Land sakes!!! They don't make films like this anymore...and that's a dirty rotten shame! =)
Walk through a Bosch painting and marvel at the excesses and debauchery. Critics don't take this seriously because a porn producer snipped it up and inserted his own scenes. It is what it is. A near masterpiece.
A distinguished international cast; a screenplay by Gore Vidal; respected, award-winning talent behind the scenes; and millions of dollars at its disposal. What could possibly go wrong? Where would you like to start? CALIGULA (1979) had so much potential. I'd like to think that there's another universe where Vidal's much darker original script was given over to, say, Stanley Kubrick. That world now has a SPARTACUS (1960) for the post-porn age. Instead, we have something closer to CENTURIANS OF ROME (1981) with only slightly less cocaine. Producer Bob Guccione could have made a case for the big budget/star/studio X-rated film, which hadn't really existed in a meaningful way since the early-'70s. But in insisting that his art must be pornographic, he failed artistically 𝘢𝘯𝘥 pornographically: It's not intellectually engaging enough to satisfy the art crowd, and it's not physically arousing enough to satisfy the raincoat crowd. Still, this film remains a one-of-a-kind curiosity. Its enduring infamy allows it to be re-released in various home video editions every so often, bringing in viewers - and more importantly, money - like a carnival barker reels in passers-by to see the bearded lady. Perhaps Guccione knew what he was doing after all.
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