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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Special Features
3 DISC SPECIAL EDITION
Special Features
(all special features are in French WITH English subtitles unless otherwise noted)
:: Two Commentaries (in French with NO English subs)
:by actors Samuel Le Bihan and Vincent Cassel
:by director Christophe Gans
:: Deleted Scenes
:: "The Guts of the Beast" Documentary - 78 min.
::...
Published on Jan. 6 2004 by chaddoli

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Not terrible, but only good to a fault
If you've read my previous reviews and listmanias, you would already know that I'm quite the fantasy fan. One of my good buddies bought it and thought, perhaps, that I might enjoy it. This foreign film, directed by Christophe Gans ("Crying Freeman"), is among the few films to leave me with so many mixed emotions.
Set in 18th Century France, for over two...
Published on June 24 2004 by Axel Law


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Special Features, Jan. 6 2004
3 DISC SPECIAL EDITION
Special Features
(all special features are in French WITH English subtitles unless otherwise noted)
:: Two Commentaries (in French with NO English subs)
:by actors Samuel Le Bihan and Vincent Cassel
:by director Christophe Gans
:: Deleted Scenes
:: "The Guts of the Beast" Documentary - 78 min.
:: "Behind the Scenes" Documentary - 78 min.
:: Filmographies
:: Trailer
:: "The Legend" Documentary
:: Storyboards
:: Photo Gallery
:: Production Notes Booklet
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good story, great little movie, June 15 2013
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This review is from: Brotherhood of the Wolf (Widescreen) (Bilingual) [Import] (DVD)
Action, history, story - it's all here. The Beast of Gevaudan story told very well. Enjoy! One for the collection
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4.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent folly, way ahead of its time, March 24 2003
This review is from: Brotherhood of the Wolf (Widescreen) (Bilingual) [Import] (DVD)
BROTHERHOOD OF THE WOLF (Le Pacte des Loups, 2001): In 18th century France, a brave young naturalist (Samuel Le Bihan [TROIS COULEURS ROUGE]) and his Native American companion (Mark Dacascos [DRIVE]) are hired to trace the origins of a bloodthirsty 'beast' which has been terrorizing the countryside, killing women and children. But their investigations uncover an appalling conspiracy which cuts to the very heart of French high society...
Loosely based on true events, this high-powered Gallic blockbuster - directed by Christophe Gans, hired on the strength of his incredible genre-bending adaptation of CRYING FREEEMAN - wowed French audiences when released in 2001. And no wonder! A high-kicking combination of horror movie, period drama, political thriller and 'Matrix'-inspired kung fu pageant, the film combines the best elements of these disparate sub-genres in a dazzling display of technical wizardry. Photographed in widescreen Super 35 by Dan Laustsen (MIMIC, THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN), and played with solemn conviction by an all-star cast - including relative newcomers Vincent Cassel (LA HAINE), Monica Bellucci (the MATRIX sequels) and Jeremie Renier (LES AMANTS CRIMINELS), and veterans Jean Yanne (most recently seen in BELLE MAMAN) and Edith Scob (the elegant heroine of Franju's LES YEUX SANS VISAGE) - the movie is a riot of action and intrigue, sustained by a multilayered screenplay (co-authored by Gans and Stephane Cabel) which recounts an elaborate fable of class warfare and religious bigotry during a grim period of French history. The fight scenes - choreographed with ruthless efficiency by Hong Kong movie veteran Phillip Kwok (MASTER OF THE FLYING GUILLOTINE, HARD-BOILED, TOMORROW NEVER DIES, etc.) - are fashioned with elegant grace, and edited to perfection by Sebastien Prangere and David Wu Dai-wai (another prominent HK movie figure, Ronny Yu Yan-tai's current editor of choice). Much of the film's otherworldly visual texture is due to the sumptuous art direction (by Guy-Claude Francois [JEFFERSON IN PARIS]) and costume design (by Dominique Borg), which roots proceedings in a recognizable period 'style', despite Gans' resolutely modern approach to the material. It shouldn't work, but it does, somehow. The 'explanation' for the beast and its murderous activities - which takes into account a wide range of modern research into the story of an animal which really DID terrorize the French countryside during the 18th century - forms the backbone of the entire production, and while much of the film is a rip-roaring joy, the climactic sequences are offset by an element of tragedy and sadness, which thoroughly distinguishes the movie from most of its Hollywood counterparts. All in all, BROTHERHOOD OF THE WOLF is a magnificent folly, way ahead of its time, and quite unlike anything ever made before.
This review is based on a viewing of the Canadian disc from TVR Films which presents the original French version in its entirety (the international version, including the one released in the US and UK, appears to be shorter by about 10 minutes) and runs 150m 34s, minus the logos which open the video print and weren't part of the original production, and letterboxes the scope frame at 2.35:1 (anamorphically enhanced). The US disc - a region 1 release from Universal - is a no-frills affair which features a letterboxed anamorphic version of the shorter print, and some reviews suggest it's a better-looking transfer than the one featured on the Canadian disc. Captions and subtitles are provided. The Canadian version, however, is a 3-disc spectacular, and features (amongst many other things) an extremely frank documentary on the making of the film which opens with an actress being clobbered during an accident on-set, and proceeds to outline the various obstacles which constantly threatened the production schedule (not least the unpredictable weather during location shooting) and ultimately strained relations between director Gans and co-producer Samuel Hadida. That such a remarkable film emerged from these traumatic circumstances says much about the talent and dedication of these extraordinary gentlemen and all those who helped bring their unique vision to the silver screen. A triumph.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beastly, March 12 2007
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 10 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME)   
Imagine a fairy tale... but with grit, blood, stylized camerawork, and lots of French kung-fu.

