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The production recycled virtually all of the $20 million worth of sets, costumes, props, and extras from Caligula (1979), when it was feared that the latter would never be released due to numerous pending lawsuits. In the opening credits, there is a legal statement acknowledging this: "Certain elements of the sets and decorations created for the film Caligula by Danilo Donati have been used in the production of this film without his consent." 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 »
'Caligula' is without a doubt one of the most controversial films ever made. Like the man of the title, the history of how the project came to be is fascinating. It caused such an uproar that it was pulled from theatres, but wasn't forgotten. Before it's release though, something pretty strange happened. A film crew took some of the leftover sets, hired a few of the same actors and came up with a "sequel." If you've seen the first film, then you would probably expect more of the same. You'd be pretty much right, but the quality is quite a different story.
Pros: Game cast. Memorable score. Beautiful costumes and sets. Unintentionally hilarious. Steady pace. Crazy, blood-soaked finale.
Cons: Some awful dubbing. Threadbare plot. Choppy editing. Uninspired direction. Nearly all intentional humor falls flat. Story is all over the place. Anticlimactic.
Final thoughts: 'Messalina, Messalina' is not an easy film to review. The only reason it was made was to use the expensive sets from a film feared to never be released. In other words, this alleged sequel is totally superfluous. That being said, it can be enjoyed in a "so-bad-it's-good" way. If you need a few laughs this will do the trick.
My rating: 2.5/5
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