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Caligula (1979) - dir. Tinto Brass, Bob Guccione

"I have existed since the beginning of the world, and shall exist until the last star falls out of the heavens. Although I have taken the form of Caius Caligula, I am all men, as I am no man. I am a God."
- Caligula Caesar

Those words could just have easily been spoken by Lucifer, the ultimate prideful rebel. And in effect, by proxy, they were, as the Satanic spirit is replete throughout this figure. They were spoken by the namesake of this magnificent historical erotic docudrama. The original intent of this production was to present the most accurate and realistic portrayal of the events under the Caligulan reign.

There is plenty of fair warning in the beginning that the subject matter may offend and disturb, so no one need complain about subjecting themselves to the utterly opulent decadence herein. Truly, Rome in all of its glory. Much controversy has followed this film ever since its pre-production, filmed on location in Rome, Italy. Rumors of orgies, incest, bestiality, extreme cruelty, blood and gore, followed this film since the start -- all of which it most assuredly contains.

The DVD includes a revealing "making of" documentary with interview inclusions from Bob Guccione (Penthouse publisher and iconoclast, whose scrumptious 'pets' adorn the film throughout), Sir John Gielgud (a classic actor of the first callibre), Peter O'Toole (elite actor who plays Caesar Tiberius), among others. Here and there, one notices some excised scenes previously unavailable in the widely released form, as it may have proved too extreme for American censors of the time. Although I am sure the European release included them in full.

Caesar Tiberius must choose a successor. He invites young and naive Caligula to the palace, where he is introduced to some of the elements of betrayal and deceit, and witnesses a justified evisceration as the result of one guard's improper inebriation. Caligula strikes a deal with his right-hand man at the time, named Magnus, a Roman soldier, to kill Tiberius and take the throne. Tiberius is subsequently strangled, and Caligula comes into possession of The Emperor's Ring, which he wields with pride and power. Caligula rises to rulership, together with his sister and lover, becoming increasingly more imbalanced, self-destructive, excessively selfish, and indiscriminate in his proclamations.

Caligula is a remarkable piece of underground paganography that has to be seen to be believed, and therefore, appreciated.

[Editor's Note: There are two versions of this film available: an R-rated one, and an "unrated" one. The latter is reviewed herein.]

[- Draconis Blackthorne]

Curse of the Demon (1957) - dir. Jacques Tourneur [on CoS Video List]

Curse of the Demon (the original cut of which, known as Night of the Demon) is a classic in Satanic cinema and earns the right to be on the shelf of anyone who considers himself to be a connoisseur of the fine art of Satanic filmmaking. The film involves American psychologist, Dr. John Holden (Dana Andrews) who goes to England to expose a cult leader by the name of Karswell (Kiall MacGinnis). Dr. Holden thinks Karswell is a charlatan and is falsely claiming to have psychic powers so that he can make money off the gullible, weak-minded people who follow him. When Professor Harrington, a colleague of Dr. Holden, is mysteriously killed in a car accident, Dr. Holden sets out to investigate his death. Dr. Holden denies that this could in any way be the work of the Devil because in his mind the Devil isn’t real and there’s no such thing as a curse.

Joanna Harrington (Peggy Cummins) is convinced that Karswell has placed a curse on Harrington for trying to expose him as a fake and she tries to convince Dr. Holden that Karswell has the ability to put curses on people and that he needs to be stopped. Joanna believes in the so-called evil powers of the supernatural, unlike her uncle, Professor Harrington. Harrington sets out to prove that Dr. Karswell’s work in the occult is a fake and did all he could to discredit him by going to the newspapers and publicly attacking his work on witchcraft and demonology. Dr Karswell, in defense, placed a curse on him to prove that he indeed does have supernatural powers. Dr. Holden, being the skeptic that he is, ignores all of Joanna's warnings and when Karswell finds out that Dr. Holden is also out to discredit him, he places a curse on him also.

This movie is a true Satanic classic because it exposes the devil worshiper for what he is. Anytime you have to rely on someone or something else to help you to be a success in life, you're diminishing your own self worth. People who do this are basically saying, "I’m not good enough to get these things on my own; I need some kind of outside force." This movie also hints at the fact that curses can be in one's own mind and not something that is real. In the end, when Karswell is killed by the demon, the director sets up the final scene in a way that the viewer still has to ask himself if the demon really killed Karswell or did the train kill him. The answer to this question can only be answered by the moviegoer because everyone has their own perception of what happened.

Does the supernatural really exist? This will always be a subject of much controversy. Satanists viewing this movie should understand that YOU are in charge of your own destiny -- and no one else. Asking some devil or some imaginary demon for favors only causes problems in the end. Satanism strives on individualism. The Satanist is his or her own God. There is no need to ask other entities for help.

[- BrightMidNight]