The Beast

1975 [FRENCH]

Drama / Fantasy / Horror

IMDb Rating 5.7 10 4602

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October 20, 2021 at 05:33 PM


903.93 MB
fre 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 38 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by gavin6942 8 / 10

A Diamond in the Rough

The head of a failing French family thinks that fate has smiled down on him when the daughter of a wealthy man agrees to be married to his son. The daughter and her aunt then travel out to the French countryside to meet with the family, unaware that a mysterious 'beast' is stalking the vicinity.

Many felt the film went over the top with its sex scenes, leading to its withdrawal from film for several years. In the UK the BBFC refused to classify a heavily cut version for general cinema release, and the same cut print narrowly avoided prosecution under the Obscene Publications Act by the Director of Public Prosecutions when it shown with Greater London Council approval at the independently run Prince Charles Cinema in London in September 1978.

This really shows why the director was called "a genius who happens to be a pornographer". This goes beyond "soft core" in many respects, with fake beast penises and real horse penises. Definitely not for the easily offended. But seen as something of a satire, it has its charms and really was not out of place in the 1970s. Even American companies were making films like this, though toned down.

Say what you will about the content, but few films of the time were shot as beautifully and you probably could not make a film like this today. At least not one that would play in a theater.

Reviewed by BA_Harrison 3 / 10

What a load of Borowczyks.

Walerian Borowczyk: I struggle to pronounce his name and I struggled to finish this film. I wasn't at all offended by the explicit content-I'm far too jaded for that-but I did find The Beast, for the most part, to be extremely tiresome.

Initially, it appears that director Borowczyk is going for all-out perversion, with his opening graphic scenes of horse copulation, but what follows is primarily dull nonsense concerning the preparation for the impending marriage of Mathurin de l'Esperance (Pierre Benedetti) to virginal Lucy Broadhurst (Lisbeth Hummel), and the problems in getting Cardinal Joseph de Balo (Jean Martinelli) to conduct the ceremony. This goes on for what seems like an eternity, with only the occasional spot of nudity and sex to prevent the viewer from dozing off..

The film's most notorious scene comes at just over an hour into the film: a young woman is pursued by the beast, who tears off her clothes and has sex with her. After starting to enjoy herself, the woman gives the beast a boob job, a foot job and a blow job (that's a lot of work!). Beast ejaculate flows freely. With the creature looking like a moth-eaten bear with rubber claws and a massive oozing schlong, I found this part of the film hilarious. It certainly isn't in the slightest bit arousing.

After this, the film goes back into tedious mode to take us up to the ending, in which Mathurin suddenly dies and a family secret is revealed. I'm not entirely sure what the director's intent was with this arthouse oddity, but the result in my case was mostly boredom.

Reviewed by Quinoa1984 4 / 10

too dull to get into the story, and not quite hot enough to be an erotic classic

Here's a curio: a film that takes as its basis not so much Beauty and the Beast (though if you want to read into it that way have at it), but, well, a kind of bestiality. I say 'kind-of' since I'm not totally sure still what the director, Walerian Borowczyk, was really getting at with his story of a woman who comes to a French villa and is set to marry a man, only to have (at least to her) smoking-hot fantasies of a woman getting raped by some beast in the woods fully sexually aroused. He tries to make a story around some of this, mostly involving an old man, the patriarch, trying to keep a family secret under wraps as blackmail from some other old guy in a wheelchair. And meanwhile a woman with two kids that aren't really hers drifts in and out of the house having all-too-brief sex with the black servant.

Did Borowczyk really want to set out to make an actual story here with Lucy Broadhurst and her hunger for the "beast", or did he want to make a story out of the corruption and deceit at the house with the centuries-old de l'Esperance? I ask these questions not so much because I don't entirely know the answers but because the film doesn't give me a reason much to care. Borowczyk can't direct his actors much well for anything, and watching those scenes of dialog plod on- and with the DVD released by C.A.V often the subtitles dip out for long stretches and the English dub track is so horrible as to want to run for the hills- is excruciatingly boring. I didn't give a damn about any one character at all, not even the assumed protagonist, Lucy, or what happened to her sexual longing.

The one saving grace of the film could have been the sexuality of it, the eroticism. On this score the director only marginally gets some interest-points. The opening scene sets the theme: horse-sex. Yes, folks, if you ever wanted to see a stud and a mare, this is where to look, technically, legally-speaking. But when it comes time to do metaphor, like with the black servant and the woman and their sex, the comparison is too obvious. There's some fun to be had with the really, really badly costumed beast (is it a dog or bear or wolf or all of the above?) chasing after the 18th century woman Lucy sees in her sex-dream, but not enough to keep it going. Borowczyk is probably more comfortable directing actual pornography - later credits include Emmanuele - and so when trying to do a scene that is meant to be scintillating, it barely passes by (better is seeing Lucy try on a see-through blouse).

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