never in the 20 years since it was released has an adult film of this caliber been duplicated. Everything about it was, and still is, controversial, from Gore Vidal's screenplay, to the world-class actors who portrayed their roles so masterfully, and, of course, to the subject matter itself. It was a perfect project for Penthouse Films." Indeed, the film broke box-office records and continues to sell thousands of copies a month in video.
"The critics at the time loathed this film," Guccione recalls. "We didn't have press screenings so the reviewers had to stand in line like everyone else to see it and buy their own tickets at the then astounding price of $7.50. They were further annoyed because the temperature on the opening day happened to be 11 degrees. Of course, they were also upset that the publisher of Penthouse was trying his hand in a new medium and because, frankly, I shot my mouth off about making a blockbuster landmark film that would fundamentally change the theater-going public's perception of motion pictures. In fact, it did just that."
Among the most spectacular aspects of the film are its sets, designed by three-time Academy Award winner Danilo Donati. These include Caligula's stadium, which spanned the size of three football fields and incorporated a terrifying "killing machine," which historians say Caligula employed literally to mow down the heads of his detractors. The props also included a full-scale "brothel boat" on which Caligula held orgiastic banquets.
Guccione says that the more notorious the movie became and the more critics assailed its alleged pornographic content, the more popular it was with the public. "The lines outside the theaters showing the movie grew longer every time the papers told their readers how odious and decadent the film was," he remembers.
The making of the film was also controversial. Guccione and Rossellini battled with the director, Tinto Brass, who was subsequently fired. Vidal and Brass were at war during the shooting. The film production-with its rumors of naked stars, lush and explicit sex scenes and spectacular sets-became one of the most talked about in modern cinema history. Guccione and filmmaker Giancarlo Lui actually had to finish shooting some of the scenes themselves in the dark of night to circumvent Brass.
At the time of the release, Guccione declined to submit the film to the Motion Picture Association for a rating because, he said, "they can only give it an 'X,' and an X rating would be demeaning and unfair to 'Caligula.'" He assigned his own rating to it - "MA" for mature audiences.
From the original pressbook.
I saw Malcolm, back in the country for a month. He had to leave for another six weeks on his tax-avoidance scheme, but when he comes back he’ll have done his year, and he’ll be settling down here for a bit. His Caligula seems to be a big monster. Already a big row between the producers and the Italian director as a result of which the director has been fired and sent back to Italy. Ironically, the film is being edited by Russell Lloyd, who was my editor on In Celebration. An extremely nice and very competent chap, but I wouldn’t like to leave him in sole charge of a feature. I rather tremble for Malcolm who has invested so much of his time in the project. It really is a scandalous waste that he can’t find anything decent to do. He really is so talented. - Lindsay Anderson writing in his diary May 1977
Hollis Alpert: I read that production of Caligula has finished.
Gore Vidal: In every sense. One of the interesting things I have
discovered as I proceeded along the great road of life is that you make the same
goddamned mistakes over and over again. I can tell you right now that every
mistake you've made so far in your life you will continue to make. There's not a
chance of getting out from under. Now I know quite a lot about movies. I know
how they're put together, yet I go from disaster to disaster. Obviously, I'm
getting stupider. This time I have to get my name out of the title. I fear that
Hugh Brass was back in town, as W.C. Fields would say. I'll probably have to sue
to change the title of the movie.
Penthouse Films picked an Italian director, Tinto Brass, I said, "All right, if we can use him as a pencil, take him." I mean, he's a competent cameraman and editor. He's made about ten pictures, each failed. Failure is a habit people seldom break. That's another thing to remember when you're picking a director. Peter O'Toole, who played Tiberius in Caligula, referred to Tinto Brass as Tinto "Zinc". O'Toole has a nice sense of the way the world should be ordered. 'In a well run-world, he said, "this man should be cleaning windows in Venice. Instead, here he is spending $8 million and destroying a script.' Bob Guccione of Penthouse - the mag for the gynecological set - is actually quite visual-minded and not entirely stupid; I thought that if the two of us had control of the picture, it would work. The script was strong, which is why we got O'Toole and John Gielgud and Malcolm McDowell and so on. Well, another disaster.
In any case, I should have never accepted an Italian director. The film was supposed to be made in English with direct sound - something Italians hate. The Italians make silent movies, then they add a lot of noise they take to be dialogue. As a result, few Italian directors know anything about dialogue or how to tell a story - in Italian, much less in English. This is true even of the master, Fellini.
HA: I take it you are more than dissatisfied with the way
Caligula has turned out?
GV: It's not just another bad movie. It's a joke movie like Myra Breckinridge, which was not just a bad movie, it was an awful joke.
From Conversations With Gore Vidal 1977
Orson Welles was offered a starring role in Caligula, "but when he read the Gore Vidal script and found it to be a mixture of hard-core pornography and violence, he peremptorily turned it down on moral grounds. When it came to sex he was a Puritan." from Frank Brady's Citizen Welles.
"I worked with John Gielgud,
he was my idol! John Gielgud! My god, I was slapping him around on the head. I
said, "I'm so sorry John." (Mimics Gielgud) "Oh don't worry dear
boy, it's all right, oh please just do it, just do it, it's all right."
John Gielgud who was of course an open and known homosexual was only 68 when he did the film. I was walking to the set and I adored this man, he was absolutely my idol. I think he's one of the greatest actors that ever lived. I have 10 people holding up this ridiculous costume I have on, a great train, a garland of roses on my head - the whole thing. I'm walking to the set and I see John Gielgud at the end of this corridor who was very harried and he comes running down in his costume says, (does voice) "Malcolm have you been to the set?"
"No John, I'm going to the set."
"I've never seen so much cock in all my life! Do tell me if they are shaved and pubescent."
"John, honestly I think they're all heroin addicts from the Piazza Navona."
"No, I don't think so, they're frightfully handsome."
He was a dear man and he had a great sense of humor. He came to me and said, "Malcolm I hear you have a villa?"
I said, "Yes, they put me into this huge house, it's absolutely enormous. I'm rattling around in it."
"Oh, because my per diems are very small."
"Well, you are welcome to stay with me if you like. I have a coat and everything."
"Oh, frightfully nice of you. I'm getting very, very few per diems."
"So please come and stay."
And he stayed for two weeks and I'll never forget it. I remember him singing Noel Coward songs after pasta dinner. I remember looking down at him from my terrace and seeing this great man in a fedora hat in a deck chair just doing the Times crossword puzzle and moving around with the sun. It's one of the most wonderful images I remember from that have from that film.
Peter O' Toole, pedra, the great man that he is, great actor, wonderful man. Peter like to booze and he liked to smoke...I don't know what he was smoking. I don't want to lie anybody here at all, but he was smoking a lot of something. We were doing night shoots and I went in to help him with the lines. I don't know what it was about his trailer, there was something in the air and I felt a bit woozy myself. We were called out to work at 4am, we'd been there since six o' clock in the evening. They'd been lighting and doing it and we didn't know what the hell they were doing on the set. It was this big three acre set, I didn't know what was going on, I've no idea. We just sat there waiting to go on. Peter had thin spindly little legs came out in what he called his DIAPER. (does voice & mannerisms) "I'm wearing a DIAPER, darling. Two bloody pins in a fucking diaper! I got an antennae from the soundman up my ass." We went out, it was quite amazing because all the debauchery of Rome was laid before us. There was pygmies over there doing something, there were huge dildos on swings. Everybody was bollock naked, there were 300 extras all doing something. So Peter stars off, "Rome, was but...(looks over) oh, my god!" He's moving like this by the way (staggering). "I think they're doing the Irish jig over there." I said, "Oh, my god yeah, oops." because I'm trying to lead him to his marks, "they're running, they're running, turning over." "Rome, was but a city. Oh my god...Jesus is that his dick?! I can't believe it." Sorry if I'm offending anybody, but it is...Anyway, the whole point of the scene was he had to go up to this centurion and say, "Do you think this man is drunk Cal-ig-ula?" I said, "Yes, my lord or whatever." He says, "More wine!" And they pour wine down this poor man's throat and off we go. We do a little walk around the promenade, around the whole thing. At the end of the scene we come back to this poor drunken centurion who is there. O'Toole was going to slit his gizzards so what they've done is put a big rubber beach ball kind of thing under his breastplate armor and they stuffed it with wine and chicken's gizzards. So when O'Toole punctures it the whole thing is going to go fall down his legs, it's going to be a real great Italian special effect. So we get there and O'Toole by this time is weaving, how he is standing I don't know.
"You think this man is drunk Cal-ig-ula?"
"Yes, yes my sir."
