Originally turned down flat by the British Board of Film Censors and initially released exclusively in London in a version heavily cut by its nervous distributor, The Beast is Walerian Borowczyk s most notorious film, although it s much wittier and more playful than its subject matter might suggest.
Lucy Broadhurst (Lisbeth Hummel) is due to inherit a substantial fortune, but on condition that she marries the son of her late father s best friend. But Mathurin de l Espérance (Pierre Benedetti) 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) and brings her to life in one of the most outrageous dream sequences in cinema history, we begin to realise just how bizarre Mathurin s bloodline truly is.
Receiving its Blu-ray world premiere, this new high-definition restoration by Argos Films is supported by the original short-film version of The Beast, and Venus on the Half-Shell (1975), Borowczyk s portrait of the painter Bona Tibertelli de Pisis and her erotic fusions of men, women and molluscs.
Special Edition Contents:
- New high definition digital transfers of the feature and the shorts
- Uncompressed Mono 2.0 PCM Audio
- Optional English subtitles
- Introduction by film critic Peter Bradshaw
- Venus on the Half-Shell (1975)
- 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
- Theatrical trailer
- Reversible sleeve featuring original poster design
- Booklet featuring new writing on the film by Daniel Bird and archive pieces by David Thompson and Craig Lapper, illustrated with original stills