That about sums up "Brotherhood of the Wolf," a gritty horror/martial-arts/erotic/action movie loosely based on the French legend of the Beast of Gévaudan, but with a chilling story woven around it. Christophe Gans could have given it a bit more character development, but it's a simple flaw in an otherwise horrifying, intense experience.

An enormous, savage wolflike beast is killing young women and children in the French countryside. And so royal naturalist Grégoire de Fronsac (Samuel Le Bihan) and his Native American sidekick Mani (Mark Dacascos) arrive to investigate, and find that the local authorities are incompetant, the Beast is larger than any wolf, and it's still savaging the locals.

Mani and Grégoire set about tracking down the beast, finding it to be too large and intelligent (and with metal fangs too). But something more sinister than animal attacks is going on -- Fronsac uncovers a mysterious, treasonous society connected to the Beast, and a mysterious courtesan (Monica Belucci) with hidden motives.

It may be based on a real incident, but "Brotherhood of the Wolf" soon takes off into its own storyline. And director Gans crams the whole thing with whatever he likes -- horror, action, political period drama, and some French martial arts. It's like an old fairy tale mutated into a live-action anime.

And Gans' direction style can include a little of everything too -- he handles rosy-skied romantic scenes with the same dexterity as raw sex scenes, rainy sludge and bloody chases. And he handles the camera just as well, although the style comes as a bit of a shock in a period film -- it zooms down cliffs and through underbrush, rapid-pans, and lingers on the fairy-tale landscapes of the French countryside.

One of the best examples of this is near the beginning, with Mani and Grégoire encountering a pair of gypsies being bullied, and Mani whipping the bullies with savate and a little la canne. It's a wild, dizzying scene, and thoroughly effective in showing these guys as a force to be reckoned with. But at the same time, Gans wraps the beginning and end in a sense of poignant regret.

If there's a flaw, it's that the plot and rich direction take up so much time that it's hard to wedge in some character development. Bihan fares pretty well as the inscrutable taxidermist, and over the course of the movie, you develop a liking for him and his girlfriend. But it would have been nice if the characters of Mani and Sylvia were explored a bit more than they were -- as it is, Belucci and Dacascos do amazing jobs with their characters.

