Take Me To The River on Blu-ray & DVD Feb 5Phantom From 10,000 Leagues (1956) on Blu-ray & DVD Jan 5Condemned on DVD & Blu-ray Jan 5Broad City: Season 2 on DVD Jan 5McHale's Navy: The Complete Series on DVD No 17Return to Sender on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 29The Phantom of the Opera with Lon Chaney Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Jennifer Esposito Is Your Newest NCIS Agent in Season 1...
Critics Are Split on Ghostbusters Reboot ...
'Respect is key': The Game, Snoop Dogg lead march to LA...
Kristen Stewart's Sheer Dress At 'Equals' Premiere -- S...
"A Slow Slipping Away"-- Kris Kristofferson's Long-Undi...
Fox News' Roger Ailes Sued for Sexual Harassment by Ous...
Garrison Keillor Retires from 'Prairie Home Companion' ...
Jennifer Aniston is Pregnant: Star Steps Out in Loose D...
Hiddleswift Is One Big Song Promotion -- A Theory...
Elvis Presley's daughter Lisa Marie Presley files for ...

Microsoft Store

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif

Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Cult Epics presents
The Beast (La Bête) (1975)

"It is not uncommon that one discovers through questioning many shameful secrets."
- Cardinal Joseph de Balo (Jean Martinelli)

Review By: Mark Zimmer   
Published: December 03, 2001

Stars: Sirpa Lane, Lisbeth Hummel, Elisabeth Kaza, Pierre Benedetti
Other Stars: Guy Trejan, Roland Armontel, Marcel Dalio, Robert Capia, Pascale Rivault
Director: Walerian Borowczyk

Manufacturer: Nico B
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (intense and graphic human and animal sexuality, nudity, bestiality, language)
Run Time: 01h:33m:54s
Release Date: December 04, 2001
UPC: 063390010080
Genre: cult

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
B+ B-B-C D-

DVD Review

Like The Rite of Spring and El Topo, Borowczyk's film The Beast caused outrage and public disturbances when it premiered in its original short form in 1972. Originally set to be one of the episodes in Immoral Tales, it was expanded through the addition of an extensive framing sequence and released on its own in 1975. Due to its notorious content, it has become a much sought after cult item.

Young American heiress Lucy Broadhurst (Lisbeth Hummel) will inherit her father's wealth only on two conditions: she marry Mathurin de l'Esperance (Pierre Benedetti) before six months elapse from daddy's death, and if the Cardinal, Mathurin's uncle, performs the ceremony. Mathurin's father, Pierre (Guy Trejean) is most anxious that the wedding occur, and gets the scruffy Mathurin cleaned up and baptized just in the nick of time. Amidst all the animal sexual imagery at the l'Esperance chateau, the family is stymied by the Cardinal's unwillingness to appear, for reasons unknown. Lucy fantasizes and dreams about an 18th-century woman (Sirpa Lane) who is attracted out into the forests of the chateau, where she is raped repeatedly by a hairy bearlike creature.

It's hard to imagine in these times that only 25 years ago some thought that hard core graphic sexual imagery was suitable in a mainstream film. The reaction to this picture, however, started to help close the door on the possibilities of genuine and frank sexual material outside of pornography. Most would now consider this picture to be pornographic; indeed, it's probably illegal in at least half of the states in the USA. Borowczyk pulls hardly a punch sexually here, with numerous close ups of penises and vaginas, though actual onscreen penetration is limited. Borowczyk exhibits, as does his heroine, a serious fascination both for copulating horses and the Beast's enormous phallus. Needless to say, this is not a Disney version of Beauty and the Beast.

Hummel is startlingly erotic as Lucy, with a curiosity and a passion that is infectious. The French characters are rather on the silly side, and there is some inept comedy business between the father and his brother. Some sharp satire of the clergy is also included, for the Cardinal, disapproving of Lucy's Polaroids of horse privates, nonetheless tucks them into his surplice, no doubt to add to his collection. There's also a running gag of the father summoning the black servant constantly, and every single time he's in bed with Pierre's daughter Clarisse (Pascal Rivault). She of course has to find other ways to relieve her sexual tension after he leaves, resulting in a number of randy sequences involving furniture. The sequences with the Beast are set to the delicate baroque gymnastics of Scarlatti, rendering a humorous counterpoint to the animalistic onscreen events.

