6.6/10
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7 user 4 critic

Man, Woman and Beast (1977)

L'uomo, la donna e la bestia - Spell (Dolce mattatoio) (original title)
A Feast For All Of The Senses!

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Maria Pia Luzi ...
Rosanna (as Jane Avril)
Martial Boschero ...
Comunista
Angela Doria ...
Prostituta
Emmanuele Guarino
Macha Magall ...
Maria
Aldo Massasso ...
Ernesto
Antonio Mea ...
Alfonso
Corrado M. Merani
Agostino Pilastri
Fabio Spaltro
Stefania Spugnini ...
Julia
...
Clara
Mónica Zanchi ...
Sabina (as Monika Zanchi)
Luigia Giuri
Paola Montenero ...
Luciana
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Storyline

The film takes place in a humble Italian Catholic village where everyone is acquainted with each other but no one truly knows about the secret lives that they all live. The entire community is preparing for the annual religious festival. There's the local butcher who covets the town's young teenagers and then goes into the freezer and makes love to hanging beef carcasses. The teenage daughter who has sex with her father and becomes pregnant at her grandfather's funeral. The communist drunkard who beats and rapes his wife. She lives through her dreams and fantasies or she'll go crazy. The Christ-like stranger who does not have a name. The women fantasize about him. The children all adore him but he does not belong to the village. He always seems to be at the right place at the right time. And there's a bizarre artist who clips out pictures of internal organs from medical journals and pastes them on magazine models with a completely insane wife who never speaks. She drinks water from ... Written by lament

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Drama

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Release Date:

20 May 1977 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Man, Woman and Beast  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Bizarre and grotesque art-house/exploitation oddity
10 October 2016 | by (Edinburgh, Scotland, UK) – See all my reviews

Man, Woman and Beast is one of those specific types of movies that there seemed to be a few of in the 70's which straddled the art and exploitation film genres. It's a wilfully strange experience with little overall plot. Its events take place in a small Italian town during the preparations for a religious festival. But the best way to look at it is by thinking of it in terms of characters. We have a possibly psychotic butcher who lusts after the young women of the town but knowing he can never have them, retreats to the back of his shop and has sex with beef carcasses; there's a teenage girl who instigates a sexual liaison with her father at her granddad's funeral, resulting in her pregnancy; there's a knuckle-headed farmhand who treats his long suffering wife like a slave; there's a communist artist who creates collage pieces that include combinations of drawings of internal organs with the heads of fashion models, he has a mute wife who is insane and is prone to violent episodes; there's a young hooker who makes a her living next to a chicken farm, her clients include the upholder of the law, a sleazy policeman; and in the background is an outsider, a nameless enigmatic young man who sexually services the local women, while becoming a hero of the local children.

You see what I mean? There is a lot going on purely in terms of characters in this one. When it comes to serious Italian cinema (I guess this one qualifies as serious although some may disagree!) I often find that I struggle to understand what the overall point being made actually is. It's possibly because I don't understand Catholic culture all that well and miss something in the translation. Well, this film is certainly another case in point, as while the themes seemed to involve religion and sex it wasn't necessarily obvious what the overall point actually was. Certainly, there appears to be a contrast between the outwardly public morally good religious festival that everyone is involved in and the decidedly different set of morals that these people actually practice behind closed doors. But whatever the ultimate meaning, I don't think it matters too much as this is definitely a memorable bit of cinema. The characters are strange and varied and visually it is arresting with odd editing and sections depicting weird dreams. Much of the visual side, though, is very visceral and quite clearly not for everyone – we have copious amounts of fairly explicit sexual material, including the decidedly unique image of a cow's eye ball in a vagina. There's a graphic scene showing a cow giving birth, with the odd sight of the cow actually sucking its own udder as part of the process! While, the grand finale includes a scene so disgusting you really have to see it for yourself. In other words, this is a bit of an eye-popping slice of bizarre cinema. You need to have a tolerance for both quite excessive content as well as art-house sensibilities to get anything out of this one. It's a one off that's for sure.


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