This horror/action/period/French kung-fu flick breaks all the rules, and it's all the more enjoyable for it. A glorious action classic, and a must-see for cult film lovers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I had to chuckle at some of these reviews!, June 27 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Brotherhood of the Wolf (Widescreen) (Bilingual) [Import] (DVD)
Wow! Four out of five. Three out of five. You have to be joking don't you? This movie is perfection. Pure, true, honest, stylish. Of course Americans get a bit ruffled when a 'foreign' film shows the good old US of A how 'it's done' yet again. You folk like you're movies with justification, explanation and gradification... all tied up in a bow. This movie is not sugar covered and goes in depth within (I won't give it away for those that have not seen it) an area that goes way back in time and is still happening today (Bohemiam Grove hint hint etc)which has always fascinated me. So why would you not like it? Firstly that pesky 'other' language (yes, it's in French - and so it should be) makes those of less IQ's have to read. Pesky pesky. Secondly it has many layers as a movie and does not always have to explain EVERYTHING that is going on, and instead relies on the intellect of it's viewers and allows us to progress on the journey and make up our own minds as to how, why and who. I will not go into 'explaining' the film as it is done already in the top review and you all seem to explain it over and over again. I am not French as you may all think, and instead an Aussie relieved and satisfied that a certain standard of perfection is retained in some movies in the world. Erotic, scary, action, suspense, intelligent, beautiful. Simply one of the best movies I have seen this year. (I'll put money on it that America will remake this movie very soon... and yet again bugger up another classic foreign film that should have been left well alone! Please don't! I beg you!)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Extras, Sept. 25 2003
By 
Amazon Customer "arciooh" (Camarillo, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This is the definitive collector's edition. Three DVDs, packed with extras, making of, uncut version (over 8 minutes longer). It is a very good movie with excellent photography and ambience. It is a very different style compared to what hollywood usually spoon feeds to their audiences, and I loved its mixture of genre.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beast attacks, June 5 2009
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 10 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME)   
Imagine a fairy tale... but with grit, blood, stylized camerawork, and lots of French kung-fu (savate).

That about sums up "Brotherhood of the Wolf," an epic horror/martial-arts/erotic/action movie loosely based on the French legend of the Beast of Gévaudan, but with a chilling story woven around it. Christophe Gans could have given it a bit more character development, but it's a simple flaw in an otherwise terrifying, intense experience.

An enormous, savage wolflike beast is killing young women and children in the French countryside. And so royal naturalist Grégoire de Fronsac (Samuel Le Bihan) and his Native American sidekick Mani (Mark Dacascos) arrive to investigate, and find that the local authorities are incompetant, the Beast is larger than any wolf, and it's still savaging the locals.

Mani and Grégoire set about tracking down the beast, finding it to be too large and intelligent (and with metal fangs too). But something more sinister than animal attacks is going on -- Fronsac uncovers a mysterious, treasonous society connected to the Beast, and a mysterious, seductive courtesan (Monica Belucci) with hidden motives of her own.

It may be based on a real incident, but "Brotherhood of the Wolf" soon takes off into its own storyline, and relishes every minute. And Christophe Gans crams the whole thing with whatever he likes -- horror, action, fantasy, political period drama, romance, sex, and some French martial arts. It's like an old fairy tale mutated into a live-action anime.

And Gans' direction style can include a little of everything too -- he handles rosy-skied romantic scenes with the same dexterity as raw sex scenes, rainy sludge and bloody chases, including the aftermath of the beast's attacks. And he handles the camera just as well, although the style comes as a bit of a shock in a period film -- it zooms down cliffs and through underbrush, rapid-pans, and lingers on the fairy-tale landscapes of the French countryside.