The photography is quite attractive, for the most part, though there is a decided emphasis on genitalia to the exclusion of much else. The sexual content tends to dominate everything, and the picture tends to revel in the nastier aspects of both human and animal sexuality. If one defines "cult" movies as ones for which there is an extremely limited audience, The Beast would fit the bill to a T. Cautiously recommended, but only to those not offended by things like Salo.

Rating for Style: B+
Rating for Substance: B-


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.66:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: While the nonanamorphic picture has decent color and fairly good black levels, the picture is rather on the soft side. Reds and golds are rich. Shadow detail is quite poor. Grain is evident, and there is some severe aliasing in spots, most notably when Lucy is looking at a map of the chateau. Overall, it's not terrible, but mediocre at best.

Image Transfer Grade: B-


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access

Audio Transfer Review: The only audio track provided is a 2.0 mono English. A French movie ought to have its French soundtrack provided as well. There is some low, unobtrusive hiss, but dialogue is quite clear though very artificial sounding. In the early scene of the two brothers discussing the situation in the library, there is an irritating very low rumble present.

Audio Transfer Grade: C


Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 12 cues and remote access
Packaging: Amaray
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: Nothing whatsoever, not even a trailer or liner notes. Chaptering is okay, but could be better. Some chapters tend to go on for ten minutes or more at a stretch.

Extras Grade: D-


Final Comments

An intensely graphic and sexual picture that still holds plenty of power to shock, given a decent transfer. A French audio track would have been nice, though. Don't expect any extras.


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90


Microsoft Store


television, jennifer esposito, blue bloods, ncis, mark harmon. duane henry, wilmer valderrama, michael weatherly, bull, movie, ghostbusters, comedy, chris helmsworth, melissa mcarthy, kristen wiig, celebrity, rap, game, shoop dogg, jayceon terrell taylor, alton sterling, kristen stewart, equals, jonathan simkhal, nicholas hoult, music, kris kristofferson, country music hall of fame, alzheimers, lyme disease, fox news, gretchen carlson, fox and friends, steve doocy, roger ailes, the real story with gretchen carlson, radio, garrison keillor, a prairie home companion, jennifer anniston, baby bump, justin theroux, taylor swift, tom hiddleston, calvin harris, lisa marie presley, michael lockwood, riley and benjamin keough, danny keough, michael jackson, nicolas cage, tom affleck, boston fan, bill simmons, hbo show, any given wednesday, tom brady, deflategate, hamilton, lin-manuel mianda, periscope, heart tweet machine, hamilton mixtape, cable, hbo, curb your enthusiasm, larry david, bernie sanders, saturday night live, maya and marty, christina grimmie, murdered, plaza live, before you exit, marcus grimmie, nashville, cmt, president brian phillips, the tonight show, jimmy fallon, president obama, the roots, hillary clinton, tim mcgraw, faith hill, maggie mcgraw, humble and kind, ellen degeneres show, titi pierce, coldwell banker robbins & free realty, hairspray live!, tracy turnblad, york theatre company, john waters, jennifer hudson, harvey fierstein, martin short, derek hough, j.k. rowling, harry potter and the cursed child, noma dumezweni, emma watson, judd apatow, paul freig, melissa mccarthy, romance, history channel, roots, remake, anika noni rose, t.i., malachi kirby, josh duhamel, transformers, fergie, black eyed peas, axl, double dutchess, abc, music city, grand ole opry, chip esten, lennon stella, the voice, alisan porterm, christina aguilera, ceelo green, ariana grande, sia, the little big town, 2016 billboard music awards, pink, just like fire, pamela neal, warrior princess, send my love (to your new lover), billboard music awards, adele, patrick daughters, bryan cranston, lbj, all the way, melissa leo, frank langella, todd weeks, hard sell, kristin chenoweth, wicked

On Facebook!
Promote Your Page Too



Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store