His hand goes up and it's wavering around like this. My job is to get that sword into his hand without a glitch, SLAP! great, he walks over very purposefully to the poor man, sort of looks underneath, telegraphing it a bit, puts the sword under it, whacks it likes this, the breastplate goes up, hits the man in the face, the beach ball hits the deck and bounces like a bomb. There were 3000 people there and they all literally went, "Oooohhhh!" O'Toole stood there on his thin little legs, with his antenna sticking out of his diaper, he looked down at the thing and said, "I think she's dropped her fucking handbag." He had a great sense of humor. - Exclusive quotes from MM 4/15/05
"He shot all this hardcore footage two years after the film had been completed and then spliced it in. I mean, it was absurd, because the footage didn't even match much of the time. There would be a shot of me smiling, looking at what was supposed to be my horse or something, and then suddenly they'd cut to two lesbians making out. It was just awful. On the positive side, I got to work with Peter O'Toole, John Gielgud and Helen Mirren, but, needless to say, we were all pretty appalled by the final product." - Malcolm 2004
"There's only one attitude to take as far as I'm concerned and that's to turn up and be a pro, always. Just do it. Whatever else is involved, it's a question of self-respect. I don't want to be pompous, you know, but whatever the circumstances, the profession should be honored. It's a difficult profession. You can starve at it. Not just be banished to bacon and beans, but really starve. And doing a piece that you thought was going to turn out well, and seeing it turn to dross - that's a kind of starvation, too." Peter O'Toole 2004
"Oh, John (Gielgud) will hate me for telling this, but I vividly remember his first day on the set. He asked me if I had been out yet? I said no and he replied, 'Oh my dear, it's absolutely marvelous. I've never seen so much cock in my life!' I found this lunatic stuff completely silly, taking away from the political angle. I also would have liked to have seen some more humor. I tried to put in as much as I could, but it's tough when you're filming in a foreign country. At one stage Brass had the entire army run naked into the river. I said, 'What the fuck...?' When the film came out I bumped into John in New York and he asked me if I had seen it yet? I said that I hadn't and he said, "Oh you must. It's wonderful. I've paid to see it. Twice!" - Malcolm 1979
"A year? It felt more like 20 years. It was an extraordinary experience but, in hindsight, it was probably something I should not have done. I got to work with John Gielgud and Peter O'Toole. It was pretty raunchy and a lot of people were offended by it. I'm not ashamed of having done it but, if I had the decision to make again, I probably would have said no. But I'd like to think I gave a pretty creditable performance with material that was pretty difficult to get through." - Malcolm in Starburst 7/95
"When I saw it two years later it made my heart sink. They'd added pornographic sequences that don't even match, colorwise." - Malcolm in NY Daily News 5/19/02
"My most popular film? I do not consider Caligula as mine. I directed but did not edit it; the film was taken out of my hands. Editing must form part of the director’s work. Why? Very simple. My shooting and directing of the film is like the first draft of a novel when the writer gives the book to a typist. He cannot recognize his own work. In consequence, I shoot with three cameras at the same time and when I look at it on the Movieola then I decide which scene to use which makes the emotion flow." Tinto Brass Late 80s
"I was an onlooker in the scene where Tiberius climbs out of the pool and is met by a young girl and boy, and there are about twenty other very good looking girls and boys splashing about. "Out my little fishies, you've had enough for today. The girls had shaved to make themselves look younger. When the bell for lunch rang, they would all put their hands across their genitals and rush out to have pizza with their families. Probably my weirdest experience in films was Caligula. I remember I spent three terrible days cutting my veins in a great bath, which stood in the middle of a huge set the size of Waterloo Station. The bath was filled with warm water, and I was dressed in a kind of shift and nothing else, and a little chair was put inside for me to sit on, and there I had to stay for hours while the electricians lit the set. Every few hours the water would go cold, and they would take me out and some alarming old ladies would rub me down and give me a fresh shift, then I would go back into the water, which was warm again. Tinto Brass, the director, didn't seem to care about the acting at all. We would just say our lines in front of five television cameras that were arranged around the set, and then we would do the scene over and over again. Nobody seemed to speak the same language; there were actors of every nationality. One actress walked out because she said her costume was indecent. I did not know what the result was going to be like until I saw it years afterwards in New York and thought it was pretty boring." - John Gielgud 1979
"It's an irresistible mix of art and genitals." - Helen Mirren 1979
"At that time, the British film industry was no more. I had done a lot of theater work, and I felt I was lacking in my film experience. Malcolm McDowell wanted me to be in it. Rome, Malcolm, the Gore Vidal script. None of us were prudes. Still aren't." - Helen Mirren 2005
Bob in his Roman Setting
The film you've just seen is not the original unedited
version. Not the version that made Caligula the global sensation and the single
most controversial motion picture ever produced. In certain areas of the United
States, local standards prohibit the sale or distribution of unrated motion
pictures of sexually explicit material. These standards aren't necessarily
legally enforced, but they do represent the industries right to choose the kind
of material, the kind of product that it is prepared to sell, though we disagree
with their choice, that is the American way. Unfortunately it appears that you
the consumer have no such right. The result is the tape you are now looking at,
the R-rated version, deeply cut and edited, presumably for your protection. The
original unedited version was never offered, you had no choice. That's patently
unfair. I'm Bob Guccione, editor and publisher of Penthouse Magazine and
producer. I would've preferred for you to see the original version. Now through
the special magic of the US postal system, a system subject to federal law
beyond the reach of private censorship, you now have that choice.
To receive the complete unedited "Caligula" send this cassette and $20.00 check, money order, VISA, MASTERCARD, AM. EX. card number and expiration date to:
P.O. Box 4000
Stamford CT 06907
Films made later trying to cash in on the Caligula name
The Emperor Caligula
Caligula Reincarnated as Hitler
Caligula: The Untold Story
Caligula's Slaves (1984)
Caligula's Hot Nights
Lady Caligula in Toyko
Caligula Reincarnated as Nero
10/20/75 - 1st draft
America's Got Talent - Auditions No. 3 - New York City, Chicago, #403. 6/30/09 - used Judge Caligula music!?
Album - Front
Soundtrack Album - Gatefold Front
Soundtrack Album - Gatefold Back
Soundtrack Album - Back
Soundtrack Album - Label: We Are One - Love Theme
Soundtrack Album - Label: We Are One - Dance Version
Single - Sleeve Front & Back
Single - Side A
Single - Side 1
7" Single - PR101S, Produced & Written by Toni
Biggs, Sung by Lydia
(P)1980 Penthouse Records 924 Westwood Blvd Suite 1002 Los Angeles CA 90024, ©1980 Tonina Music BMI, "Toni's First" is etched on Side 1.
Side 1 - We Are One Caligula Love Theme (3:22) CLT-1
Side A - We Are One - Caligula Theme Dance Version (3:20) CDV-A
Caligula - The Music Gatefold 2 LP - PR101-CS
We Are One - Caligula Love Theme (3:18)
We Are One - Caligula Love Theme, Dance Version (4:33)
"We Are One", Written & Produced by Toni Biggs
Recorded at Motown Studios and Jennifudy Studios
Mixed at Motown Studios, Hollywood, California
Engineer: Jack Andrews
Mixing Engineer: Russ Terrana
Mastering Engineer: Jack Andrews
Toni Biggs: Bass
Doug Meador: Keyboards
Jeff Craig: Guitar
Art Fox, Chris Kelly: Drums
Ted Ashford: Synthesizer
Strings and Horns arranged by Al Capps
Soundtrack recorded by The Royal Italian Symphonia at
Emmequatro Studios, Rome Italy
Produced, edited and remixed by Toni Biggs
Orchestral Arrangements and Conductor: Paul Clemente
Remix Engineer: Jack Andrews at Motown Studios, Hollywood
Special Thanks to Bob Guccione
Album Design: Toni Biggs
Side 1 - CS-A
1. Wood Sequence (4:20)
Intro - Paul Clemente
Spartacus - Khachaturian
Romeo & Juliet - Prokofiev
2. Caligula & Ennia (1:52)
Anfitrione - Paul Clemente
3. Caligula's Dance (1:20)
Marziale - Paul Clemente
4. Drusilla's Bedroom (0:55)
Spartacus - Khachaturian
5. Isis Pool (4:15)
Oblio - Paul Clemente
6. Livia/Proculus Wedding (3:37)
Movimentio - Paul Clemente
7. Caesonia's Dance (1:25)
Primitivo - Paul Clemente
Total Time: (17:44)
Side 2 - CS-B
1. Drusilla's Death - Main Theme (5:48)
Spartacus - Khachaturian
2. Orgy on Ship (1:52)
Cinderella/Midnight Waltz - Prokofiev
3. Orgy on Ship - Part II (2:28)
Orgia - Paul Clemente
4. Battle of Britain (1:26)
Spartan War - J. Leach
5. Play/Stadium (2:47)
Equiziana - Paul Clemente
6. Caligula's Death (3:32)
Romeo & Juliet - Prokofiev
7. Reprise (0:45)
Spartacus (Main Theme) - Khachaturian
Total Time: (18:38)
Malcolm was right when said that the biggest audience for Caligula was in Russia - when the VCRs appeared in every home in the early 90s, the video sellers from the black market had the time of their lives selling endless copies of Caligula. As of 2004 there were 2 versions on DVD (cut and uncut) and 2 versions on VHS (both full, but one has better quality), and you can see one in every small video store. O Lucky Man! was a theatre hit in the seventies. The VHS release of Ringer had his name on the cover, above the title, in huge letters. I don't know if he felt it when he was here, but literally everyone older than 30 who watches movies knows him and his works. - Daria
Caligula may very well be the most controversial film in history. Only one movie dates to show the perversion behind Imperial Rome and that movie is Caligula, the epic story of Rome's mad emperor. All the details of his cruel, bizarre reign are revealed right here: his unholy sexual passion for his sister, his marriage to Rome's most infamous prostitute, his fiendishly inventive mean of disposing those who would oppose him and more. The combined talents of cinematic giants Malcolm McDowell, Peter O'Toole, John Gielgud and Shakespearean actress Helen Mirren, along with an acclaimed cast and a bevy of beautiful Penthouse Pets, make this unique historical drama a masterwork of the screen. Not for the squeamish, not for the prudish, Caligula will shock and arouse you as it reveals the deviance and decadence beneath the surface of the grandeur that once was Rome.
Caligula is summoned to Capri by Tiberius, his adopted
grandfather. His escort is Macro, commander of the Praetorian Guard. Macro seeks
to curry favor with Caligula, who will be the next Emperor, by tempting him with
the promise of sleeping with Ennia, his wife.
Frightened, but sycophantically eager to fall in with any mood of the mercurial Tiberius, Caligula has his first glimpse of absolute power as the aged Emperor leads him from his cavernous swimming pool through his grotto of pleasures. There, the two become voyeurs as youths and maidens act out Tiberius' fantasies. Accompanying them is a noble, elderly Senator, Nerva, the only contemporary intimate of Tiberius who has survived the execution of several Senators, despite the fact, or perhaps because, he is the only one who dares openly to criticize and condemn.
When Nerva chooses suicide over a natural death, Tiberius' seemingly ordered life is shaken, and his own death, hastened. Caligula and Macro come to witness the end. They find the old Emperor partially paralyzed, lying alone in the state bedroom. Prematurely, Caligula tears off the signet ring, symbol of power. Tiberius rallies. Macro insures has death by smothering him. A frightened Gemellus, Tiberius' grandson by birth, has witnessed the murder.
Caligula, the new Emperor, gains instant popularity by announcing a general amnesty. He accepts the highest office of the Republic, the Consulship, naming his uncle Claudius, his fellow Consul and Gemellus as his son and heir.