One of the best examples of this is near the beginning, with Mani and Grégoire encountering a pair of gypsies being bullied, and Mani whipping the bullies with savate and a little la canne. It's a wild, dizzying scene, and thoroughly effective in showing these guys as a force to be reckoned with, even with just their feet, hands and sticks. But at the same time, Gans wraps the beginning and end in a sense of poignant regret, as well as certain scenes of loss.

If there's a flaw, it's that the plot and rich direction take up so much time that it's hard to wedge in some character development. Bihan fares pretty well as the inscrutable taxidermist who finds himself involved in this mess, and over the course of the movie, you develop a liking for him and his girlfriend. But it would have been nice if the characters of Mani and Sylvia were explored a bit more than they were -- as it is, Belucci and Dacascos do amazing jobs with their characters, an earthily beautiful agent and a butt-kicking Iroquois.

It took awhile for the deluxe director's cut to arrive, but it was worth it -- extra scenes put back in (including a subplot), interviews with experts on the REAL event, and some wonderfully raw, deglossed documentaries on the making of the movie.

This horror/action/period/French kung-fu flick breaks all the rules, and it's all the more enjoyable for it. A glorious action classic, and a must-see for cult film lovers.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The beast that attacks, May 27 2008
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 10 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME)   
Imagine a fairy tale... but with grit, blood, stylized camerawork, and lots of French kung-fu (savate).

That about sums up "Brotherhood of the Wolf," an epic horror/martial-arts/erotic/action movie loosely based on the French legend of the Beast of Gévaudan, but with a chilling story woven around it. Christophe Gans could have given it a bit more character development, but it's a simple flaw in an otherwise terrifying, intense experience.

An enormous, savage wolflike beast is killing young women and children in the French countryside. And so royal naturalist Grégoire de Fronsac (Samuel Le Bihan) and his Native American sidekick Mani (Mark Dacascos) arrive to investigate, and find that the local authorities are incompetant, the Beast is larger than any wolf, and it's still savaging the locals.

Mani and Grégoire set about tracking down the beast, finding it to be too large and intelligent (and with metal fangs too). But something more sinister than animal attacks is going on -- Fronsac uncovers a mysterious, treasonous society connected to the Beast, and a mysterious, seductive courtesan (Monica Belucci) with hidden motives of her own.

It may be based on a real incident, but "Brotherhood of the Wolf" soon takes off into its own storyline, and relishes every minute. And Christophe Gans crams the whole thing with whatever he likes -- horror, action, fantasy, political period drama, romance, sex, and some French martial arts. It's like an old fairy tale mutated into a live-action anime.

And Gans' direction style can include a little of everything too -- he handles rosy-skied romantic scenes with the same dexterity as raw sex scenes, rainy sludge and bloody chases, including the aftermath of the beast's attacks. And he handles the camera just as well, although the style comes as a bit of a shock in a period film -- it zooms down cliffs and through underbrush, rapid-pans, and lingers on the fairy-tale landscapes of the French countryside.

One of the best examples of this is near the beginning, with Mani and Grégoire encountering a pair of gypsies being bullied, and Mani whipping the bullies with savate and a little la canne. It's a wild, dizzying scene, and thoroughly effective in showing these guys as a force to be reckoned with, even with just their feet, hands and sticks. But at the same time, Gans wraps the beginning and end in a sense of poignant regret, as well as certain scenes of loss.

If there's a flaw, it's that the plot and rich direction take up so much time that it's hard to wedge in some character development. Bihan fares pretty well as the inscrutable taxidermist who finds himself involved in this mess, and over the course of the movie, you develop a liking for him and his girlfriend. But it would have been nice if the characters of Mani and Sylvia were explored a bit more than they were -- as it is, Belucci and Dacascos do amazing jobs with their characters, an earthily beautiful agent and a butt-kicking Iroquois.

