Even though this film came out two years earlier, Caligula (1979) was in fact completed first. See more »
When the fly is buzzing around in front of the Roman guard's face (just before he eats it), if you look carefully, as it flies in front of his face, you can barely see the string holding up the fake fly being dangled in front of the actor's face. See more »
An Italian version of the Carry On"-slapstick with a bit more nudity and gore.
Italian comedies from the 1970s can best be compared as a hotchpotch of the Carry On"-films and slapstick ala Naked Gun": fast talking, grimacing, physical comedy basically, it's the old "man steps on a rake"-joke, over and over again. "Messalina, Messalina" is not exception from the norm, with the exception, that the film contains more nudity. Lots and lots of nudity and, the film being all about the Empress Messalina cheating on her husband, Emperor Claudius (the successor of Emperor Caligula, so don't be fooled by the alternative title "Caligula 2"), some of the sex-scenes, depending on the copy you own, trespassing from soft- to hardcore.
Among the most popular spaghetti-comedies, were those featuring Bud Spencer and Terence Hill the Italian version of Laurel and Hardy, if you so want. There's no Spencer and no Hill in this film (both, presumably, having fought tooth and nail against appearing in a film like "Messalina, Messalina"). Instead, we get Thomas Milan and Bombolo. Both go through the routine, but it's never more than that: routine.
In addition to the gratious nudity, the film features a battle-scene, which has enough gore and limb-hacking to rival the violence of "Gladiator". Interesting trivia: much of the set and costumes (not to mention some of the actors like Lori Wagner and Anneka Di Lorenzo) have been borrowed from the set of Bob Guccione's "Caligula", so for fans of this notorious epic, the film remains worthwhile curiosity with an eerie sense of Deja-Vu.
In essence, the film has very few qualities worth mentioning unless, of course, you're a fan of flat Italian comedy or came here for the nekkid girls.
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