Beast, The/ D+, D+
Cult Epics/1975/94/WS 1.66

     Against my better judgment I watched The Beast. Is this an erotic masterpiece? Or a long lost poorly made gothic porn flick? Will this arouse movie lust in any quarters? No that I can see. The explicit sexual encounters are mostly laughable, often disgusting. The bestiality isn't the least bit funny or erotic. Let me strongly advise that the material will likely offend viewers lacking a liberal and open view of the free spirit of film.
     Hidden under gauzy parable pretension,  The Beast aspires to piggy back on the erotic possibilities of the classic fable Beauty and the Beast.  

Sweet dreams. ęCult Epics

    There is a history to Borowczyk's film. The core beast encounter was filmed as part an anthology film. Reworked around an absurd story of a desperate French family on the verge of bankruptcy, the kernel of carnality surfaces as a lustful dream. The dream itself begins hilarious reminiscent of a silent movie as a fair maiden travels from her tower into the forest. Too bad she had to meet the beast. That encounter is mostly ludicrous and thoroughly disgusting. 
    Is Borowczyk playing it for comic effect? I guess so. The result is something between soft comic book pornography and hard core depravity. The performances, right down to the beast, are uniformly stilted. The English Dub from French is atrocious .Let's even credit it as intentionally bad at least delivering some modicum of humor. 
     Source elements for this transfer are not in good shape. I have no idea what the original material looked like, but this DVD is washed out with poor contrast. Soft focus prevails. Close-ups provide enough detail, but longer lens shots and busier compositions are especially weak. There's plenty of dirt and scratches, which would be livable if only the images were sharp. Sound is artificial and lacks ambient.   Well, no use beating a dead horse here; 

 

 


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