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This lavish big-budget epic was the pinnacle of a uniquely Italian subgenre, the historical hardcore gore/porn extravaganza. The star-studded cast, perhaps lured by the high-profile involvement of producer Bob Guccione and screenwriter Gore Vidal, includes such luminaries as John Gielgud, Peter O'Toole, and Helen Mirren. Director Tinto Brass, whose similar treatment of Nazi Germany in Salon Kitty won him the job, did his best with the mammoth enterprise, but numerous production problems and re-edits took their toll on the finished product. When Caligula works best, it works because of… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 24%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Such established names as John Gielgud and Peter O'Toole will have to be seen to be believed."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"For sheer camp RBI, this Tinto Brass-Bob Guccione freak is the World Series played, won, and paraded."
‑ Michael Atkinson, Village Voice
"More infamous for its widespread ineptitude than for its artistic innovation... [Blu-ray]"
‑ Peter Canavese, Groucho Reviews
"Unpleasantly violent, often dull, and only intermittently sexy."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"Simply a curiosity, a laughable relic of a failed effort to bring explicit sex movies to the masses."
‑ Brian Webster, Apollo Guide
"Caligula is sickening, utterly worthless, shameful trash. If it is not the worst film I have ever seen, that makes it all the more shameful: People with talent allowed themselves to participate in this travesty."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"[VIDEO ESSAY] If ever there was a filmic guide to pagan Roman debauchery - real or imagined - "Caligula" is it."
‑ Cole Smithey,
"A classic in the coolest sense of the word"
‑ Clint Morris, Moviehole
"It ended up almost as infamous and notorious as its subject... and that's not a compliment."
‑ Will Harris,
"Despite the movie, the highlight of this three-disc set is the often hilarious commentary."
‑ Kent Turner,
"All in all it's a dreary shambles."
‑ , Time Out
"Not so much the culmination of '70s porn-chic cinema as its purposefully degraded last hurrah"
‑ Fernando F. Croce, CinePassion
"Sublimely ridiculous thesp-filled porno-togarama."
‑ , Film4
"I suppose certain college fraternities could make screening it part of their hazing rituals."
‑ Rob Vaux, Flipside Movie Emporium
"Excess for excess sake, or just bad taste: Caligula is a messy, bloody film that fails on any level, even as porn and camp."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
More reviews for Caligula on Rotten Tomatoes