one might assume what with all these snow days piling up, sam & i would be overflowing with blog-worthy material, no? all i’ve been doing the past week is snacking, drinking, smoking & searing some lamb chops. it’s sad, really. oh, but i have managed more laundry & dusting than normal, which has been nice. it took me last night’s screening of caligula (1979) to put some motivation in me. all it takes are some brits pretending to be romans, be-headings, rape, incest & lots of dick & titties to inspire me. who knew?!
caligula, the film based upon the reign of the third roman emporer gaius julius caesar augustus “caligula” germanicus, has been sitting in our netflix queue for months. i don’t know what the fuck we were waiting for; the dvd sleeve states a forboding warning: “this unrated edition contains explicit sex, nudity & violence as well as disturbing imagery.” um…sold.
at first i was a little nervous; the credits take nearly ten minutes to get through, & i’m not one for films over two & a half hours…especially epic period pieces…but i just wanted to see me some helen mirren. loves her. and it’s produced by penthouse magazine editor bob guccione(!). when caligula finally started with the scenery, i was totally hooked: these ancient romans, they work & throw axes at boulders in the buff? they’re all chiseled & such? they have orgies & wife-swap in the evenings when most people are suppering? clearly i was born in the wrong era. wrong decade. wrong century…? and then i fell head-over-heels when i learned that caligula was in love with his sister, & they had this heated love affair. scandalous. and hot.
in addition to the delicious incest, this “dull period piece” contains public birth, rape, anal fisting & circle-jerks. the circle-jerking part involved a prominent, respectable woman lying about on a big bed filled with pillows & scarves & such. her name escapes me at the moment, but it’s really not important. five or six roman men were standing around her, rubbing their meat hooks into a frenzy, then expelling the money shot into a regal gold dish…and then rubbing it on the pampered lass lying on the plush pillows. probably to make better her complexion. caligula walks in on this spectacle, & the woman begs him not to charge her lover of treason. caligula rubs his head with some of the ejaculate, makes a comment about it helping with male-pattern baldness, & banishes her. what a dick.
aside from all the graphic nudity & sex, you do learn a thing or two about caligula’s struggle with absolute power & his godlike ego, even referring to himself as a god on several occasions. it eventually catches up to him in the end of the film though: (spoiler alert!) a few years after the public birthing of caligula & livia orestilla’s first child, his minion & the roman senate are so pissed off at him, that they plot an assassination. swords fly, blood is spilt & even the child gets it — with a big conk to the head on the stairs. ouch.
lovely film, this one. i didn’t think i had it in me to finish it, but i did & i’m proud. all it takes is a little nudity to get me interested in history.