THE BEAST Once upon a time in the 18th century a beast lived in the woods of an aristocratic estate. And this beast, possessed of a giant phallus and an insatiable lust, set upon the beautiful young lady of the house. Two... more » centuries later, the tale of the beast would return in the dreams of an American heiress contracted to carry the male descendant of the same crumbling aristocratic family and their secret.« less
"Okay, the first, what, 15 minutes is spent watching horses copulate. Not quite my cup of tea, but the rest of the film is.
Anyone who gives this film a low rating obviously was not aware of the director's genre. As a euro-sleaze film, it delivers up the goods way better than most others in its class. W. B. (the director) finally goes where his "Immoral Tales" failed, and by that I mean filming an erotic sequnce to completion (and boy did The Beast complete himself....many many times). It's actually quite hilarious how the beast just has to find whatever it can to rub itself against. But the beautiful lady it gets to have its way with--and the lady fantasizing the whole thing while explicitly romancing the flower--make this an erotic winner. Excellent quality picture for its age, as well. If you're into nude women and just-short-of-porn behavior, it doesn't get any better than this. This is the definitive Euro-sleaze title. Like I always say, if American actresses went this far it would be a much better world. This sort of film is--or was--apparently the norm across the water, while this is hardcore compared to what we call erotic over here."
Sexy...Steamy...DEFINITELY NOT FOR KIDS
P. B Rubalcaba | Redlands, CA USA | 05/12/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"WOW! Though this DVD is "UNRATED", don't let it fool you. It is "X" rated all of the way...even more so than many 21st Century flicks. Created more than 25 years ago, this foreign masterpiece is steamy, sexy...beautifully edited and should become a period classic. Yes...it is billed as a horror film...but it is an adult experience in erotica, beastiality, and compassion. I really don't want to give the plot away...even though it is simple and explicit. If you were a teenager or young adult in the mid-seventies you will appreciate the erotic approach to this film...flimsy nightgowns, aggressive self-indulgence and gratification...a burning desire...WOW! Buy this DVD for your "ADULT" collection and keep it away from the kids. I believe AMAZON should restrict its sale to adults only. Need I write more??? Buy it...turn down the lights...enjoy. In this genre, whatever it may be, it is a 5. If you have seen this DVD and have other recommendations in its class...please refer them to me. "The Beast" is definitely a charismatic "beast"."
Should have been left in Immoral Tales
(3 out of 5 stars)
"As legend has it, Walerian Borowzcyk originally intended the short version of "The Beast" to be part of his compilation film "Immoral Tales". Due to the nature of "The Beast", it was cut from the original film and put on the back-burner till Borowczyk decided to turn it into a full-length feature. I feel this decision was a poor one. The short version of "The Beast" is the best thing about this film, which essentially tries to pad out the original's 20 minute running time to an hour and a half. This wouldn't be so bad if the padding weren't so boring. Aside from the rose-masturbation scene, which is intercut with "flashbacks" to the short film, there really is not much else that would make this a worthwhile purchase for fans of erotic cinema. The notorious scenes of horse-copulation are distasteful and verge on disgusting for anyone not turned on by beastiality. Instead of this "hype" film, I would recommend you take a look at Radley Metzger's "The Image", another controversial film that actually goes beyond "The Beast" as far as inclusion of graphic content. As an added bonus, all the sex in "The Image" is of the human variety."
claretant | Doncaster, South Yorkshire United Kingdom | 11/15/2002
(1 out of 5 stars)
"'It is to this day banned in England!' giggled a previous reviewer. Gosh - aren't you so much more sophisticated and liberated than we stuffy types back in the old-country.Well, I can't comment on the DVD version but I did laugh like a drain when I saw an (uncut) version of this on the telly (yes, the TV - in England, where, of course it's banned) a few months back. If a guy in an an unconvincing gorilla suit with a monster dildo masquerading as a real penis, splashing cream over a naked woman in the forest is your bag, then this is the film for you.Personally, I think anyone who (ahem) swallows this film as any kind of serious attempt to explore sexual taboos (or whatever it's supposed to be) has got to be up in the trees themselves."
Extremely Bizarre Cult Film
Kasey Driscoll | 07/23/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Walerian Borowczyk's explicit and insane la Bête (The Beast) is a directly adult reflection of the sexual undertones in many fairy tales. There are segments in la Bête that are unflinching enough to be deemed pornographic but they are done in such a silly and shocking way we cannot assume that Borowcyzk's goals are to titillate. I mean come on, the film opens with a close-up of a female horse's private parts and a male horse jumps right into the mix soon thereafter. There is also a tremendous amount of (human) nudity in la Bête and while gratuitous, it does seem to be appropriate within the film, even though it isn't necessarily erotic. I don't think it is possible to categorize this movie and that in and of itself is a strength for me. From beginning to end, I had no idea what to expect.
The film takes place in the Esperance house that is awaiting a wedding between the family's son and Lucy. The family is full of chaos and everyone seems to have something to hide. Lucy becomes fascinated with the family's notorious ancestor Romilda, who apparently had a sexual encounter that Lucy reads about with a very well endowed beast in the woods nearby. Lucy imagines the experience Romilda went through graphically, and she almost seems to fantasize about the ordeal. We see the sequence almost in its entirety. It consists of Romilda (Sirpa Lane) running around gradually losing her clothes with some harpsichord music playing and eventually she succumbs to the beast's advances and gets it on with his giant prosthetic phallus. It is graphic enough that it would be nearly impossible to say it isn't shocking, but it is funny enough that the audience will laugh uncomfortably until it concludes. You certainly won't forget this sequence and there are several more memorable parts before and after.
Just because someone may care I won't reveal how la Bête ends. Walerian Borowcyzk actually does seem to have a way with making movies. His other films are for the most part straight-forward erotica but he has the ability to make beautiful shots and here he even puts together an interesting, albeit strictly comedic, commentary on human and animal sexual impulse. I don't want to mislead anyone here; the priorities of this movie are by no means it's potentially significant insights. I don't know what Borowcyzk's intentions are but la Bête is certainly one of a kind.
The Cult Epics three disc release is worth owning if you enjoy rare and unique films. Especially ones that push the limit like this one. We have the dubbed version and the director's cut in here, as well as a great stills gallery and a hilarious trailer that shows almost the entire sequence with the beast and Sirpa Lane, but with a black bar over the graphic footage...as if we don't know what could be happening. On the third disc we have over one hundred minutes of silent behind the scenes footage and several other interesting features. The book that comes with this edition is probably the best aspect of the Cult Epics release. It has stills of some of the more noteworthy content and explains the film in far better detail than I have. This is recommended for collectors and definitely for those of us not easily offended."