This horror/action/period/French kung-fu flick breaks all the rules, and it's all the more enjoyable for it. A glorious action classic, and a must-see for cult film lovers.
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4.0 out of 5 stars unseen beast goes on killing spree in 1776 France(the story may have a kernel or two of truth to it) (3.5/5), Aug. 23 2007
this movie may or may not have been inspired by real events.if it
was,i'm sure a lot was changed for dramatic effect.it takes place in
France during the reign of King Louis XV in 1776.it chronicles the hunt
for a an unseen and unknown beast that has responsible for many deaths
and has paralyzed the citizens with fear.two men with special talent
are dispatched to find and destroy the monster.i won't give any more
away plot wise.however,i will say,this is not a horror movie.that
is,it's not really scary but there is a definite pallor of death
throughout the movie.there is some suspense of sorts in the movie and
fair amount of action,with some great fight scenes.the film also has
it's lighter moments,with some amusing scenes.one knock i have against
this movie,is that the beast was kind of a disappointment to
me.however,i do like the reason given for the killing rampage.i thought
it was kind of unique.the movie is a France/Canada production,so you
can watch it with English subtitles,or you can watch the dubbed
version.i watched the dubbed version and was very impressed with the
quality of that aspect.the dubbing is very good.as for the movie
itself,it clocks in at 162 minutes,but i never found it boring.for
me,"Pacte des loups ,Le",AKA "Brotherhood of the Wolf" is a 3.5/5
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beastly, March 21 2007
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 10 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME)   
This review is from: Brotherhood of the Wolf (DVD)
Imagine a fairy tale... but with grit, blood, stylized camerawork, and lots of French kung-fu.

That about sums up "Brotherhood of the Wolf," a gritty horror/martial-arts/erotic/action movie loosely based on the French legend of the Beast of Gévaudan, but with a chilling story woven around it. Christophe Gans could have given it a bit more character development, but it's a simple flaw in an otherwise horrifying, intense experience.

An enormous, savage wolflike beast is killing young women and children in the French countryside. And so royal naturalist Grégoire de Fronsac (Samuel Le Bihan) and his Native American sidekick Mani (Mark Dacascos) arrive to investigate, and find that the local authorities are incompetant, the Beast is larger than any wolf, and it's still savaging the locals.

Mani and Grégoire set about tracking down the beast, finding it to be too large and intelligent (and with metal fangs too). But something more sinister than animal attacks is going on -- Fronsac uncovers a mysterious, treasonous society connected to the Beast, and a mysterious courtesan (Monica Belucci) with hidden motives.

It may be based on a real incident, but "Brotherhood of the Wolf" soon takes off into its own storyline. And director Gans crams the whole thing with whatever he likes -- horror, action, political period drama, and some French martial arts. It's like an old fairy tale mutated into a live-action anime.

And Gans' direction style can include a little of everything too -- he handles rosy-skied romantic scenes with the same dexterity as raw sex scenes, rainy sludge and bloody chases. And he handles the camera just as well, although the style comes as a bit of a shock in a period film -- it zooms down cliffs and through underbrush, rapid-pans, and lingers on the fairy-tale landscapes of the French countryside.

One of the best examples of this is near the beginning, with Mani and Grégoire encountering a pair of gypsies being bullied, and Mani whipping the bullies with savate and a little la canne. It's a wild, dizzying scene, and thoroughly effective in showing these guys as a force to be reckoned with. But at the same time, Gans wraps the beginning and end in a sense of poignant regret.

If there's a flaw, it's that the plot and rich direction take up so much time that it's hard to wedge in some character development. Bihan fares pretty well as the inscrutable taxidermist, and over the course of the movie, you develop a liking for him and his girlfriend. But it would have been nice if the characters of Mani and Sylvia were explored a bit more than they were -- as it is, Belucci and Dacascos do amazing jobs with their characters.

This horror/action/period/French kung-fu flick breaks all the rules, and it's all the more enjoyable for it. A glorious action classic, and a must-see for cult film lovers.
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