For a time, Caligula is splendidly good-humored, eager to be loved by the people. There is scarcely a hint of the tyrant he will become. One of his first questionable acts is to rid himself of Macro. By promising the Guards a huge pay bonus, he orders them to arrest their commander. Macro is replaced by Chaerea. Caligula is free to marry Ennia, now a widow, but Drusilla, his sister and paramour, counsels him to marry a respectable Roman and father an heir.
Disguised as a woman, Caligula comes to choose a candidate from among the shapely priestesses in the Temple of Isis. He is attracted -- despite Drusilla's protests that she is promiscuous --to Caesonia, an eloquent, sensual divorcee, who becomes his mistress, then wife. The darker side of Caligula begins to show itself as he comes to realize that no one will challenge his absolute power.
His terror during a thunder and lightning storm is the first sign of a breakdown. His actions become more and more senseless. His only confidant is his Arab stallion, Incitatus, which he rides into the banquet where Gemellus is one of the guests. In a macabre mood, he accuses Gemellus publicly of treason and has him arrested. As Caesonia's child is being born, Caligula marries her and names the babe his heir. He is enraged to learn the child is a girl and insists on calling her "my son."
Drusilla's death soon afterwards leaves Caligula in despair. He proclaims a month of mourning and, distraught, mingles anonymously with his Roman citizens. When Caligula is dragged drunk and dirty into a prison, his signet ring is spotted by a giant and his true identity becomes known.
Back in the Senate, Caligula proclaims himself a god and awards free games and food to every citizen. When Longinus, his treasurer, protests, Caligula shows him how easy it is to replenish the Imperial purse.
He builds a ship in the palace that is to be used as a brothel. Forcing the wives and daughters of his Senators into prostitution, Caligula himself collects the fees from citizens eager to sample their betters. His final public act of madness is to proclaim his horse Incitatus a Senator. Destiny catches up with Caligula at the age of 29, after a rule of three years, ten months and eight days.
Chaerea, Longinus and the Imperial physician Charicles have quietly organized his assassination. It is a vengeful Chaerea whose sword brings down the Emperor. To insure that none of Caligula's line will follow him to power, Caesonia and Julia, her child, are also put to the sword. A new era in Rome will begin with the new Emperor - the unwilling, dull-witted Claudius.
The 156 minute uncut US Version
A black screen, ominous drum beats, then the words "Pagan Rome"
appear in blood red text.
Soon after choral singing beings and "37 AD - 41 AD" appears underneath.
Slowly that fades and the next title screen reads:
"What shall it profit a man if he should gain the whole world and lose his own soul." Mark 8:36. This fades and the action begins.
Sheep are heard bleating, then are seen being herded along by a shepherd past Caligula who is on the ground under a tree with his sister Drusilla who is wearing a flimsy toga with her butt revealed. He gets up and runs, she chases after him, they play a game of tag and one of her breasts flops out. Their two white horses are seen tied nearby. He calls her and lifts his robes above her his head. She stops with her back against a tree and he envelops her and says, "Done Drusilla." Then he picks her up against him, kisses her chest and mouth and she swings her legs in the air around him. They go down and make out in the leaves.
The bleeding coin logo appears, then a voice over:
"I have existed from the morning of the world. I have taken the form of Gaius Caligula, so I am a God."
Caligula hops into his bed and Drusilla gets in with him. He asks her what it's like to be with such a fat man. She says he's only large. He replies he's tiny where it counts. She asks how does he know and he replies that he saw him in the baths. They roll around and make out. He hears Macro coming and has her leave, then he pretends he's asleep. Macro has on traditional gladiator type gear and calls him prince and says the emperor wants to see him one last time. Tiberius is 77 and might not make it. Caligula says, "may he live forever" and inquires about Macro's wife. He says she lives only for seeing Caligula again. He sends him away and goes back where Drusilla is hiding and asks what it means and to pray to Isis for him.
Naked men are breaking up rocks outside. An honor guard leads Caligula, carrying him on a bed surrounded with white netting. Macro says he'll take care of the Praetorian Guard. Nerva meets him at the gate and says 10 years is a long time for the Emperor to hide away and he heard 10 senators were put to death in the last month. Caligula says it was 9 and 5 cheated, they killed themselves. It's not fair. Nerva says they were good men. Caligula asks, "if they were good, how could he find them guilty?" Nerva says he has a gift for logic. He enters the temple and goes down to the pools where many naked women are sitting, caring for crying infants and the Emperor Tiberius is swimming with young naked girls. He pops out of the water, his face scarred with sickness and yells, "Caligula" and he comes over and kisses Tiberius's ring. He wants him to do the dance. Caligula is perplexed. He says, "the dance he did to win over the troops when he was Little Boots." Caligula claims he's forgotten it. He yells at him to dance and Caligula storms off. Tiberius calls all his little fishies in the pool so naked girls and boys jump in. Caligula slams a whip and then prances around like a soldier and dances behind a shield to the delight of those around. He gives his thumbs up and the emperor tells him to stop and gets out of the pool. Slaves cover him up and he calls everyone out of the pool, out little fishes. He asks why Caligula says so many bad things about him in Rome and prays for his death. Caligula tells him he never did that. He tells him to remember he let him live, so far only his fishies love him. He wants Nerva to transform Caligula into a Roman Caesar, but he says there have only been three before. He says he's been insulted by Nerva to his face. He warns him to watch out for Macro when he dies right in front of Macro. Nerva knows Macro hates him. Tiberius explains it's because he's wise. Nerva says he's taken precautions. Tiberius talks about dying and Caligula says he'll live forever. He tells him he's strong. Tiberius says it's fate that rules. Caligula says he is a god. He replies he's not. Caligula says Julius and Augustus were gods. Tiberius responds that's what the senate believes then calls him over and says, "Look at you" and hugs him. He may find favor in Rome's bosom. On the way out Caligula pushes his uncle Claudius in the pool.
Outside Tiberius asks Caligula if he thinks this boy has been drinking, nodding to a nearby soldier. He says he does. Tiberius agrees. He tells Macro to bring him more wine and Macro tells a nearby man to remove his bootlaces. He uses the laces to tie up the soldier's penis. A woman nearby is riding a large dildo, another plays with herself. They put a large funnel in the drunk man's mouth and pour wine down it. They walk away and Tiberius asks Caligula what they say about him in the senate. He says they hate him. They pass by women swinging naked and a woman from Britain is being screwed on a table. Tiberius says the man mounting her is his stud. Caligula calls them speaking statues. Another woman rides a giant golden dildo swing. Tiberius asks, "Do you prefer nymphs to satyrs?" He says nymphs and Tiberius says he needs both to make him happy. He gives the order and a massive orgy begins on the ground all the way up many floor levels. There is sex, masturbation, oral sex, licking, rods inserted in orifices, a woman with penis and many freaks of nature. Caligula says they love him. Tiberius says they fear him. He had no choice, but to become Emperor. He only wanted a private life, but he had to or else he would be killed, as you will be. Caligula runs after him as he goes down an elevator with a girl to ask what he meant. Caligula then has to go down the stairs to catch up to him, past the wheels and the sex to meet him at the bottom. He asks him, "will be?" Tiberius says, "Would be if you were not my heir. Before Rome was a sate, now they lust for power, pleasure and the wives of other men." They pass oddities, conjoined women, centaurs and bizarre sex.
They go back to the drunken soldier who is being held back and forced to drink. Tiberius asks if he's drunk enough wine. Caligula says he has. Tiberius agrees and grabs a nearby sword and cuts his stomach, the wine pours out and he bleeds to death. Now he's happy. You wouldn't learn that in school. Macro has documents for Tiberius to sign. He slams his stamp on it. Horses, taxes and a senator guilty of treason. Every senator believes themselves emperor therefore are guilty. They are the natural enemy, traitors. They offered to approve any law before he made it. What if he goes mad? He calls Caligula Germanicus and he corrects him saying that's his father. He says Caligula is friends with Macro and his wife, how is she? Caligula denies it, he serves Tiberius, ask Macro about his wife. He also asks about loving Drusilla and he says that's his sister. Tiberius says he knows all about him and what he does. His young grandson Gemellus comes down and Tiberius says he's the last true heir. Caligula says he's a grandson too. Tiberius reminds him not by birth though, but he loves him. They will kill him, like he killed his father and so on. He offers Caligula a glass of wine and he offers it to the Gemellus. Tiberius stops him from drinking it and gives it to a female slave who drinks it and dies. Caligula is shocked. Tiberius goes up the stairs with Gemellus and says Caligula will kill him unless Caligula dies first. Caligula then sneaks over and uses the emperor's stamp and gives the proclamation.
Later Caligula is sleeping and dreams that Tiberius is going to kill him. Drusilla is sleeping with him and says not to worry, he's with her. He says they'll both be killed, then proclaims he won't die. She agrees, says he is the only heir since the others are too young, too sick or too old. Caligula says she'll be his queen. She explains he can't marry his sister. He says they can in Egypt. She reminds him they are in Rome. He gets up and a bird flies in the chamber and he flips. She says it's only a bird.
The next day he's getting a hot rag on his face. Macro arrives with his wife Ennia and gives her to Caligula then leaves. He has shaven so she holds up a mirror and says, "now he's a man and he must be master of his own destiny. What does he want? Take it with both hands." He grabs her breasts, then licks her fingers and grabs them hard. She screams.
Tiberius arrives to find Nerva in the chamber below committing suicide in a bathtub. Tiberius yells at a servant why did he let him to this. Tiberius says he's his only friend, he can't die. Nerva replies he's choosing the time of his own death. When Tiberius dies, Macro will kill him. Tiberius says he'll have him put out, but Nerva says he can't because Macro is too powerful. Nerva calls Caligula a reptile and says he'll kill him. Caligula goes over to Tiberius and says he always loved him. Nerva says Tiberius has gotten evil and he's seen him kill many enemies. Tiberius says he's cruel and Caligula replies, "that's treason." Nerva replies that it's the truth, evil comes, he must escape and closes his eyes. Caligula asks, "these are your precautions Nerva?" Tiberius leaves without another word. Caligula goes to Nerva and asks what it's like. He says warm, no pain, drifting away. He asks if he sees her. Who? The goddess Isis! You are one who believes. He doesn't see her? Are you sure? Caligula slaps his head. You are almost dead, what's it like? He sees nothing, just sleep. Caligula yells he's a liar and holds his head underwater until he dies.
