A blind sculptor kidnaps a model. She wakes up in a room filled with giant sculptures of body parts. Ears, noses, eyes, breasts. Beneath her, an enormous nude body that she must eventually learn to sleep upon. The sculptor wants to make a piece that captures her beauty.

A descent into Oedipal urges, Stockholm syndrome, broken sexuality, warped aestheticism, and sadomasochistic debauchery begins.

Blind Beast loses much of its impact by starting with the kidnapping, since we don’t really get a chance to sink into the world or the characters, so the eventual descent feels a bit shorted.

Still, there are some powerful moments here as the characters are forced to explore every aspect, good and bad (mostly bad) of pleasure. At the heart of this story is a debate between sensuality and intimacy. How are they connected? Can the things that bring us closer also turn us on, even if those things are traumatic? Director Yasuzo Masumura seemingly wants to dissect the idea of sadomasochism, opening it up to the base, dark urges of the human spirit.

And if I don’t quite agree with the answer he decides on, I can’t deny the visceral, twisted power of this work, which may start poorly but ends fantastically.

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