Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Caligula The Untold Story (Severin Films) Blu-ray Review

Collapse
X
Collapse
  •  
    Ian Jane
    Administrator

  • Caligula The Untold Story (Severin Films) Blu-ray Review

    Click image for larger version  Name:	cover.jpg Views:	1 Size:	38.4 KB ID:	390972

    Released by: Severin Films
    Released on: February 22nd, 2022.
    Director: Joe D’Amato
    Cast: David Brandon, Gabriele Tinti, Laura Gemser, Michele Soavi, George Eastman, Charles Borromel
    Year: 1981
    Purchase From Amazon

    Caligula The Untold Story – Movie Review:

    Directed by Joe D’Amato from a script by frequent collaborator George Eastman, 1981’s Caligula The Untold Story was, as you’d probably have guessed, a cash-in on the success and notoriety of Tinto Brass’ 1979 film, albeit one concerned not one whit with historical accuracy. Still, if sex, sleaze and violence are your bag, D’Amato’s exploitative knock off will definitely fit the bill.

    The film, not surprisingly, revolves around the mad Emperor of Rome, Caligula (David Brandon), is convinced, after a series of nightmares, that he will soon be assassinated. Regardless, this doesn’t stop him from setting out to build himself a massive and ridiculously ornate new palace to call home. Without caring how it’s paid for, he goes about his business fighting with members of his senate and killing off people he doesn’t like, like a poet (Michelle Soavi) whose tongue gets ripped out.

    When he rapes a woman named Livia and afterwards she takes her own life, her best friend, an Egyptian noblewoman now enslaved named Miriam (Laura Gemser), vows to exact revenge upon Caligula. As Miriam sets in motion a plan to get closer to Caligula be infiltrating his harem, he starts to fall for her and they begin a torrid love affair.

    Set to a fantastic score from Carlo Maria Cordio, the film is notorious for a scene in which a prostitute is hired to masturbate a horse and a scene where one of Caligula’s many enemies is put to death by having a massive metal rod shoved up his ass, but there’s a lot more sleaze and degradation to the movie than just those two set pieces. There’s a lot of sex in this movie, some of it softcore and some of it (in the longer version) very definitely hardcore, and a fair bit more violence as well. D’Amato knew what his audience wanted and he wasn’t afraid to give it to them.

    As to the acting, if David Brandon can’t match Malcolm McDowell’s in Brass’ original film, he comes pretty close and actually delivers a really good turn in this picture. As Caligula becomes increasingly unhinged, his madness and paranoia setting in as the story progresses, Brandon’s performance does a great job of accentuating that. He never goes as over the top as McDowell does, but he doesn’t need to either, he’s legitimately good in this part. Gemser doesn’t really cover any new ground with her performance, her job is to look seductive and exotic and that’s something that she always did well, this film being no exception. The supporting players are decent here as well, including Luciano Bartoli as Messala, Gabriele Tinti as Marcellus Agrippa and Charles Borromel as Petreius. Mark Shannon, infamous for working with D'Amato on Erotic Nights Of The Living Dead and Porno Holocaust, also has a small role in the film.

    The production values can’t match the original film, they look cheap in comparison, as does the costuming, but D’Amato’s cinematography is as solid here as it ever was and that does help to compensate for things a bit in this department. Cordio’s score hits all the right notes at all the right times, and if it sometimes feels a little too familiar, it works in the context of the movie.

    Note that Severin has provided both the ninety-five minute U.S. cut of the film on this disc as well as the longer, full-strength one-hundred-and-twenty-one minute extended cut as well and that while they both follow the same story, the extended cut adds a lot more sex to the film!

    Caligula The Untold Story – Blu-ray Review:

    Severin Films brings Caligula The Untold Story to Region A Blu-ray famed at 1.85.1 widescreen and presented in AVC encoded 1080p high definition. Taken from a new 2k scan of the original 35mm negative, despite some noticeable print damage that pops up in the last few minutes, the transfer is very clean. Colors are also pretty strong here, looking bold and bright without coming across as oversaturated or artificially boosted. A few minor compression artifacts can be spotted here and there but they aren’t particularly distracting when they do show up. The image is a bit on the soft side but past DVD editions were as well, and detail, depth and texture are definitely stronger than they have been on the standard definition offerings.

