- Directed by Luigi Russo
- Starring Lisbeth Hummel, Anna Maria Bottini, Piera Maria Caretto, Brunello Chiodetti
La bella e la bestia (1977) -- Highly obscure, Decameron style collection of Italian erotic stories. From Italy comes this collection of four short sensual stories. These period dramas could be loosely termed "Decamerotica", but it's not a very accurate term. It brings to mind the sort of words used in no other circumstances, such as "buxom" and "ribald". Russo does not favour "buxom" but rather the opposite - slim, delicate, pert and youthful blondes.
The common theme is masochism. But that need not mean commonplace images of leather-clad dominatrices wielding whips. Things are much more subtle, with the purest pleasure coming from the self-inflicted torture of the mind rather than the body. And though the focus may at first be on an individual sufferer, an atmosphere builds where every single character seems to live and breathe their own gentle perversion. Events unfold so tantalisingly slowly that watching is a whole new delicious kind of torture all of its own.
Against expectations this turned out to be a truly first-rate film that can be enjoyed many times in many different ways. In a genre that rarely produces more than unappetising tripe, in a very distinctive style Luigi Russo has served up a sumptuous and delicious banquet of sensuality and erotica.
La bella e la bestia DVD is offered as a compact edition. This transfer is manufactured on demand and is presented on premium DVD-R with thermal disc print in a clear plastic wallet. Important: This title has been manufactured from the best-quality video master (rated 8/10) currently available and has not been remastered or restored.