header image


This is the blog of Ian Rosales Casocot. Filipino writer. Sometime academic. Former backpacker. Twink bait. Hamster lover.

Interested in What I Create?


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

entry arrow11:27 AM | A Beastly Love Rampage

Once in a while, when I feel particularly brave, I allow myself to screen a film of such hallucinogenic narrative, absurd premise, or controversial reputation, just to rock my world and see how far I can go in my cinematic experimentations.

Sometimes, the effort is strangely engaging, as in discovering the Italian Mondo documentaries, Nobuhiko Obayashi's House [1977], or Nagisa Oshima's In the Realm of the Senses [1976], or Alejandro Jodorowski's Santa Sangre [1989], or Nicolas Roeg's Don't Look Now [1973], or Catherine Breillat's Fat Girl [2001], or Roger Corman's The Pit and the Pendulum [1961], or Dario Argento's Two Evil Eyes [1990], or Tinto Brass' La Chiave [1983], or Sam Raimi's Evil Dead [1981], or Michael Haneke's The Piano Teacher [2001], or Joey Gosiengfiao's Temptation Island [1980], or Takashi Miike's Audition [1999], or Fruit Chan's Dumplings [2004], or even Jim Sharman's Rocky Horror Picture Show [1975].

And sometimes, it is dreadful and exhausting, as in Pier Paolo Pasolini's Salo [1975], Herschelle Gordon Lewis' Blood Feast [1963], or Eli Roth's Hostel [2005].

As you can see, the constants are these: extremes in both sex and violence, or in absurdity -- and how much the envelope can be pushed, and still be regarded as art (or at least "camp.")

A few hours ago, I allowed myself to finally screen something I've had for years but never bothered to see: Walerian Borowczyk's La Bestia [1975] -- a strange Italian sexual romp on this side of bestiality that is a loose take on the "Beauty and the Beast" fairy tale, which it turns on its head. A beautiful young woman comes to a countryside mansion intent on marrying the son of her father's friend -- but the son has a, well, an animalistic dark secret which she soon discovers as she gets haunted by strange sexual dreams of a nubile woman being chased in the woods -- and then raped (or is it rape?) -- by a rampaging beast that is a cross between a bear and a meerkat. The film's matter-of-fact close-up shots of, ummm, beastly and oozing ... appendages prove to be capable of a combination of amusement and shock. By the end of the film, I chuckle, I eject the DVD, and I wonder for the umpteenth time at the strange provocations exploitation cinema sometimes can bring. Was that art? Perhaps not, but it was at least interesting.


[0] This is Where You Bite the Sandwich