Nerdling Tales takes a mostly spoiler free look at cult classics mostly overlooked by the public, movies that failed so hard they won, and the “what in the hell were they thinking” flicks. Join her as she reminisces about what makes these movies so interesting and full of hopeful sequel potential, and yet the general movie going population tends to forget their existence.
Mark Dacascos’s appearance in Agents of SHIELD (here’s hoping he will make an appearance in more episodes in the spring) has made me nostalgic for one of my favorite movies he has starred in, Brotherhood of the Wolf.
Released: January 31, 2001 (In France) February 1, 2002 (In USA)
Director: Christophe Gans
Writers: Stéphane Cabel and Christophe Gans
Stars: Samuel Le Bihan, Mark Dacascos, Emilie Dequenne, Monica Bellucci, Vincent Cassel, Jérémie Renier
Brotherhood of the Wolf or Le Pacte des loups is very loosely based on real events which took place in the province of Gévaudan, France a couple of decades before the French Revolution. The Beast of Gévaudan has killed and injured over a hundred peasants spurring King Louis XV to send his royal naturalist Grégoire de Fronsac (Le Bihan) and his companion Mani (Dacascos) to hunt down the beast, stuff it, and bring it to court. Those who have survived the beast claim it is a giant wolf and is a demon sent from hell. While investigating the attacks, Fronsac and Mani find there is more to the beast and Gévaudan than they have imagined.
Yes, the movie is in French and there are subtitles, but you can go into the languages area of the main DVD menu and switch the language over to English. Almost all of the main actors for the movie redubbed their lines to English so you don’t lose the nuances in their performance like you would when voice actor comes in and records over the title actor’s voice.
Normally the blending of genres doesn’t work out so well, especially when one of the genres is horror. More often than not we get movies like Jonah Hex, most of the Resident Evil movies, or the last several Scary Movies while Shaun of the Dead, Cabin in the Woods, and Night of the Creeps are rarities. Brotherhood of the Wolf succeeds in blending a period based film with horror and martial arts action beautifully. The Beast of Gévaudan was a real thing killing anywhere from 60 to 180 peasants in the span of three years and was thought to be a rabid wolf pack depending on what history books you read. All of the characters in Brotherhood are real persons in history, with the exception on Mani.
Brotherhood is visually stunning and the action sequences are uniquely choreographed. Dacascos shines as the badass Iroquois blood brother to Fronsac and owning the best fight scenes like the Chairman that he is.
Like many other movies in the early 2000’s, Gans made use of the “bullet time” cinematography in some of his action sequences. To be fair, this movie was shot not long after The Matrix hit theaters and Gans directed the “bullet time” visuals in his own unique way instead of attempting to recreate how The Wachowskis used the new cinematography characteristic they helped to pioneer. All of the fights and visuals help you to forget that the plot is pretty thin and all over the place.
If you are looking for something a little different to add to your holiday watching list, Brotherhood of the Wolf is definitely one to include. It is a great film with something new and interesting to add to the action-horror genre. Even if you don’t care so much about that, it is a gorgeous period piece.
For those who have seen Brotherhood of the Wolf, what did you think of the movie? Were you floored by the uniqueness of it? Let me know what you think in the comments section and please do not give any spoilers away for those who have not seen the film just yet. Beware the Beast.