A satirical film on fads in the US. A TV host on a late night show tries to convince his televiewers that they should return to Rome and Roman ways. Depicts in a semi-realistic manner what ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Goodwyn
...
Evermore
...
Franchot
...
Cindy
...
Gregorius
John Myhers ...
Air Force General
Tom Melody ...
Senator
Myrna Ross ...
Miss Forever
Monti Rock III ...
Tomorrow's Leader
Murray Roman ...
Superdude
Michael Christian ...
The Piston Kid
...
Disk Jockey
Bert Tenzer ...
Mercury's Voice
Rudi Gernreich ...
Himself
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Tony Gardner ...
The Piston Kid's Time Keeper
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Storyline

A satirical film on fads in the US. A TV host on a late night show tries to convince his televiewers that they should return to Rome and Roman ways. Depicts in a semi-realistic manner what could happen if the latest America fad became Reditus Ad Roma, a Return to Rome. Launched as a gimmick by a late night TV show, the International Culture Hour, the fad catches on fast and soon everybody from the long-haired pop singers to senators, from motor cycle outlaws to the military chiefs of the Pentagon, are dressing up in togas and taking part in orgies organized at the fashionable discos and in private houses. A mysterious figure from the Other World, a Roman general who survived the fall of Rome, who has been sent to Earth to convince our sin soaked masses not to let it happen again, provides the moral. But Gregarious the Ancient Roman, never manages to open his mouth on TV and ends by throwing himself into the familiar arms of a shapely maiden whose Reditus Ad Roma outfit has been ... Written by John Francis

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Taglines:

Those were the days, my friend. Rome was a bad scene, man. And then came the big bust. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Fantasy

Certificate:

R
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Release Date:

11 March 1969 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Reditum Ad Roma  »

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(Technicolor)
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Connections

Featured in Dusk to Dawn Drive-In Trash-o-Rama Show Vol. 7 (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Totally bizarre - but there is a meaning there!
19 September 2006 | by (Sydney, Australia) – See all my reviews

If you like weird movies from the 60s, then this is probably as weird as they come. One scene starts, then it's suddenly chopped off and another begins, in a totally different setting with completely different characters doing completely different things. Some scenes might last just 5 or 10 seconds. A lot of interesting real-life footage or old movie clips are also interspersed throughout the story. It continues in this way pretty much throughout.

The cast of characters is interesting to say the least. The majority are extras, ranging from young people in their late teens/early 20s portraying hippies or bikers, to middle aged, middle-class people hosting orgies in their homes. We also have a couple of well-known actors or personalities - Kasey Kasem, Terry-Thomas and an elderly Edward Everett Horton, who died the year after this movie was made (you might remember his voice from his narration of the Fractured Fairy Tales section in the Rocky and Bullwinkle show).

The movie is chock-full of extremely cheap and amateur visual effects. Some examples include a man in a chariot which was quite clearly a toy. A light in the sky was a sparkler. An explosion was very obviously a jug of milk poured into a container of water - evident by the drips of water pouring out of the container.

And not to mention the music, which is as bizarre as the rest of the film.

As for the story: it basically begins when a Roman warrior is transported into the future (ie 1969) via way of a "spinnin', pulsatin', GY-ratin'" light over Los Angeles which is starting riots all over the city. A TV variety show (one of the most bizarre, free-form shows I've seen, mind you) grabs him as a special guest and he becomes more and more exploited by the cast and other special guests as the show progresses.

It took me a good 13 years of repeated watching to get over the actual novelty and sheer fun of watching this movie to realise there was a message in there. I believe it is basically a commentary on materialism and how it ruins our society and its values. A message just as poignant (if not more poignant) today.

Movies like this (that weren't even released on video, let alone DVD) don't get shown on TV much, if at all, anymore, which is a real shame. A critically-acclaimed movie it definitely ain't, but when appreciated for its merits, it's a very interesting time capsule but with a modern message. I congratulate and thank Bert Tenzer for his amazing creativity which resulted in this film.


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