A rooster crows. In the Torture Ward people are sleeping, waking up and are chained together. Men are tied to poles, freaks with many eyes are around, women clean themselves and men clean the blood off their bodies. One man says it's worse since Nerva died. Another accuses him of loving Tiberius and he gets angry and yells to take it back, then Caligula sees them. Thus begins a montage in the Torture Ward where people are whipped, impaled and barbed wire is run between women's legs.
Macro comes to Caligula and tells him the physician is here. Caligula asks how Tiberius is, how long will he last? He could go at any moment, but with care he could last a year. Caligula says he smells death, but whose? Macro says not to worry, Tiberius can't do anything with out him. Caligula replies, "So those poor creatures thought." Macro says Caligula will be emperor soon. Caligula asks if he swears. He does and Caligula kisses him full on the mouth. Then Macro again says he swears and puts his arm in a nearby fire without looking or flinching for a minute.
Claudius rolls dice and laughs as Gemellus looks on. The doctor examines Tiberius and Macro tells everyone to leave. Claudius looks at the near dead Tiberius and snorts at Caligula. Caligula climbs up on the bed and listens for Tiberius breathing. He calls his name twice and listens. Nothing. Then he reaches over and starts pulling the ring off his finger. It won't budge, so he climbs over and pulls until it comes off. Then he puts it on, sticks out his fist and looks mad. He picks up a mirror and holds it up to it. Suddenly Tiberius rises and calls Caligula asking for his ring back. Caligula is shocked and tells him no. Tiberius says yes. Caligula lifts up the mirror to strike him with it and Tiberius shouts, "you do not dare." Then says it again louder. Macro comes in, calls out "Prince!" and grabs the mirror. Macro then takes out a black scarf and puts it over Tiberius's head from behind and suffocates him. Caligula turns away and doesn't watch as Tiberius struggles to breath and dies. Macro gets up and says hail Caesar. He'll get everyone assembled in the hall for the announcement and leaves. Then Caligula turns around, climbs on the bed and stands over Tiberius. He waves his arm over him, gets down, does a bit of his dance and struts to a wall length mirror. He then notices Gemellus hiding in the background across the room. He yells at him to come over. Gemellus gets down, kisses his ring and says hail Caesar. Caligula says we are alone and we must love each other. Gemellus looks mortified.
They have the funeral for the masked Tiberius to be put to rest and the priest says hail Caesar. Caligula says it's just like his dream. Drusilla says it's only a mask, he is Caesar now, emperor, ruler of the world. Caligula climbs up the stairs and pulls out a parchment. He goes to read, coughs and people laugh. He reads, "at the insistence of the senate and the people of Rome I accept the highest office of their great republic." He repeats "great republic." No one makes a sound. Macro looks around. Caligula comes down to Drusilla and asks for the onion. She turns and he inhales it to tear up. He goes back up and continues, "When our beloved Tiberius was dying…" Then a man yells to dump Tiberius in the river and others agree that he was a tyrant. Caligula says, "We begin a new era, I grant general amnesty." Macro calls for silence as they chant Caesar. He's not finished. Caligula says the people have chosen Claudius and he tells him to come up next to him and he does, but gets too close. Caligula tells him to get aside and he says hail Caesar. Caligula says his son and heir will be Gemellus. All official oaths will now contain the following phase, "I will not value my life nor the lives of my children any more highly than I do of the emperor." They chant. Then he adds, "and of and his sister Drusilla." Then a woman yells out. Caligula goes down, takes Drusilla's hand and kisses it. Macro says to Caligula we must be careful of him. Claudius? No, Gemellus.
Back in their room Caligula asks Drusilla if she saw their faces when he made them swear not only to him, but to her. Drusilla says they were appalled and is it wise? He says he can do anything he likes to anyone and gets in the bed and kisses her breasts. She says don't start with me. He asks who does she suggest and kisses her. Eyes seem to be watching them. A cat in gets in the bed and makes noise. Caligula notices it, gets up and goes over to a large moon face on the wall across the room and sees a hole in the mouth. He finds a secret passage and a man is giving oral to a woman with a penis. Caligula goes around and talks to Drusilla through the mouth. She tells him it's Macro, make sure you get him under control before he controls you like he did with Tiberius.
Outside during a large ceremony Caligula walks with Macro. He tells Macro he wants him to get Gemellus. Caligula talks to his Longinus and says he wants a raise for his guards. Longinus says it's not possible. He says to make it possible, it's his treasury. Macro brings Gemellus out and Caligula has Macro and Longinus stand to the side. He tells Gemellus to say who killed their beloved Tiberius. Gemellus looks totally mortified and says nothing. Caligula makes eyes toward Macro and Gemellus says he did it and points to Macro. All the guards are assembled in the courtyard to see this and Macro is in shock. Caligula says arrest him. No one moves and Macro smiles. Caligula addresses the guards and says in honor of his new commander Chaerea, 10 gold pieces to every man. The guard cheer, chant hail and come over to get Macro. Macro says don't you dare and walks away. Caligula cracks up.
In their bedroom Caligula is carrying around Drusilla and kisses her. Chaerea comes in and says two senators have a dispute over land. He says to bring them in, he's interested in all of Rome, even them. He slides across the floor and Drusilla moves to the side. The man says he must complain and Caligula says, "Give me the documents." A man brings over a scroll and Drusilla smiles. Caligula holds the documents in one hand and books in another. He weighs them and says guilty. The man thanks him and Caligula says not to, justice must always be impartial. Drusilla cracks up and Caligula goes over and smiles.
Ennia is in her chambers getting a sperm bath. Men masturbate into bowls around her and spread the sperm on her. Caligula comes over and says she looks beautiful and asks if it's good for growing hair. She laughs and says they'll be married soon, the divorce will only take two days. Caligula says he thinks they should move and she asks where. He says Alexandria. Egypt? She would hate to leave Rome and the senate. He says he is Rome, wherever he is Rome is and so are the senate and the people. He then urinates against a column. Longinus comes in with scrolls and asks if it is done. Macro has been sentences to death. Caligula rides on a fake horse and she asks him what happened to Macro. He explains he's been arrested for treason. She is upset, says he worshipped you Caligula, he made you. He kisses her. She can't believe it and asks what did he do? Caligula says he has to make his destiny with his own hands. She spits on his face and he grabs her breasts. The guards are called and Caligula says Ennia is to be banished to Gaul. She says she loves him, don't send her away.
Caligula goes back to Drusilla and says at least Ennia doesn't have to get a divorce. Drusilla says he must find a suitable wife and he says he is marrying her. She reiterates that they can't, they aren't Egyptian. He says they are much better looking and checks himself in a mirror. She says to stop looking at himself like that. He says they should go to Egypt then. She says don't be a fool. He says he can't be a fool, he's Caesar, dances around and laughs. She says they'll throw him into the Tiber if he moves the senate, he needs to marry a respectable woman and have an heir. The priestesses of Isis are meeting at her house tonight and she wants him to marry one of them. He kisses her and wonders what he should wear.
At Drusilla's pool the women do a ritualistic performance. They get naked and wet as Caesonia throws rose petals in the pool. Caligula is there in disguise as a woman with a headdress and earrings and asks when they will perform for him, he wants to see what he's getting. In the middle of the pool is an island where women lay around. He spots one he likes. Drusilla says she's Livia who is taken and is ready to marry Proculus, one of his officers. He says he'll send him to Spain. She says she's a virgin and very boring. They watch the women fondle and lick each other all over. He spots Caesonia and says she'll be his wife. Drusilla say not her, she is the most promiscuous woman in Rome and has been divorced. He doesn't care, he wants her and says to send her to him. Drusilla doesn't want to do it, it's not wise. He says it is, it's the will of the senate and the people. She relents and goes to get her and her leaves.
Caesonia is brought in to him. He pulls a knife out and sends Drusilla away. Caesonia comes before him and holds her head out and offers her neck. He puts the knife under her ear, makes a small cut and she doesn't flinch. He then licks the wound. She lays down on the bed and offers herself. Caligula picks her up and turns her over, lifting her robe and mounts her doggie style. She says he's very convincing as a priestess. He says so is she as a sacrificial lamb. He gets down on top of her as smoke rises in an urn behind them.
The killing machine is unleashed on the street. It is a massive 200 foot long red structure that moves along with large spinning blades on the bottom and guards and naked women chained to it up higher. Victims are buried in the ground up to their necks in front of it including Macro. Caligula and a large group are watching on stairs above. Caligula tells Drusilla that he's marrying Caesonia, since she's guaranteed him a son. Caesonia is there on a leash and Drusilla asks how he will be guaranteed it's his child. He has a way. She says it will belong to the gods. He says it can't, they are all homosexuals. All the people throw rotten fruit at Macros head with a manic glee, then the long blades cut his head off and sends it flying. Caligula responds, "If only all Rome only had just one neck." Caligula then spots Livia and Proculus and gets an idea which he passes on to Longinus.