    Caligula The Untold Story gets a 24-bit DTS-HD 2.0 Mono track in English for the U.S cut of the film and a 24-bit DTS-HD 2.0 Mono track in Italian for the longer, extended cut of the film. Optional English SDH subtitles are provided for the U.S. cut and standard English subtitles for the extended version.

    In addition to the two cuts of the film, the disc also contains a featurette The Orgy Of Power which is an interview with Actor David Brandon that clocks in at twenty-six minutes. Here, the actor talks about where his career was at during this period in his life, how he got the role, what it was like working in Rome with a mostly Italian cast and crew, shooting some of the film’s more controversial sequences, D’Amato’s directing style and what he was like to work with and how he feels about the movie.

    A False True Story: Interview With Screenwriter Luigi Montefiori runs for just over twelve minutes and sees the man better known as George Eastman talk about his many collaborations with D’Amato during this period, social commentary that he tried to work into the storyline, elements that were in the script and not the final product and how he basically just made everything up that happens in the film, given that historical accuracy wasn’t a concern.

    The last of the featurettes is Good Old-Fashioned Lover Boy: Interview With Actor Mark Shannon, a twenty-two minute piece that explores how he first got into acting, doing sex films, collaborating with D'Amato on this and quite a few other pictures and what he was able to bring to the director's sex films in terms of... performative ability.

    Severin has also dug up eleven minutes of deleted scenes from the film, a UK video trailer for the feature, menus and chapter selection options.

    Also included with this release is the film's soundtrack on CD, there are twenty-four tracks included. Severin has also included a postcard insert with the track listing and credits on one side and some great promotional artwork on the reverse.

    Caligula The Untold Story - The Final Word:

    Caligula The Untold Story is more concerned with exploitation and sensationalism than historical accuracy but it moves at a decent pace, throws in all sorts of sex and violence and features a really strong performance from its two leads. Severin’s Blu-ray offers up the film in its shorter U.S. version but also its full-strength uncut edition as well, in addition to some pretty interesting extra features. Recommended to those with a taste for trash!

    Click on the images below, or right click and open in a new window, for full sized Caligula The Untold Story Blu-ray screen caps!

    Click image for larger version  Name:	01.jpg Views:	1 Size:	144.6 KB ID:	390973

    Click image for larger version  Name:	02.jpg Views:	1 Size:	268.9 KB ID:	390979

    Click image for larger version  Name:	03.jpg Views:	1 Size:	300.2 KB ID:	390986

    Click image for larger version  Name:	04.jpg Views:	1 Size:	323.4 KB ID:	390977

    Click image for larger version  Name:	05.jpg Views:	1 Size:	386.4 KB ID:	390980

    Click image for larger version  Name:	06.jpg Views:	1 Size:	293.5 KB ID:	390975

    Click image for larger version  Name:	07.jpg Views:	1 Size:	447.3 KB ID:	390987

    Click image for larger version  Name:	08.jpg Views:	1 Size:	247.4 KB ID:	390978

    Click image for larger version  Name:	09.jpg Views:	1 Size:	315.1 KB ID:	390981

    Click image for larger version  Name:	10.jpg Views:	1 Size:	325.5 KB ID:	390982

    Click image for larger version  Name:	11.jpg Views:	1 Size:	333.9 KB ID:	390984

    Click image for larger version  Name:	12.jpg Views:	1 Size:	309.2 KB ID:	390983

    Click image for larger version  Name:	13.jpg Views:	1 Size:	317.9 KB ID:	390985

    Click image for larger version  Name:	14.jpg Views:	1 Size:	287.7 KB ID:	390974

    Click image for larger version  Name:	15.jpg Views:	1 Size:	293.0 KB ID:	390976
      Posting comments is disabled.

