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Category:    Home > Reviews > Erotica > Monster > Satire > Anthology > Poland > Drama > Photography > France > Nymphomania > Italy > Action > Beast, The (1975) + Immoral Tales (1974/MVD/Arrow Blu-ray)/Curiosa (2019/Film Movement DVD)/Devil In The Flesh (1986/Icarus DVD)/Perils Of Gwendoline In The Land Of The Yik Yak (1984/Severin Blu-ray)/

Beast, The (1975) + Immoral Tales (1974/MVD/Arrow Blu-ray)/Curiosa (2019/Film Movement DVD)/Devil In The Flesh (1986/Icarus DVD)/Perils Of Gwendoline In The Land Of The Yik Yak (1984/Severin Blu-ray)/Plugg (1975/Umbrella Region Free PAL Import DVD)

Picture: B+/C+/C/B-/C- Sound: B+/C+/C/B-/C Extras: B/C-/C-/C+/D Films: C & C+/C/B-/C/C

PLEASE NOTE: The Plugg Import DVD is now only available from our friends at Umbrella Entertainment in Australia, can only play on DVD, 4K and Blu-ray players that can handle the PAL format and can be ordered from the link below.

Now for some of the odder and more distinct erotic narrative films we've seen of late...

First, we have two quite unusual erotic films from filmmaker Walerian Borowczyk, The Beast (1975) and Immoral Tales (1974), getting nice restorations from Arrow Video. While these film have been censored and banned upon their initial releases, these discs (sold separately) bring them forward a new life. In The Beast, a horny beast (Creature? Monster?) lusts for a beautiful woman and her aristocratic family in a sexual fairy tale of sorts while Immoral Tales, captures human sexuality in different time periods and settings. These are both erotic arthouse films rather than pornography, which is eluded to by the cover art, but some may disagree.

The Beast Special Features:

Introduction by film critic Peter Bradshaw

The Making of The Beast: camera operator Noel Very 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

and an illustrated booklet featuring new writing on the film by Daniel Bird and an archive piece by David Thompson, illustrated with original stills

Immoral Tales Special Features:

Introduction by Borowczyk expert Daniel Bird

Love Reveals Itself, a new interview program featuring production manager Dominique Duverge-Segretin and cinematographer Noel Very

Obscure Pleasures: A Portrait of Walerian Borowczyk, a newly-edited archival interview in which the filmmaker discusses painting, cinema and sex

Blow Ups, a visual essay by Daniel Bird about Borowczyk's works on paper

Theatrical trailer

Reversible sleeve featuring Borowczyk's own original poster design

and an illustrated booklet containing new writing on the film by by Daniel Bird and an archive piece by Philip Strick

For more on La Bete from someone who liked it, a link to our coverage of an import DVD edition:


Lou Jeunet's Curiosa (2019) takes place during the early days of still photography in Paris 1895, two people in love with each other still carry on despite the gal (Noemie Merland) marrying another man who she does not love to help her life situation. Her lover (Niels Schneider) is a poet and they start dabbling in early erotic photography, known under the title the film uses. There are interesting moments in the French-language film, but it is not always sexy.

Unlike other films on this list, it is not part of the counterculture of sex in cinema and the film is either holding back or not as interested as it could or should be in showing more of what it is talking about. Of course, it only took so much back then to be provocative, but the screenplay and film get sidetracked at times, though those being photographed look sexy enough. Guess this is a curio at best, but it could have been better.

A trailer is the only extra.

Mario Bellocchio's Devil In The Flesh (1986) is part of a cycle of sexual films starting in the 1960s where there is a woman who is a nymphomaniac on some level (Betty Blue is another such film) that shows us that the lady is very sexy, wild, energetic and we should take the film more seriously because it presumes to tell us details about her mental illness. It is not just she's sex crazy, but we get deep psychological proof. That does not make such films any less exploitive and this one can be explicit, but there are enough moments to make it worth seeing.

Masruschka Detmers is the woman married to a jailed left-wing radical who lands up seducing a high school student, psychologist and anyone else she pleases as the screenplay leaves no opportunity (or cliche for this cycle) unturned and admittedly, some of this is genuinely erotic, but it is also predictable at times. Detmers is very sexy here and is photographed very well (by Director of Photography Giuseppe Lanci) so it is a step above the likes of an Emmanuel film, yet not always by much. I liked this better. Now you can see for yourself.

The only extra is an Original Theatrical Trailer that gets a bit racy.

Just Jaeckin's Perils Of Gwendoline In The Land Of The Yik Yak (1984 and a title we will never see on any Indiana Jones adventure) has the director of the original Emmanuel trying to do some kind of genre film, looking like a low budget variant of the 1980 Flash Gordon (see the 4K review elsewhere on this site) with more of a focus on some S&M cliches and trying to be some kind of adventure film. Brent Huff may be the male lead, but the title star is the now late Tawny Kitaen, best known as a sex symbol of the times and for her classic music video dane on not one, but TWO Jaguar XJ-6 sedans in a Whitesnake video that she had just recreated a few years ago for another video for a song about the 1980s.