Later there is a large banquet from Proculus's wedding with people having sex, others eating off naked people and women carrying large dildo sculptures. Then Caligula is introduced and he enters wearing red. He asks if they are late and to please forgive them. They say no. He leads Caesonia along on a leash behind him past a giant phallus and a large vagina sculpture. Caligula goes to Proculus and says he's very gracious to come. Caligula replies he is a Roman hero and Proculus is humbled. Caligula says he will proclaim the blessings of mighty Caesar on this happy couple and asks which way is the sacred marriage room. He spies a door behind him and beckons Livia and Proculus to follow him and Drusilla joins them. Caligula opens the door which turns out to be the kitchen and says it'll have to do. Drusilla says she thought he didn't like virgins. He says he never had one. The kitchen staff flees and Caligula opens a hole in the door and asks "is this right Caesonia?" and she laughs. Only Caligula, Livia and Proculus are left in the room. Caligula has Livia disrobe and he pushes her on a food preparation table and spreads her legs. Caligula says, "Here is my wedding gift" and he asks Proculus if she's is really a virgin. He says yes. Caligula tells her to open her eyes and smacks her stomach. Caligula mounts her and says she's a lucky girl to lose her virginity to an erect god. Proculus cowers on the side and Caligula tells him to open his eyes. He pronounces, "I Caligula command in the name of the senate and the people of Rome..." then yells for Proculus to open his eyes. Then he thrusts into her. She screams loud enough for the whole party outside to hear. They are all watching the door and Caesonia is eating. He pulls out, fingers her vagina, comes up with blood and says, "she really was a virgin." He says to Proculus, "Are you?" Proculus says no Caesar. Caligula says it's not fair that she had him and he doesn't, off with your clothes. He disrobes and Caligula smacks his butt, says splendid and I like your bushy hair. He pulls Proculus up on he table and looks into his anus as Livia lays next to him crying. He says, "I think you lied to me, you are a virgin too." He spreads lard on his rectum, then dips his ring inside. He says, "I command in the name of the senate and the people of Rome" then jams his fist in his anus, removes it and shakes off the blood and goo. He exclaims, "You see how I've exhausted myself to make your wedding holy, my blessings to you both." He puts a flower on his butt and leaves.
Later it is a dark and stormy night. Caligula is in bed awake and, Drusilla is naked beside him. Clouds rolls by then suddenly a window blows open and a figure runs by. He thinks is Gemellus and runs outside into the rain after him. Caesonia wakes up and calls to Caligula, but he doesn't listen. She gets dressed and Caligula runs out wearing a robe yelling for Gemellus. He shouts, "Jupiter loves me." Caesonia's hand maidens run out and Caligula disrobes and does the Little Boots dance in the rain completely naked. Caesonia calls Drusilla and she runs out to him. He says, "Jupiter wants him dead, Gemellus is trying to kill him, I saw him run away." She grabs him and comforts him, leading him back to bed. They towel him down, the other women leave and Drusilla and Caesonia dry him off. He's shaking and makes out with a naked Drusilla, he cups her breasts and Caesonia notices the mouth on the wall. A female couple are back there watching and getting turned on. Caesonia is behind him and Caligula turns and kisses her. Then the women kiss. The women hiding in the back get inspired to do the same thing. They get on a bed and start making out. The threesome get more intimate and the girls in hiding start tonguing each other, then go down on each other completely. In Caligula's chamber the same thing occurs. The hiding girls lick their juices, then 69 each other until they quake in orgasm.
Later Caligula rides into his chambers on his horse. They hail him and Caligula tells them to hail his horse. They do and Caligula tells the horse to watch Gemellus who looks at him wearily. Caligula calls for large dice and asks Claudius if he should make himself king of Rome. Claudius says it's a republic. He rolls the dice. Caligula says he'll be king of the republic then. Longinus says he's more powerful than any king. Caligula says he's a god, at least he will be when he dies. The chamber is filled with people having sex and other wild things. Caligula grabs some food and wants Gemellus to try it. He smells him and asks what has he been drinking. Gemellus says he only took medicine for his fever. Caligula asks the doctor if this is true and he denies it. Caligula tells Gemellus he took an antidote before he got here, he's tantamount to accusing Caligula of poisoning him. Caligula slams his hand down and says is that logic, is it not? Drusilla calls to him in exasperation. Caligula calls Chaerea to have Gemellus arrested for treason and then take him away and he screams and moans as he's led out and plates spin nearby. Caligula says "as if there could ever be an antidote against Caesar" and dances. Everyone laughs except Drusilla who goes to leave. Caligula asks why is she so concerned for Gemellus. She says he isn't. Caligula reminds her he knows about Tiberius, he's a threat. She says he's not even his heir and that Caesonia now carries his child. He looks like he didn't know that. He says Gemellus will die and Drusilla calls him an amateur. He gets enraged and smacks Drusilla to the floor. Caesonia looks on with approval. Drusilla gets up and runs out. Caligula looks hurt, everyone looks at him and it is silent. A priest spills something on the food and Caligula eats it he says, "and they weren't even poisoned." Suddenly he starts choking and everyone looks on in agony. He then laughs, it was a joke. Caesonia claps and says well done. He is pleased. She asks what he will do about Drusilla since what she said was treason. He says he'll handle it. What of his son? He wants her to dance, to show her new dance to his horse, he will dance with him. He calls for music and sits. Caesonia gets in the middle of the room and disrobes, she has a slinky gold costume and elaborate headdress on. Women appear on either side of him and fondle him and each other. A man likes one's ass and Caligula slaps them off. He wants to watch her. Caesonia spins around and around and he yells in approval and she winks at him.
Back in his chambers Caligula has his horse with him and is sticking pins in the wall. He says, "You are beautiful Drusilla, beautiful while petting the horse. He then vomits blood.
Outside there are people about and many fires lit. Caligula is now in bed, on one side is his doctor, on the other side is his horse. Others are milling about the room. Caligula says he's going to kill me. The doctor says the fever will break. Caligula calls for Drusilla. He's sweating profusely and keeps repeating, "he's going to kill me." He pets the horse and again asks for Drusilla and Caesonia says she's coming. Drusilla runs in from the outside and comes to him. She says she's here. Caligula says he's dying. She says he's not. He says he must make his will and wants Longinus. Caesonia leaves. He wants his horse to have his own bed. Outside Caesonia overhears Longinus, Chaerea and others plotting. They say he's a monster and is going to die anyway. Caesonia acts like she didn't hear and brings Longinus inside. Caligula says his will is, "Herewith to my beloved Drusilla, the Roman empire title of Augusta." Drusilla smiles. He sees something and says my little boots and Drusilla says he's sleeping. Caligula says no he's not. Longinus gets in bed and has Caligula put his seal on the paper. Caligula asks Drusilla why does he always get angry with her, why do thy always fight? She says they can't help it. He says they'll never quarrel again. She says they will. He says don't let me die. She gets in bed with him and the doctor says not to because he's contagious. A fat senator nearby says he'll offer his life if Jupiter will spare his beloved emperor. Caligula gets up and says, "Jupiter accepts his offer, execute him." The guards lead him out and Drusilla says the fever is breaking.
Later Caligula arrives at the senate, says he's been neglecting his work and has come in. Longinus says they need his signature. Caligula has a ball that he tosses and announces, "I Caligula Caesar command in the name of the senate and people of Rome" and stamps a document. Then notices there are 100s of documents. He speeds up the speech and slams the papers rapid fire as each one gets pulled way. He then yells, "Caesar, Caesar, Rome, Rome, rubbish. No wonder why things are so dull." He tosses some of it at Longinus and says let's see if Proculus can liven things up for us and leaves Longinus to pick up the pieces and figure out what to do.
He arrives with a young woman on each arm, sees Proculus and rings finger bells. They have him in a harness and hoist him up in the air with ropes, two midgets - Comedy and Tragedy are attached to him on either side with bizarre white masks on front and back. Their weight pulls him down to break his knees. Caligula's robe is open down the sides and he says, "His wife is expecting a child and we're not quite sure who the father is, him or god." The group around him laughs. Proculus calls, "Divine Caesar, please, what have I done, why am I here?" Treason. He says, "I've always been loyal." Caligula responds, "That is your treason, you are an honest man Proculus, which means a bad Roman, therefore you are a traitor…logical!" They bring him down and Caligula says he must die like Gemellus, like all those that came before. He pulls out a dagger and they strip him completely naked. The guards hold him and Caligula cuts him. He hands the dagger to a man and says, "now slowly, I want him to feel death, I want him to smell death." Longinus enters with a snake on his shoulder and a wicked grin on his face. Proculus starts screaming as he is cut again and again. Caligula dances around wildly, jumps on the ropes and asks, "Now what does it feel like Proculus? Can you see the great goddess Isis? What does she say?" He laughs. He goes to Longinus, "ah Reptile, make a note of this." They cut Proculus across the chest and he collapses. Caligula says, "I said slowly you fool!" The two girls who arrived with Caligula rub around in Proculus's blood and one of them mounts him to Caligula's pleasure. "Lucky boy, to have escaped me so easily." One fingers herself while the other rubs blood on her vagina. Then she squats over him and pees on him. Caligula commands, "Longinus, reptile, cut of those (points to testicles) and send them to Livia as a symbol of their great love." Longinus tells the man with the knife, to cut them off. He cuts half of Proculus's penis off and hands it to Longinus who tosses it to the nearby dogs who eat it and says, "now send the rest to Livia."
Back in his room Caligula is on the floor watching a white mouse trying to pull a miniature gold chariot in a race to no avail. Suddenly a black bird flies in the room and around above his bed. He is horrified.
Caesonia screams and Caligula leads the crowd watching. She is up on a stage behind a giant gold mask of pain giving birth. Caligula claps and has the curtain lowered. Everyone is thrilled except Drusilla. The head pops out from between her legs and it is a boy. Caligula announces that he is now to be married to Ceasonia with his heir Caligula Germanicus. The crowd cheers and Drusilla runs up. A priest marries them right there as Caesonia is still in the birth contraption with her face hidden. Drusilla checks the child and Caligula tells Caesonia, "Yyou are now wife, mother and Empress of Rome." Drusilla informs him the child is a girl. Caligula says it is not a girl, did you not hear Caesar say? Drusilla says she heard, but his daughter did not. Caligula says he should've waited to get married, shouldn't he? Drusilla says there will be other children. Caligula says to Longinus, "one month of free games and a gold coin to all Romans to celebrate the birth of his son, Julia Drusilla." Everyone cheers, then Drusilla collapses. Caligula holds her, and the doctor announces, "The fever!" and the whole room runs out in panic.
