Halloween feature 50 days, 50 slays! Day 14 HUMAINTY HORRORS THE APE WOMAN

Marco Ferreri, director of the capitalism spearing masterpiece ‘LA GRANDE BOUFFE’, made a series of as interesting, probing films about society. His most well received critically was THE APE WOMAN, a film based on the sadly true story of the horrific treatment of Julia Pastrana, whose body was completely covered in hair. She was a side show spectacle and international icon. This is an alternative horror film for this Halloween, focusing on our own obsessions and the horror of people.

WHATS IT ABOUT?

A hustler Antonio Focaccia (Ugo Tognazzi) is down at heels and desperate for a new touch. When he discovers a young woman Maria Esposito (Annie Girardot) in a convent. She is covered from face to foot in hair. Stuck in the convent, away from eyes and public judgement, has in a way saved her. But Hustler Focaccia senses an opportunity and marries her in order to get her on the freak show circuit. This will prove lucrative and the ability to cash in on the distinctive appearance of her means a bright future for him but what for her. Marie becomes the centre of derision and mockery. A side show attraction that is a deeply unpleasant series of staring yokels and highly lucrative cash ins for the money.

WHY SHOULD WE WATCH IT FOR HALLOWEEN?

The pain felt at the centre of this film is framed delicately by Ferreri. The audience however are not simply meandering through unscarred. You are challenged to accept responsibility. I would relate this to the masterful ELEPHENT MAN by Lynch. Both share the delicate balance of sensation and sadness. I would suppose that Lynch learnt much from Ferreri use of form. We, as an audience, are left without the ability to look away or avoid responsibility.

WHAT SHOULD WE LOOK OUT FOR?

On the disc is a series of very good extra contents. First is Ferreri’s own original edit now shown complete and uncut. Second (and this should be watched first in my opinion) is the Producer’s longer, upbeat ending cut. It could be said, that it lets the audience off. In truth it, in comparison, it leaves no doubt at the challenges of society and now, social media.

EXTRAS:

  • An exclusive 90 minute documentary on Marco Ferreri with Gerard Depardieu, Philippe Noiret, Christophe Lambert, Ornella Muti etc..

BUY IT NOW

https://cultfilms.co.uk/product/the-ape-woman/

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