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.
- New high definition digital transfer of the uncut 98-minute version
- Uncompressed Mono 2.0 PCM Audio
- Optional English subtitles
- Introduction by film critic Peter Bradshaw
- The Making of The Beast: camera operator NoÃ«l VÃ©ry provides a commentary on footage shot during the film’s production
- Frenzy of Ecstasy, a 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 (11:04)
- Behind Enemy Lines – The Making of Gunpoint (5:16)
- Theatrical trailer
- Reversible sleeve featuring Borowczyk’s own original poster design
- Illustrated booklet featuring new writing on the film by Daniel Bird and an archive piece by David Thompson, illustrated with original stills
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