Drusilla is now in bed writhing around. Caligula calls to her, holds her, kisses her mouth and says I'm here, it's her Little Boots. He repeats it. He says do something to the doctor. He swears he's doing everything he can, but the fever must take its course. Drusilla howls and Caligula gets an idea. He jumps up and spills dirt into the fire of Isis with "Isidi Sacr" carved below her statue and calls for Isis to take him, he begs you oh mighty goddess. The doctor looks horrified. Drusilla has stopped moving. He calls Caligula over, she has died. Caligula goes to her, calls her name and holds her, but she is limp. He cradles her, women cry, Caesonia enters, looks at him, bursts into tears and leaves. All those around him look scared for themselves. Caligula jumps up and screams "Get out! Get out, out, out, out!" He throws everyone out of the room and cries. He looks at a statue of Isis and growls, "Almighty mother." He takes the statue down and cradles it. "I beg you. Caesar begs you." He hoists it over his head and smashes it against a nearby shelf. He goes to Drusilla, kisses her, then strips her down naked and kisses her feet, licks his way up her legs, vagina, breasts, face, rolls her over and tongues her back, down her butt and thighs. He turns her back over and pulls her out of bed and carries her up the stairs past a smoking urn. He sits down on a step and remembers chasing her in the woods. He picks her up on his lap and then carries her out with more memories of them running. He carries her into the antechamber and then screams.
That night Caligula goes outside on the streets of Rome in disguise with a blue robe over himself. The streets are jammed with people including men chasing another man calling him a thief. Woman with bare butts sit on a ledge and a guard hangs up a sign that reads "I Gaius Caesar Caligula do decree a month of public morning for our beloved sister Drusilla. During which time anyone who laughs, bathes, dines with his parents or children or has intercourse will be sentenced to death." Caligula sees a man having his ear cut, women squatting naked peeing and then a bunch of transvestite men grab him, says, "There's a nice one". A man juggles fire and the transvestites follow Caligula, but then they all run to a man putting on a street play, which consists of building a large pyramid of importance on a multi-level wooden platform. There are large phalluses around and the man pretends to be Caligula holding a mask on a stick. A line of men he calls the slaves run out and are pushed down on the ground in front. The people are next, then the guards, the senate and reigning supreme on top is the emperor. The crowd cheers. A woman strolls up to the front and says, "I am the lady Drusilla, let's make love once again." Caligula looks on in horror, then can't take it anymore. He yells to stop and pushes the people off the first level and attacks the woman playing Drusilla. A group carries him off down the street and throws him in the mud. They spit on him, kick him then leave. Guards pushing a jail cart full of screaming people come by. They spot Caligula and on says, "another drunk" and picks him up and put him in the with rest.
Longinus is in a large map room where scholars are at work. Caesonia comes in, claps her hands and he opens his eyes. She asks if there is any report on Caligula. He says one report says he went to Egypt, others say Persia. She asks where does he think he is? He could be anywhere. She replies no, he's in Rome, he's testing us.
The jail cell is a large, dirty underground room with a there is a large metal slide where prisoners are thrown down and they land on mattresses. A woman is naked and a large man holds her. A man comes up to her and buries his face in her crotch and then the big man chases him off. There are many dirty, naked women around. A large man with a whip does a trick where he pulls coins out of a woman's vagina on the floor. He then comes over to Caligula and wants his ring. Caligula struggles to take it off and then throws it up in the air, makes it disappear and it reappears on the man's crotch. The entire group is enraptured and cheers. The big man takes the ring for himself, cleans it up and sees the crest of Caesar and drops down in front of him.
Caligula returns to his chambers and a fast past, still in his blue garb. Claudius is disgusted at how bad he smells. Caligula jumps on the stage and says, "I have existed from the morning of the world and I shall exist until the last star falls from the night. Although I have the form of Gaius Caligula, I am all men as I am no man and therefore I am…a god. I shall wait for the unanimous decision of the senate." There is a murmur. Claudius says all those who say I, say I. Caligula yells "I" and again, then the whole senate yells along with him. A guard says "He's a god now." Then Caligula starts bleating like a sheep and they all join in. Longinus says he's gone mad. Caligula goes down to the senate and they join him. He announces the period of mourning is now over and pulls down a large curtain covering the senators then a big man comes and whips them.
Caligula is dressed in fine garb and Caesonia presents him a sword, says to enjoy himself and take care. He says, "Now the fun begins." She asks if they are going to enjoy it as well. He says, "Let's ask them." He calls in Longnius, his financial wizard and asks him who are the richest men in Rome. Caesonia stand behind Caligula and mouths "the pimps" to him, but he says nothing. Caligula says the pimps then asks him who are the most lascivious sots in all of Rome. The senator's wives, so an imperial brothel is the most logical way to balance the states budget. He pulls back a curtain and there is a massive boat in the next room. There are tons of people about including guards collecting money. He climbs up the boat and states, "As you can see ladies and gentlemen we have gone through great expense to bring you the finest flesh in our empire. Five gold pieces! Only 5 gold pieces for each and every 20 minutes and that's a bargain." Woman are seen having sex, on swings, giving oral and getting whipped. Caligula continues, "Look at them, aren't they beautiful, superb. The most lascivious women in the empire have come to today. So give that they will remember you well. Come aboard the imperial bordello and you'll have your choice of the finest flesh in the empire." He makes his way up, across and down the length of the ship. "Five gold pieces for each and every 20 minutes and that's a bargain because most of the women here are respectable married ladies, senator's wives, whores of blameless reputation." To Caesonia, " I'll have to work a out special rate for you" then he kisses her. People run up to get on board. "They're not just beautiful, they are insatiable." Women grab each other, men have masks and receive oral. "Take their wives, use them, abuse them, they are yours for only 5 gold pieces." Women are seen having their breasts licked. Caligula stops at one women and says "Hairy nipples!?" He yells to him below, "Senator Marcellus, your wife will scare are customers away." His advice to her is, "Try hot walnuts." Then back to the pitch, "The more you give, the more they will like it." More oral, finger sucking, threesomes and lesbians are seen. "Come and enjoy the skills perfected by our senate ladies while their husbands slept in the senate." Still more oral, more threesomes, hard sex, thrusting. "Only five for a whore." A mass orgy begins with women sucking and getting fingered. Chaerea says to Longinus, "He's humiliated all of our wives and daughters. He says he's disgraced the army." Longinus replies, "That's why the people love him." Caligula gets a goblet of wine, drinks and spits some down on Longinus and tells him "Longinus you are not having any fun, what's your preference?" He says everything and nothing. Caligula says, "You can't have both at this price." Chaerea says, "He's provoking you." Longinus responds, "Only me?" Chaerea says, "He's gone mad, he doesn't know what he's doing." Longinus assures him he knows what he's doing. Give him enough rope and he'll hang us all.
Below deck the orgy continues, with laughing and woman riding large cocks. "We also have a few very severe ladies today, punish them or be punished." Women are whipped, black slaves dance, two women go down on one man and Longinus paces back and forth. Caligula calls down to him, "Can't you stop plotting for just a few minutes?" He smiles. Caligula says to Chaerea, "I hear you have a taste for little boys. Is that not so?" He replies, "No, big boys, my soldiers." Caligula asks if they are ready and he says yes. Caligula says "perfect", climbs to the top of the boat and announces, "We sail for Britain." He and Caesonia raise their arms and the giant oars of the ship start to go up and down and soldiers march around it. Longinus whispers something to the doctor. Caligula continues to raise his arms up and down, a bell rings, the sex gets more frenetic. A woman gives oral until he climaxes and licks it all up.
It is daytime, a few hours from Rome and Chaerea wonders what madness this is. Caligula is in an imperial carrier. A conch shell is brought to him by the man who found him in jail and he listens, "Mars tells me we will enjoy a great victory." Chaerea comes over and Caligula asks him if they are prepared for their invasion. He asks him where is Britain. He points across the lake. Chaerea says there is no enemy. He says, "There are papyrus canes. Order your army to destroy it. After all we need some proof I conquered Britain." He laughs madly and soldiers head out into the water. Scores of naked men with spears follow. The man from the jail laughs wildly with Caligula as the men flounder around in the water and horses fall. He orders them to kill.
Caligula is brought back into a massive banquet hall riding backwards on his horse. "While all of you were living safely here in Rome, your beloved emperor was risking his life to preserve and enlarge his empire. I've heard rumors that the senate doesn't believe I ever went to Britain, but I did conquer Britain and I have 100,000 papyrus canes to prove it." Men are led in carrying huge canes. Longinus says to Caesonia she better be wary, he's in a strange mood tonight. Caesonia tells Caligula they hate him. He says, "Let them hate me, so long as they fear me." She says they are senators and counsels, important men. He says, "So important that they approve all I do? They must be mad, I don't know what else to do to provoke them." All kinds of things are led in, fish, salmon and an oysters on a naked woman, between her legs as she is carried in. Caligula squeezes a lemon on her. Around the room women are naked, having sex and dancing. Caligula starts to freak out, looks around and yells, "Cowards, sheep, growl, growl, growl, I hate them. Oh mighty Caesar says to balance that state's budget we shall confiscate all the estates of those who have failed Rome. Read out your list." Longinus starts reading senators names. Caligula tells Chaerea, "They have failed me, arrest them." He gives the word and the guards climb over the tables and lead them out with spears. "All mighty Caesar says, finish your dinner, (laughs)….EAT!" Longinus and Chaerea say he must be stopped. Caesonia says to watch out for Chaerea, Caligula says he thinks Chaerea wants to kill him and he and Caesonia laugh. Chaerea asks what's so amusing. Caligula asks Longinus if it's there is a conspiracy against him. Longinus says well, there is a secret plot. Caligula responds, "A plot is always a secret, if it's not secret it's a plan is that logical Claudius? Even a halfwit could figure that out and you are a half wit"
Chaerea, Longinus and others start plotting since Caligula has gone too far, he's disgraced the best families of Rome. There is no way to stop him, unless he dies. Caligula enters a massive white chamber alone wearing a long, red flowing robe. He climbs up to find Caesonia and her hand maidens lying there. Caesonia jumps up and tells him he needs sleep. Caligula says, "I've resigned myself to living forever." She replies she hopes he does. He sits, brushes his hair back and says, "I am going bald." Se laughs and says he isn't. "You have never been able to face the facts." She says yes, can you? He says, 'I need some sleep." She replies, "I need you" and licks his face and kisses him. Then another black bird flies into the bedroom and she howls, but Caligula smiles.
