Friday, February 4, 2011

Movie Plug: Le Pacte de Loups / Brotherhood of the Wolf

I probably shouldn't do this. First of all, it goes against my gruff image to let on I sometimes have actual fun and watch a movie. Second of all, I'm afraid you'll really think I've gone soft because it's a French movie. Yes, French! I didn't even realize the French made movies, I thought they just drank wine, ate cheese, painted abstract pictures, and made love. But they sometimes make movies.

I also heard the french kickbox, but it turns out they call it Savate, and it's nothing like Muay Thai... But I digress.

Brotherhood of the Wolf is an expensive French action film. You can tell it's French because it's a period piece, the heroes pay for sex, and they do drink a fair amount of wine. You can tell it's an action movie because there's kung fu, large knives, and large caliber firearms. The movie is available in video stores or NetFlix. It's also a horror movie of sorts, because there's a werewolf creature threatening to eat all the maidens in the area.

But if that's not crazy enough for you, the movie is based on a true story! Anyway, the plot involves the attacks of a vicious beast, fierce with tooth and claw, upon the innocent inhabitants of the Gevaudan province, what was a border region far from centralized authority in France at the time. The protagonist (yes, I sometimes use multi-syllable, Latinate words; don't look so surprised) is the King's Naturalist, who journeys to the province with his trusty Native American sidekick, played by American martial arts phenom and Iron Chef Chairman, Mark Dacascos.

The Naturalist is curious about the mysterious beast, but soon discovers that all is not what it seems, there are multiple agendas in play, and the beast may merely be the pawn of a conspiracy.

If that sounds confusing, it's only a little confusing as you watch. Mostly you're too busy admiring the scenery -- for starters, there's Monica Belluci, but the French countryside looks mighty fine too. The film is beautifully shot and there is tremendous attention to detail. There's plenty of violence too. The beast likes to play with its prey. But the gore is never unsettling. If anything, one of the victims is left in a setting so decadently gorgeous, it brings to mind a Pre-Raphaelite painting. It's the people who are brutal. The opening fight in the rain leaves the viewer feeling each smashing blow. Later the naturalist goes hunting for men and carves his way efficiently through a bunch of them. It makes you wonder who the real animal is.

Anyway, I picked this up expecting more about hunting werewolves during the Enlightenment. I was slightly disappointed in the way the plot turned out, but I still recommend this for any Zombie Hunter to watch.
Those of us who hunt the Night Creatures come from a long and noble line. And this film will certainly remind you of that.

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