Walerian Borowczyk’s most notorious and controversial film wildly re-works the classic Beauty and the Beast story into a very adult fairy tale, a parody of pornographic tropes and an assault on notions of ‘good taste’.
Bestial dreams interrupt the venal plans of a French aristocrat attempting to save a crumbling mansion by marrying off his deformed son, Mathurin, to a horny American heiress, Lucy. Yet Mathurin seems more interested in his horses than in his bride-to-be, and when Lucy finds out about the story of his 18th-century ancestor Romilda (Sirpa Lane) copulating with the titular beast it sparks to life one of the most outrageous dream sequences in cinema history.
A huge hit in France that was extensively censored and banned elsewhere, The Beast broke new ground in sexual explicitness and remains a truly startling experience even today.
Reviews"The most outrageous erotic fantasy ever committed to film."
"An erotic black farce hellbent on trampling every pretence of good taste."
"In a perfect(ly cracked) world, this would belong in the Collector's Series, but it's just so out-there I can only confidently call it Highly Recommended. You lucky ones who straddle that weird line, you need to get this awesome Blu-ray."
- DVD Talk
New high definition digital transfer of the uncut 98-minute version
Uncompressed Mono 1.0 PCM Audio
Optional English subtitles
Introduction by film critic Peter Bradshaw
The Making of The Beast: camera operator Noël Véry provides a commentary on footage shot during the film’s production
Frenzy of Ecstasy, a new visual essay on the evolution of Borowczyk’s beast and the sequel that never was, Motherhood
The Profligate Door, a documentary about Borowczyk’s sound sculptures featuring curator Maurice Corbet
Boro Brunch, a reunion meal recorded in February 2014 reuniting members of Borowczyk’s crew
Commercials by Borowczyk: Holy Smoke (1963), The Museum (1964) and Tom Thumb (1966)
Gunpoint, a documentary short by Peter Graham produced and edited by Borowczyk
Behind Enemy Lines - The Making of Gunpoint
Reversible sleeve featuring Borowczyk’s own original poster design