Caligula puts on an outdoor play with Caesonia on a massive stage. "Are you ready, will you speak your lines sister Isis." She reads, "Long have I wandered in the land of men in search of you brother Osiris." He says, "I have been killed and cut into bits, you put my pieces together, bringing back lives with a kiss." A man cuts open something on stage and blood pours out. Caligula says it doesn't matter it's only a show. Then they dance and Caesonia shows him how. A nanny comes out with their daughter and Caligula says she's wearing his little boots. All around Longinus, Chaerea and Claudius are plotting, they are ready for action. Caligula and Caesonia notice, but show no worry as they walk out of the stadium. The guards block their way and Caligula runs up. He puts his thumb out and Chaerea says "password?" Caligula says, "Scrotum." Chaerea says so be it and stabs him. Caesonia runs up and says no and he stabs her and decapitates her. Caligula gets up and they kill his daughter by bashing her head against the steps. Chaerea stabs Caligula through the stomach and Caligula utters his last word, "Live". He collapses in a bloody heap and all the guards run up and spear him over and over again. Chaerea walks away, kicks Caesonia's head and Claudius is horrified and cowering in a corner. He thinks they are coming to kill him, but Longinus has a robe and a crown brought to him. They say hail Claudius Caesar and carry him outside. Longinus gets the ring from Caligula and slaves throw Caligula's body down the stairs and he lands next to he wife and daughter. Then the slaves start to clean the blood off the stairs. Caligula's horse runs out and digs in the dirt in front of the bodies. The end.
The first time I saw this film was when the
10th Anniversary edition came out on VHS and it blew me away. Back then you had
to find a video store with a porno section because that's where it lived. It was
bizarre because it would be the only film in the section in a normal size box
while all the others were in huge boxes. Then I found it incredibly erotic at
times and very disturbing at others. Drusilla's naked romps, the lesbian scenes
and Caesonia's sex scenes were highly arousing while Nerva's suicide, the
disemboweling of the drunken solider and the fisting of Proculus were sickening.
Young or queasy people would ask me if they should watch the film and I usually
warned them away or pointed them toward the R-rated version.
Now over 15 years later I finally watched the uncut 20th Anniversary edition. My impression of the film has totally changed. I found it neither sexually stimulating nor disgusting. I marveled at the massive sets and the beautiful costumes. The acting of Malcolm and the others was top notch. It's insane, bold, excessive, funny, dark, bizarre, wild, beautiful, pornographic, historic and it gets under your skin. Once you fully digest it, it almost becomes a part of you. I wanted to know as much as possible about what went into the making film. I've been comparing various versions, I read the book by PierNico and articles, press clippings and interviews. What went on behind the scenes is as fascinating and bizarre as the film itself.
Gore Vidal wrote the script and fought with producer Bob Guccione and director Tinto Brass for changing the script. Tinto fought with Bob about the sexual content of the film. Malcolm thought about leaving and fought with Bob. O'Toole trashed the film in the papers because his role was shortened. The woman who was originally to play Drusilla walked off the set on her first day because it was porn. The film went overbudget, money disappeared, Tinto collapsed, an extra got mauled by a dog, the film was in danger of being confiscated, Bob filmed his own scenes and smuggled the film out of the country and after all that it took nearly 3 years to finally edit and release it.
A movie on the making of the film might even be better than the film itself! This is the first and still only film I've seen by Tinto. I have heard so many bad things about his style, but I thought he was brilliant here, even though he didn't get to edit his own film. The scope is so massive that it doesn't look like a film made on sets, it looks like it could've been filmed on location. He shot with three cameras all the time to catch multiple angles and pick up of al kinds of little details. This is what caused the delay in the release of the film. Bob didn't know where all the pieces fit and therefore made some mistakes in the way the film was put together. The first scene shows Caligula with a beard, then it's gone in the next scene and later there is mention of him shaving, it's out of order.
Much has been made of the pornographic sexual scenes Bob filmed himself and inserted into the film. It's not as big a deal as it was made out to be. There are only two scenes he did himself - the lesbian sex scene intercut with Caligula, Drusilla and Caesonia's threesome and the graphic sex on the bordello, especially the double oral sex. The lesbian scene is just fluff and isn't necessary, but it does make some sense. Voyeurs watching the action in the chambers got turned on. The only problem is Caligula found this passage earlier, so why wouldn't he have it sealed off? Did he think with Macro out of the way no one would spy on him? Or maybe he liked to be watched. I think the scenes on the bordello boat work better as it shows the excesses, but once again there is a problem. Caligula is forcing all the senator's wives to be whores. I can't imagine them really wanting to play the role and getting into it. It seems like it would be closer to rape than pleasurable to them. The inserted scenes are of sexual excess by people who are into it, not be forced against their will.
Malcolm is truly amazing here giving a brilliant, powerhouse performance. He really went all out from having sex with multiple women, to dressing in drag, to rape, to fisting a man, to grabbing a woman's breasts in a sperm bath to kissing a man full on the mouth. This is wild stuff. It makes the role of Alex look G rated in comparison. This also has to be the most outfit changes he's ever had to do. Nearly every time we see him he's in something different. He shows a wide range of emotions as well from normal, to quiet, to flamboyant, to vicious, to playful, to passionate, to sadistic, to angry, to scared, to delirious, to out of control to just plain crazy. He is perfectly played. He was born into royalty and could get away with whatever he wanted and do anything to anyone at anytime and that's what he did. He tortured Proculus because he felt like it, because as he said, he was a god. Whether he or anyone else truly believed it, it didn't matter as he was given the power to act like one. He gets to play it straight, then twisted by loving his sister, then he plots like an evil politician to gain power and then betrays all who got him there. He pretends to be a woman and has sex dressed that way. He loses his mind when his sister dies and turns into a regular person with no rights or privileges as he wanders the streets at night. It's such a full role for Malcolm to play and I can see why he wanted to play it, plus he got to help write the role as well. Malcolm knows he gave a great performance, he just feels it got lost in the sex and he is right to a certain extent. If you just watch the film for him and ignore the sex you will see why he is such a great actor.
The other British stars aren't given much to do which really makes it a Malcolm Movie. Tiberius dies early in the film, so Peter O'Toole only has three real scenes and in one he is killed. This was a huge change from the original script where Tiberius had a much larger role which caused a feud between O'Toole and Tinto when he finally arrived on set only to find the role he accepted was cut down drastically. He does do a great job of playing the twisted, sickly old emperor especially since he was much younger. His makeup is superb. He's playing a role where even now he wouldn't be old enough to play until 2009 when he would be 77.
John Gielgud has only two scenes. The first is to bring Caligula to Tiberius and to voice his disgust of everyone and his fear of Macro. Soon after he commits suicide in a tub. The scene has some great dialog between him and Caligula about death and one especially funny part where Malcolm is hitting him on the head.
The last star, Helen Mirren is also not given much to do. She's lead around on a leash, has sex with Caligula, gives birth behind a pain mask, eats, laughs, waits on Caligula, does a dance, a play and is killed. She doesn't get many lines, but she plays excess to the hilt and arguably has never been sexier on screen. Guccione says she was the true star of the film and lamented there wasn't more for her to do. There is no way she was more of a star than Malcolm, but he's right - they should've beefed up her role.
Maria Schneider would've been the final famous actor in the film, but she bailed out before her first scene was shot. She was to play Drusilla and was replaced by the beautiful 21 year old Teresa Ann Savoy. She did a great job, so it was Maria's loss. Then again Teresa hasn't had much of a career since then which is surprising. I guess the role didn't due anything for her career which is too bad.
Macro is a strong, interesting character, but he too is killed quite early without getting much to do. Things change for him so fast and I think this is one of the weakest parts of the film. He goes from Caligula's right hand man, willing to give him everything from his own wife to his health, even burning his arm to prove his loyalty, to dead. I think they should've gone into it a bit more about Macro's "betrayal". Caligula moved into the emperor's bedroom, which is why there was a peep hole in the moon. It's just there, Macro is to blame and then he's dead. Was Marco really responsible or was Caligula just looking for an excuse to get rid of him? Why not just block off the hole? It couldn't have bothered Caligula that much because the hole remains and the woman spy on him later who have sex back there. Maybe it's because of bad editing due to the director not editing his own film. Macro's final scene which is his death is one of the most amazing scenes in film history - the killing machine. But once again, it's unfathomable to think they built this massive detailed prop, only to show it on screen for a few seconds. It's like here's this amazing thing no one has every seen before, then it's gone. Very disappointing.
John Steiner is a well known character actor from England who played Longinus. He didn't have much to do either, but was wickedly evil looking with his shaven decorated head and his snake. He was also the leader in the plot to take Caligula out.
Everyone else was either an Italian actor, Penthouse Pet or an extra. Some never acted again, some are still acting in Italy, but no other performances in the film are worth nothing.
No matter what anyone tells you this IS a good film. It isn't perfect and who knows what it would've looked like if Tinto Brass edited it himself like he was supposed to. I'm sure it's way too late now as he said he never would. Even if he changed his mind, he's in his 70s, shots aren't fresh in his mind, does the original negative still exist and would anyone put up the money for it? Not likely. It's a shame, but what we have is absolutely fascinating to look at in every way. Maybe for the next DVD release they'll find some lost scenes, but it's doubtful. The 25th anniversary passed in 2004 without a sound while Penthouse basically didn't exist as it couldn't compete with the internet. Guccione lost piles of money and was forced to sell his control of the magazine as it was down to getting published only a couple times a year.
Guccione said the film is really a tribute to the late Danilo Donati who was in charge of building the sets. While I disagree with most things Guccione said about the film, especially his attacks on Malcolm, he his absolutely right about this. The sets are stunning in detail and scope and are probably the last great movie sets ever made. Nearly everything is digital in big budget films, so this kind of filmmaking on a grand scale is truly a lost art. It's a shame that the bulk of them were not saved, Guccione felt the same way, having Caligula's bed shipped to his New York apartment and even using the sets again to make another film - Messalina, Messalina. This is a must see film, no matter what your tolerance level is. If you are squeamish, then go for the R-rated version. Everyone else get the unrated version and marvel in the beauty that is Caligula.