Like most such films in this genre, as repetitive as the cheesy Italian epics of the 1960s, the visuals can be interesting and/or laughable throughout with some bad fight scenes, wacky and/or ill-fitting (or ill-designed) costumes and a fakeness of its time you cannot find in any other films outside of its time period. To see Kitaen in 35mm from a 4K scan is basically the best reason to see the film (hope those videos get 4K treatment) and genre fans will get a kick out of it (no pun intended) while others will find themselves having to be patient to see the few good parts. Now a curio, nice they saved the film so recently.

Extras are many and include (per the press release) an Alternate U.S. Release Version THE PERILS OF GWENDOLINE IN THE LAND OF THE YIK YAK on the same disc, plus...

  • Audio Commentary with Director Just Jaeckin.

  • Audio Commentary with Stars Tawny Kitaen and Brent Huff.

  • The Butterfly Effect: 2019 Interview with Director Just Jaeckin.

  • Bondage Paradise: Interviews with Costume & Concept Designers & Comic Book Artists Francois Schuiten and Claude Renard.

  • The Perils of Production: Interview with Executive Producer Jean-Claude Fleury.

  • Gwendoline's Travels: Interview with Production Designer Francoise Deleu.

  • Blu-Ray Promos with Tawny Kitaen and Brent Huff.

  • The Last Temptation of Just: 2006 Interview with Director Just Jaeckin.

  • Dr. Kinsey Interview with John Willie, Creator of SWEET GWENDOLINE.

  • Revealing Tawny Kitaen Photospread for French LUI Magazine.

  • and Trailers.

Finally, we have an outright comedy in Terry Bourke's Plugg (1975) from Australia and definitely from the Oz-Ploitation cycle that began then. We get the title detective (Peter Thompson from Mad Dog Morgan) of the title on a case, but of course, he comes across as a little sleazy and a peeping tom as a result of the narrative situation (for what there is of it) and the result is a mix of sexy situations that are funny, not necessarily sexy, some that are sexy and some that are ridiculous.

A major, private eye, people who cannot help themselves and others eventually get into the mix of the mixed plot and the result is just too all over the place to take it too seriously. I guess they thought this was very funny and amusing when they met it, but it does not play that way today. Still, there are some good moments for those interested and the cast also includes Cheryl Rixon, Alan Cassell, Edgar Metcalfe, Reg Gorman, Joseph Furst, Phil Cleary and Norman Yemm. Without their energy, this would be even less interesting.

There are no extras.

Now for playback performance. Both Beast and Tales have an MPEG-4 AVC codec, aspect ratios of 1.66:1 and high definition digital transfer of the uncut 98-minute version that features an Uncompressed French Mono 2.0 LPCM Audio with newly transcribed English subtitles for both features in exceptional transfers that capture the interesting cinematography well.

The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image on Perils looks good and was shot on 35mm film with anamorphic Panavision lenses, with some good color, but there is more softness and a few off shots that hold this back a bit despite being a 4K scan. The sound is here in DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 and 2.0 Stereo lossless mixes and this was originally an analog, Dolby System B-type stereo surround release. It shows its age with the two track about even and sound as good as this film likely ever will. The combination is not bad, but maybe a little more work could correct the minor issues.

The DVDs vary in quality and not well, anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 image on Curiosa can be soft, but some of that is the style on purpose, making me curious(a?) how much better this would look in HD or 4K, while the anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 on Devil is sadly softer than I would have liked, along with the 35mm film materials not being in the best of shape. This film needs serious restoration and this will hopefully happen soon. That leaves the 1.33 X 1 image on Plugg in shape so poor, there is a disclaimer on the box and the film is credited as being in 'Skinemascope' to hype it, but its just plain old 35mm film with no anamorphic lenses whatsoever. The copy used is likely an old PAL video master and it is very soft and noisy. The analog videotape flaws including video noise, video banding, telecine flicker, tape scratching, PAL cross color, faded color and tape damage. Like Devil, hope it is not a lost film, but they both need work and saved. Since it is visually erotic, the lack of fidelity gets in the way.

As for sound, each film offers different, lossy Dolby Digital soundtracks, with Curiosa delivering a 5.1 and 2.0 Stereo mix, Devil (originally an analog, Dolby System Stereo B-type surround release) and Plugg 2.0 Mono, only Curiosa sounds good, if compressed. The others are a little lower and rougher in fidelity, so be careful of volume switching and high volume playback.

You can order the Plugg Umbrella import DVD, as well as many more great and hard-to-get releases at:


- Nicholas Sheffo and James Lockhart (Beast, Tales)



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