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Beast, The

An American woman, Virgina, and her heiress niece Lucy travel to a French castle inhabited by the Marquis de l’Espérance and his children. Lucy plans to get engaged with Mathurin, the Marquis’ son.

Rumor has it that the castle that will be visited by the two guests is haunted. The occupants vigorously deny and turn to ridicule this proposal.

Tiffany, the Marquis’ young daughter, regularly sleeps with the butler in secrecy. The cardinal, for his part, appears to be interested by young teenagers, in an unhealthy way. Furthermore, the Marquis still washes Mathurin (now a grown man) and helps him shave. Lucy also has her share of secrets and fetishes: animals and their mating rituals excite her. She doesn’t stop at taking pictures of the act, she also dreams of it after nightfall.





The Beast, a French film that presents a handful of taboos while refusing all censorship, was banned for almost 25 years. Once again, Cult Epics demonstrates initiative by releasing this cult film. Three versions are available, on three DVDs, notably subtitled and dubbed in English.

Hard to offend but easy to bore, I must admit that I was confused many times during this feature. First of all, the first half projects the image of a typical drama that dawdlers its way through its plot. Then, dialogue gives way to acts and debauchery takes the front stage.

Masturbation, coitus, animal copulation and bestiality truly constitute The Beast’s main course. The good news is that it is hard to take anything seriously and be offended, especially by the beast in question. He ejaculates perpetually even before the act, his member resembles a black piece of plastic and the beast is simply a man dressed in a bear suit. Walerian Borowczyk, writer and director, still succeeds in making his “healthy” sexual relations very sensual and his deviant scenes funny instead of troubling, thanks to various pretexts, costumes and odd special effects. The main actors, for their part, shield the less important ones but accomplish a decent job considering the scenario that is served.

It is possible to note a few elements that influenced Lucy’s dream during her stay at the castle. She manifests interest for certain locations and situations by immortalizing them with her camera on the day of her arrival. Logically, it is by this manner that dreams are generated: they are often existing conditions or marking events lived during the day that are subconsciously stirred by night. This is the aspect of the film that I most enjoyed. Furthermore, it gives way to a situation reversal that was easy to predict but still welcomed.

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Released in: 1975

Movie type: Horror - Gothism - Monsters - Fantasy - Drama - Historical - Taboos - Sexuality - Nudity

Films in similar category:
I Spit on Your Grave
Savage Vengeance
Scream For Me
In a Glass Cage
Hillside Strangler, The

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( 2004-11-08 )  

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