Caligula (for those that don't know) follows the dizzying rise to power of Caligula as Emperor of Imperial Rome. This ain't horror I hear you cry - but how wrong you would be.

A film of epic proportions (filmed in Italy back in the 70's), Caligula comes across like Ben Hur for the criminally insane. All the hallmarks of a cinema classic packed to the guddles with perversion, decadence and graphic violence.

Performances by the main cast are simply splendid - Malcolm McDowell, Peter O' Toole and Helen Mirren all shine throughout. Even John Gielgud makes an appearance as the only sane character in the entire film, wise man 'Nerva'.

And that's probably the reason I enjoyed this film so much, the fact that every character in this film is absolutely barking mad. Add to that, a selection of bizarre sex, gore and mutants (now where have I heard that combination before?) and you have a little gem of a movie.

Now, this film really is not for everyone. It ain't no slasher flick, if you don't have the patience to sit through over two and a half hours of old school drama then steer well clear. But, if you enjoy films with a bit of culture (and have an appreciation for the bizarre) then Caligula is the one for you.

The disc itself is a nice one, the print is a nice pristine widescreen which has been digitally remastered and restored with a dolby surround soundtrack. There's not much in the way of extras - you get the usual cast filmographies, there's a choice on the audio front but most importantly there is the Making of Caligula documentary. This is fascinating in its own right, it follows the ups and downs (pardon the pun) of producing this epic, the countless problems that cropped up during it's creation. Always interesting, often funny, as far as extras go the Making of Caligula (although showing some age on the print) is a real treat.

One word of warning though - be very careful if picking this disc up as there are both a R Rated and Unrated version available. Why there is a R Rated disc available who knows, but it's the Unrated version you want to go for. A treat for freaks - enjoy !

Directed by Tinto Brass, Silvano Ippoliti, Giancarlo Lui and Bob Guccione
Released by Penthouse Video
Unrated - Region 1
Running time - 156 mins approx
Ratio - Widescreen 1.85:1
Audio - Dolby Surround 5.1 and 2.0 Stereo
Extras : Cast filmographies
The Making of Caligula documentary