What would you have done if you had been given absolute power of life and death over everybody else in the whole world?
The most controversial film of the 20th Century is now the most controversial film of the 21st Century.
- Front and back
Title page autographed by Malcolm McDowell
Cover - Inside Flaps
Ultimate Porno - The Making of a Sex Colossal by PierNico Solinas, long out of print.
PierNico Solinas was first assistant director on Caligula.
Published by Eyecontact 1981 ISBN 0-938112-00-7 in hardcover $15.95
Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 80-69871, 0-938112-01-5 softcover.
The book was ghost written by Louis Rossetto from Wired.
The moral of the book is that authority is an illusion, and that established hierarchies are easily hijacked by individuals of conviction and stamina.
Jacket design by Ruth Ross, 337 pages, no pictures.
From the back cover:
"Places! Silence! Ready! Speed!" Tinto shouted.
"Freeze!" I shouted.
Legs stopped, half-spread, mouths on genitals, fingers stuck in orifices..."Action"
Caligula and Cesonia climb the step ladder to the super structure. He nods to the black man, the black man strikes the gong, and nearly 300 nearly naked and totally naked people sailing on a marble sea in a solid gold ship with a swan's tail get down...without inhibition, as if they were in their own bedrooms. 300 people. A jumbo jet full. The entire graduating class of a high school. 3000 fingers.
From the inside flap:
Caligula. It was to be the biggest, bloodiest, sexiest, most outrageously pornographic film ever made - a full color, cinemascope epic of orgies, rapes and murders unlike anything ever seen, or even imagined, on the screen. You were Number Two on the set. Your job was to match the giants with the dwarves, audition the weird sex acts, arrange the jellyfish and the nude boys, and soothe the troubled egos of stars like Peter O'Toole and Sir John Gielgud when they saw what they were in for. And, if possible, survive.
Ultimate Porno is a true story. It is the incredible inside view of the making of the most controversial movie ever, by the young First Assistant Director who saw it all, and somehow lived to tell the tale. From the incredible start to the gory finish, from the shocking street scenes to the biggest orgies ever staged, it is the story of art surpassing reality. For in filming the story of Rome's depraved Emperor who would do literally anything for thrills, the makers of Caligula created real scenes of horror, lust and depravity far exceeding anything the Roman Empire ever saw.
After all, they were on a bigger budget.
Prologue Flash Forward.
The first two pages are a crazy story of a young woman who works with a hawk. She wants to be in the film and her audition consists of setting the hawk free, getting naked, laying down with her legs over her head and the hawk dives done and retrieves a ball of meat from between her legs and flies off.
Chapter 1 - Monday noon, June 7, 1976. Welcome to Caligula
"Is McDowell still doing the film, then?"
"That story is a parable in itself," Tinto chuckled. "Back when Rossellini was putting the package together with Guccione, he told me he'd lined up the male lead. I couldn't figure out who was dumb enough to do it. Malcolm McDowell, he beamed, and Malcolm loved the script. Since I always thought Malcolm was a pretty smart guy, I had Rossellini fly me to London to talk to him. So there we were in the Hyde Park Hotel sipping drinks, discussing our mutual fascination with Caligula's character, all the while dancing around the questions of the script, never mentioning it, when Malcolm suddenly says, 'Tinto, I have to be frank with you. Even if they told me you loved the script, I think it's a piece of shit.' I should have known, of course," Tinto shook his head. "A typical Rossellini move. So we told him and Guccione to find themselves another couple of suckers."
"Say, wait a minute. I have a job, no?"
"Of course. They realized that Malcolm was too good to pass up, so they came to us and said, okay, you want to change the script, cut it, castrate it, we don't care - but get this show on the road. Now. Yesterday."
"Let me get this straight. You and McDowell are going to rewrite the script?"
He picked up a wicked-looking pair of scissors and eyed "Gore Vidal's Caligula" prostrate on the table. "'Rewrite' isn't exactly the word Malcolm and I had in mind."
"Vidal's already collected his trademark fee."
|Assistant Director||Ranieri Ferrara|
|Sound Editor||Inge Behrens|
|Assistant Editor||Stuart De Jong|
|Producer & Director||Giancarlo Lui|
© Cinemedia West 1981
This is a 56 minute film that was
released in 1981 and was not seen on video until the release of the 20th
Anniversary DVD on 11/30/99. Previously only 10 minutes of this feature showed up at the
end of on an obscure video called 'Penthouse on the Wild Side' in 1988.
It is interesting that Gore Vidal's name is in the title since he had it removed from the feature. Gore had written the screenplay for the film and felt it was butchered by the director Tinto Brass. The documentary was filmed during the shoot and soon after. It features commentary by Gore Vidal, Tinto Brass, Bob Guccione, Malcolm McDowell, Helen Mirren, Lori Wagner other Penthouse Pets and a deep voiced narrator throughout that is hard to understand sometimes.
It starts out with Gore talking about writing the book and screenplay and about the history of Caligula himself. He admits only two Romans wrote about him and one was considered an enemy so it is not known if anything we know about Caligula was true. Deep voiced Guccione comes and pretty much hosts the rest of the documentary and looks ridiculous as he is sitting at a huge banquet table with his shirt wide open and tons of gold chains showing. He explains how they had to shoot the film in Rome because that is where the events took place and the best artisans were there. He also had to have Danilo Donati, the famous art director, who rarely left Rome. Also revealing is the fact that they made everything by hand - all the props and the 1000s of costumes. There is a great scene where they show the artisans building a life-size statue of Jupiter in the exact way they did 2000 years ago.
They show some of the shooting on the last day of filming which was on New years Eve 1976 and quite cold. There is a funny scene where the Roman soldiers are jumping all around trying to stay warm in between takes and one can really get a grasp on how huge some of the sets were. When Malcolm comes on not only does he look quite young, but has such a goofy looking outfit on with 70s style hat, thick scarf and overcoat. He explains how he wanted to be involved early in the shaping of his character and tried to play him in a way that people would be able to relate to him. They show some scenes of him and you realize how odd it is that here is this booming English actor playing an Italian! There are also some shots showing the filming of an early scene with Gieguld committing suicide. It is also funny to see them discussing the scenes with cigarettes in their hands while in costume.
There is very little talk with the Tinto the director, but Guccione covers the problems between Gore and Tinto. This leads me to believe that neither Tinto nor Gore would be interviewed about their feud. Bob explains how Gore was pissed that Tinto didn't follow or butchered the script and Tinto didn't want him around because he felt it was his film. Gore felt the film was his and all he had to do was follow the instructions. Obviously a big mess.
Bob goes on to explain how it was a totally closed set and absolutely no one who wasn't directly involved was allowed in. This means that no one really knew what the film was about or what actually happened since the film wasn't be ready for years. Then there is some footage interviewing journalists asking what they had heard about the film. Of course, all kinds of wild stories and ideas are mentioned and some of them were even true. There is some sick behind the scenes shots showing all kinds of freaky sex props and people walking around naked with their parts flopping around. Also the unenviable job of the make up person who powdered peoples' asses is shown.
Bob tells how he filmed the sex scenes himself and these didn't involve the main actors. There was a screen test/photo session looking for people to fill the sex scenes. The Roman Orgy vessel was said to be the largest prop ever made at that time - a staggering 300 feet long. The sexual designs on the ship were based on real Roman relics not shown in public, but are documented in a book on sexual art of the period. Bob says he wanted the film to have something no other film would have so he brought in a dozen of his Penthouse Pets including two pets of the year and the number one pet from the UK. They were all used for the vestal virgin scene including lesbian scenes in the water. Some of them also participated in the big orgy scene and Lori Wagner describes her role. She said she really enjoyed it and that it was totally real - everyone was having sex and not faking it.
There are some more little interviews with Malcolm and some of his scenes like the traitor scene where the giant head cutting contraption goes down the road. The "I am God" scene, shots of him trying to piss off the army and a deleted scene of him hitting someone on the head with a giant hammer. He also shown riding the horse and an outtake where the horse is in bed with him and moves and he jumps right out of the bed. The is also a making of scene were Caligula is lost and is marching around totally naked in the rain that the girls will love.
It ends talking about the huge scope of the film and how it is the biggest epic film of its kind since Ben Hur 18 years earlier. There is no later footage talking about the release of the film or its impact.
In 1990 I was able to find
the Penthouse on the Wild Side VHS in a video store that had been around forever and always
wanted to see more of the making of. Even on the DVD it looks old and grainy and the sound
is never the best. I don't know if was possible to digitally update the making
of as the master may be lost, but it would have been great to match up the quality with the film. There
isn't that much Malcolm, but I still loved it. Making of documentaries are
always a treat as you get to see what went on to make the films happen. One really gets a
sense that they went all out to make this film sparing no expense. It is really
an insult to just call it a porn. Yeah, Bob filmed all these sex scenes and
edited them in after, but that was to add realism to the era. The sets were huge
and they built tons of them. The time of Caligula was before the wildly popular
gladiator era and the games at the coliseum, so sex was that much more
It is the only great bonus on the DVD which is the first chance ever to get the digitally restored full version of the film. I would've loved to have seen more Malcolm and more comments from the director and less scenes of guys wandering around with their penises flopping all over though. Tinto looks pretty disturbing - a big, fat guy in a bucket hat. Much heat and blame is on Guccione for the 'failure' of the film, but I think he helped make a brilliant film, there hasn't ever been anything like it. He put up the time, the money, some writing, some filming, the pets and did the editing too. Those who say it isn't pornographic are liars or just stupid. This making of shows that, but also shows the story wasn't left behind. You can really see how brilliant Malcolm is in this role. I only wish there was more stuff like this on the disc. It is also fun to see how dated everything is since this was filmed more than 25 years ago. Everyone's outfits are buried in the 70s style. Some of the outfits the pets wear normally are almost as wild as the costumes in the film! I wish all of Malcolm's films, most especially ACO, were released on DVD with a making of's like this.
Pictures © 1976-99 Penthouse
Ultimate porno excepts © 1981 Eyecontact
Everything Else © 1998-09 Alex D. Thrawn for www.MalcolmMcDowell.net