Beauty and the Beasts: A Dark Tale (2010)
Movie Review by Debbie Winkler
Starring: Estella Warren, Rhett Giles, Victor Parascos, Vanessa Gray, Tony Bellette
Director: David Lister
Release Date: 27 February 2010
Length: 100 minutes
Movie Rating: Not Rated
View Format: TV
My Rating: 1/5 stars
“When a beauty and a cursed prince face a corrupt Count, happily ever after hangs in the balance.” —Syfy.com
So, where to begin? I heard this movie was horrible, but I just had to see it for myself and, wow, it was really that bad. I watched it late at night and thought that might help, but, no. The acting is really bad from everyone. It is wooden and fake and I felt like I was watching a really bad medieval school play. There were no bright spots in this movie for the actors and everyone was just terrible. I am not going to single any one actor or actress out for humiliation as I think that they are all plenty embarrassed to be seen in this shoddy work and don’t need me to point out that they were bad individually and collectively.
The costumes were a joke. Everyone is in medieval garb except for Belle (Estella Warren), who wears a mini-dress that is cut down low and is only long enough to cover her private parts. And she works in a laundry. Yeah, no way would anyone mistake her for cheap and easy! Also, it was clear by the costume that Belle was cast more for her large breasts and willingness to show them than for any acting ability. I swear that her neckline keeps getting lower and lower as the movie goes on. Oh, and the corset that she is wearing pushes them up and allows for her to heave as she breathes during action scenes. Great.
I thought that the storyline showed a glimmer of promise and was really disappointed that they did not manage to pull this off. They tweaked the story a bit to cast an evil sorceress (Vanessa Gray) as a scorned lover by the king of the land. To get her revenge, she curses the king and queen’s only child, a son. He looks so hideous that the king has his sheriff (Tony Bellette) take the child out to the forest and kill it. What he doesn’t know is that the sheriff took the child to the forest, but then fed it and protected it. When the child grew older, he has the visage of a horrible beast, but the sheriff taught him to hunt and to take care of himself. The Beast (Victor Parascos) has no name and no memory of any life than living in the forest. He has no idea that he is the rightful heir to the kingdom. As the King lies dying, the nobles of the land start vying for position, with the brutal Count (Rhett Giles) doing whatever it takes to become the next king. Of course, the sorceress is still lusting after power and finds a like-minded man in the Count so tries to persuade him to wed her and eventually the truth about the king’s real heir comes to light. So I gave the movie 1 star for putting a new twist on a classic fairy tale. Unfortunately, that is all I could offer this film. The makeup and special effects are pretty good, but the rest of it is so bad that this movie simply could not rise above it to get anything more than horrible rating from viewers.
This movie features quite a bit of blood and gore for a made-for-TV movie. There are a lot of dead bodies and they are very bloody. They are mauled, gauged, decapitated and scream a lot while they are being butchered by a monster. The monsters have a tendency to pop out of nowhere and so there are some startling parts and there is a lot of violence. There is a hokey witch who casts ridiculous spells, but she does have a pretty gruesome laboratory. Belle is dressed in a skimpy outfit and shows a lot of cleavage and a lot of leg. Men make inappropriate advances towards her and there are some sex-charged scenes and jokes. Recommended for viewers ages 18 and up who have strong stomachs and a lot of patience with bad acting.