Caligula / Italy / USA, 1979
Dir: Tinto Brass, Giancarlo Lui, Bob Guccione



The story of the birth of “Caligula”, the crown jewel of extreme cinema, is as notoriously cult as the end result. Based on the scandalous urban legends of the life of Roman emperor Caligula such as his incestuous relationship with sister Drusilla or prostituting Rome’s senator’s wives, the superstar of pop literature, Gore Vidal drafted the screenplay with equally legendary Italian maestro of erotic cinema , Tinto Brassi in director’s chair.


When the lead is given to charmingly psychopathic Malcolm McDowell of Clockwork Orange fame, with Helen Mirren and John Gielgud (Prospero’s Books) as supporting cast, one should expect the outcome to be extraordinary. And extraordinary it is – 170 minutes long orgastic opera of sex, shit and death, a perfect match for this year’s HOFF’s extreme masterpiece.


“Caligula”, premiering in 1979, and almost straight after banned almost across the world, “was an attempt to create something revolutionary – an epic on the devastating effects of lust whether in sex, power, or control over the human life in the vein of 1950s Golden Hollywood classics. But even McDowell in a similarly haunting form as in Kubrick’s “Clockwork”, the supporting cast, nor even a doze of hardcore porn that might reflect the orgies of then Rome, can save “Caligula” from exactly the point that the film tries to criticize. The pompous films is as decadent as its antihero and antithesis – at one hand satisfying the masturbatory desire of the viewer, at the same time revoking the disgust with its world between a bad dream and delirium. “Caligula” is not extreme not for its content or form, but the combination of the two, the effort to push the limits to the max gives birth to and epic of grotesque, harrowing the viewer long after.

Notoriously having been screened in late 1980s Soviet Union as “a film unsuitable for the youth”, “Caligula” gets its moment of fame in HOFF via the uncensored XXX version.


Long live Caesar, long live decadence, long live Caligula!


Length 2h 36'
Language English
Subtitles EST
Programme Extreme Horror
Genre horror

Fri, 26.04.

23:00 - Big Hall