    Latest Articles

    Collapse

    • The Jackie Chan Collection Vol. 1 1976 – 1982 (Shout! Factory) Blu-ray Review
      Ian Jane
      Administrator
      by Ian Jane


      Released by: Shout! Factory
      Released on: January 24th, 2023.
      Director: Lo Wei, Chen Chi-Hwa, Lo Wei, Chen Chi-Hwa, Lo Wei, Robert Clouse, Jackie Chan
      Cast: Jackie Chan, Jimmy Wang Yu, Hsu Feng, Nora Miao, James Tien, Kristine DeBell, José Ferrer, Shirley Yim
      Year: 1976/1976/1977/1978/1979/1980/1982
      Purchase From Amazon

      The Jackie Chan Collection Vol. 1 – Movie Review:

      Shout! Factory brings together seven films featuring the legendary
      ...
      01-27-2023, 07:06 PM
    • Home Grown Horrors Volume Two (Vinegar Syndrome) Blu-ray Review
      Ian Jane
      Administrator
      by Ian Jane


      Released by: Vinegar Syndrome
      Released on: November 25th, 2022.
      Director: Jimmy Lee, Michael S. O'Rourke, Dennis Devine
      Cast: Barry Wyatt, Jake Henry, Francine Lapensée, Blake Gibbons, Ingrid Vold, John Marzilli, Tom Hamil, Diana Karanikas, Angela Eads, Kay Schaber
      Year: 1989/1989/1990
      Purchase From Amazon

      Home Grown Horrors Volume Two – Movie Review:

      Vinegar Syndrome second Home Grown Horrors collection assembles three films
      ...
      01-27-2023, 06:54 PM
    • Attack Of The Beast Creatures (AGFA) Blu-ray Review
      Ian Jane
      Administrator
      by Ian Jane


      Released by: AGFA
      Released on: February 28th, 2023.
      Director: Mike Stanley
      Cast: Robert Nolfi, Julia Rust, Robert Lengyel, Lisa Pak, Frank Murgalo, John Vichiola
      Year: 1985
      Purchase From Amazon

      Attack Of The Beast Creatures – Movie Review:

      In May of 1920, somewhere in the North Atlantic, a ship that is not the Titanic but very much like the Titanic goes down. A few survivors manage to make their way into a life board and a short
      ...
      01-23-2023, 11:52 AM
    • The Invisible Maniac (Vinegar Syndrome) UHD/Blu-ray Review
      Ian Jane
      Administrator
      by Ian Jane


      Released by: Vinegar Syndrome
      Released on: November 25th, 2022.
      Director: Adam Rifkin as Rif Coogan
      Cast: Noel Peters, Shannon Wilsey, Stephanie Blake, Melissa Moore, Clement von Franckenstein, Rod Sweitzer, Debra Lamb, Marilyn Adams, Savannah
      Year: 1990
      Purchase From Amazon

      The Invisible Maniac – Movie Review:

      Directed by Adam Rifkin, credited as Rif Coogan, 1990’s The Invisible Maniac, opens with a scene where a psychiatrist
      ...
      01-20-2023, 06:53 PM
    • Don’t Deliver Us From Evil (Mondo Macabro) Blu-ray Review
      Ian Jane
      Administrator
      by Ian Jane


      Released by: Mondo Macabro
      Released on: February 7th, 2023.
      Director: Joël Séria
      Cast: Jeanne Goupil, Catherine Wagener, Gerard Darrieu, Bernard Dheran, Michel Robin
      Year: 1970
      Purchase From Amazon

      Don’t Deliver Us From Evil – Movie Review:

      Don't Deliver Us From Evil is a very loose adaptation of the notorious story of Pauline Parker and Juliet Hammond, the two murderous maids who also inspired Peter Jackson's Heavenly Creatures
      ...
      01-18-2023, 01:32 PM
    • Freeway (Vinegar Syndrome) UHD/Blu-ray Review
      Ian Jane
      Administrator
      by Ian Jane


      Released by: Vinegar Syndrome
      Released on: November 25th, 2022.
      Director: Matthew Bright
      Cast: Reese Witherspoon, Kiefer Sutherland, Brooke Shields, Dan Hedaya, Brittany Murphy, Amanda Plummer
      Year: 1996
      Purchase From Amazon

      Freeway – Movie Review:

      Written and directed by Matthew Bright, 1996’s Freeway tales the story of a high school student named Vanessa Lutz (Reese Witherspoon) who lives with her crack smoking prostitute
      ...
      01-17-2023, 06:31 PM
    Working...
    X