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The Beast Blu-ray Review

WTF.

1975’s “The Beast” (AKA “La Bete”) is said to have been a take on “Beauty And The Beast,” but who knows if that is true. What I can say is that this adult feature film (emphasis on the world adult) comes from the mind of the Polish cult writer/director Walerian Borowczyk.

Presented in its uncut form, “The Beast” is certainly not for everyone to put it mildly. It’s very much a shock cinema type of movie about a young woman (Lucy) who is set to be married to the rather strange Mathurin (who may or may not be hiding a secret). Mathurin’s father is trying to get his son baptized all while hoping this marriage will help his failing estate/money woes. There’s also drama involving a Cardinal. Lucy is excited by the prospect of marriage and soon begins to have a graphic dream about a beast man who may or may not have existed (or still does exist). 

Is “The Beast” a comedy, an erotic horror movie, or something else entirely? I have no idea, but it’s not hard to see why this was a controversial movie that was banned in several countries. From the opening scene involving horses mating you know you’re in for a different type of movie. There’s no denying that Borowczyk has a decidedly unique vision, but “The Beast” is a puzzling, out there, sexually explicit arthouse tale about sex, dreams, desire, sins and animalistic urges. Outside of the wild moments (you’ll know them when you see them) that might appeal to fans of non-mainstream cinema, the movie is oddly a bit of a bore as there’s far too much conversation revolving around the Cardinal and other marriage arrangements. It sometimes feels like an incomplete movie given how little actually happens.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.66:1 1080p. How does it look? Expect a quality hi-def transfer.

Audio Track: French Uncompressed Mono 1.0 PCM. How does it sound? This is a clean Mono track.

Extras:
* An intro by film critic Peter Bradshaw
* DVD copy
* “The Beast” theatrical trailer
* The case mentions a booklet but my copy did not come with one so I’m not sure what the story on that is.
* A short film titled “Gunpoint” along with a making of featurette about it.
* 3 commercials by Borowczyk titled “Holy Smoke,” “Tom Thumb” and “The Museum.”
* An interview with camera operator Noel Very who comments over set footage from “The Beast.”
* “Frenzy Of Ecstasy”- A look at a letter and sketches of the Beast and details about a never made sequel.
* “The Profilgate Door”- Museum Curator Maurice Corbet guides viewers through a look at Walerian Borowczyk’s sound sculptures.
* “Boro Brunch”- A reunion meal with former colleagues of Walerian who talk about the filmmaker.

November 5, 2021 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , ,

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