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French film - original title Le Pacte des Loups - released in 2001.

Very loosely based on the real, historical mystery of "the beast of Gévaudan" - a creature which allegedly killed almost 100 people, most of them women and children, over a three year period in a remote, rural area of France. In the summer of 1764, King Louis XV arranged a great hunt, and a wolf claimed to be the beast was slain, but subsequently more killings took place. "The beast" has never been identified.

The hero of the film is nobleman Grégoire de Fronsac, who's a soldier/scientist/taxidermist recently returned from Colonial America with his Sidekick the wise kung fu Indian Mani.

Fronsac and Mani are quickly enlisted to hunt down the beast and study it. Along the way, they encounter a myserious group of gypsies and a number of French aristocrats who may or may not be behind the beast's attacks. Vincent Cassel plays a one-armed hunting enthusiast who also takes an interest in the beast. Monica Bellucci also stars as a seductive Italian prostitute who is far more than she seems.

Overall, the film is notable for cramming just about every possible genre it can into its rather generous running time. It's a kung fu film, a monster movie, a mystery, a romance, a political thriller and a historical epic all rolled into one great big hodge-podge.


Tropes evident in Brotherhood of the Wolf include:

  • Animal Motifs: Lampshaded by Mani.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: Well, some of them, though this is subverted in the bookends.
  • An Axe to Grind: Mani and his tomahawk
  • Back From the Dead: Played with. Fronsac was presumed death after being poisoned by Sylvia, turns out the effects were just temporary.
  • Badass Longcoat: The greatcoats worn by Fronsac and Mani at the very beginning. The image is used on most promotional material, even though they wear them only for a scene.
  • Badass Native: Mani, a native American Indian who is quite a skilled fighter with his fists and tomahawk.
  • The Baroness: Sylvia
  • The Beast Master: Jean-François, apparently from his time spent in Africa.
  • Bigger Is Better in Bed: Mani.
  • Blade Below the Shoulder: The gypsy men's preferred weapons are long metal claws attached to a handle
  • Brother-Sister Incest: Jean-François and Marianne. It's never quite clear what exactly happens, but he certainly wants it, and presumably she falls deadly ill by the end of the film because he's raped her. Don't worry, though; she gets better.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Or rather, Chekhov's handcrafted silver bullet. Also, the bone-sword, glimpsed briefly in Jean-Francois' occult Room Full of Crazy.
  • Church Militant: Sylvia is actually a spy for the Vatican.
  • Cult: More of a secret society, really. The eponymous Brotherhood of the Wolf is a group of conservative aristocrats seeking to hold on to the old ways by putting the fear of God into the hearts of the commoners by way of highly trained, homicidal beast. From their point of view, perhaps a justifiable plan, seeing as the film ends with aristocratic good guy Thomas d'Apcher - now old, he's been retelling experiences from when he was a young man - being taken to his execution by revolutionaries.
  • Dark Chick: La Bavarde, the epileptic gypsy girl who apparently can't get enough violence.
  • Designated Girl Fight: Sylvia is the one to take out La Bavarde, though Fronsac does kill a number of other gypsy women.
  • Does Not Like Guns: Mani. Tomahawks Are Just Better
  • Dual-Wielding: Fronsac during his Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
  • Everybody Was Kung-Fu Fighting: Fronsac and Mani use a French form of martial arts called Canne De Combat -- stick-fighting mixed with savate. Even still, the action scenes are filmed in an Eastern style, and therefore many audience members found 18th centry Frenchmen "kung fu fighting" to be a bit strange.
  • Fake Nationality: A rather remarkable example--Iroquois Mani is played by Marc Dacascos, who is Filipino, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, and Irish in ancestry.
  • Faking the Dead: Fronsac.
  • Facial Markings: Mani's warpaint.
  • Femme Fatale: Sylvia
  • First-Person Peripheral Narrator: Thomas, Marquis d'Apcher, tells the story of hero Grégoire de Fronsac.
  • Genius Bruiser: Fronsac is both an accomplished soldier as well as one of the best scientists in his field.
  • Genre Shift: More like genre blender, actually.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: Fronsac uses two swords during the climax. Luckily the villain brought his own.
  • Heterosexual Life Partners: Gregoire and Mani
  • High Class Call Girl: Slyvia
  • The Ingenue: Le Comte de Monragias, Jean-Francois and Marianne's father. And one of the few aristocrats who knew nothing about the Cult.
  • Karmic Death: Henri Sardis, creator and leader of the Brotherhood escapes arrest only to be chased down by the pack of wolves.
  • Let's Get Dangerous:
    • While Fronsac is demonstrated to be a tough guy right from the start, Mani seems to be the real muscle of the group. In the third act, however, Fronsac pulls out the stops and basically murders 3/4 of the cast.
    • A villainous example occurs with Jean-François, who spends most of the film as a somewhat foppish, crippled aristocrat who likes guns. In the third act, he reveals that he's not a cripple after all, but a rather hulking bruiser with a sword made from an animal spine.
  • Love Interest: Marianne.
  • Magical Native American: Mani has an air of mysticism about him, and seems to have some sort of psychic connection with a wolf.
  • Malevolent Masked Men: The conspirators wear red cloaks and masks.
  • Mercy Kill: Fronsac, towards the Beast
  • Mook Chivalry
  • Ms. Fanservice: Monica Bellucci once again displays her willingness to disrobe. No one complains.
  • Ninja Pirate Robot Zombie: Fronsac and Mani.
  • Non-Malicious Monster: the Beast is actually a big lion disguised as a monster with metal spikes and shards by the Brotherhood members and trained to scare and/or kill the villagers. But the Brotherhood are the real Beasts and not the Beast itself.
  • Obfuscating Disability: Jean-François.
  • Of Corsets Sexy
  • Pimped-Out Dress: Justified in that we're moving among mid-18th century French aristocrats.
  • The Reveal: Jean-François didn't lose his arm in a hunting accident. It just got badly mangled, and he's had it tied behind his back pretending to be crippled ever since, probably to throw the scent off his trail as the enforcer of the Brotherhood.
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: The story is bookended with an older Thomas d'Apacher, a good-hearted aristocrat, about to be killed by a revolutionary mob.
  • Right Through His Pants: Fronsac with Sylvia.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Fronsac after Mani is killed.
  • Scary Impractical Armor: The Beast wears armor covered in bone and metal spikes that is simply there to make it appear more monstrous. The armor doesn't appear to hinder its movements, however.
  • Scenery Porn: Both played straight (the set designs are gorgeous), and with a bit of a pun (the naked form of Monica Bellucci forms a couple of the hills in a lingering outdoor shot).
  • Shout-Out: The Whip Sword is lifted directly from Soul Calibur
  • Silver Bullet: Autographed, no less.
  • Sinister Minister: More subtle than most examples, but Henri Sardis certainly qualifies.
  • Slashed Throat
  • The Wise Prince: Thomas, Marquis d'Apacher, one of the few aristocrats that fully trusts Fronsac and who sees Mani as a person, and not as an indian. It's possible that this is why the other aristocrats never considered him to join their cult.
  • Took a Level In Badass: Fronsac after Mani is killed. Or at least, it seems that way from the point of the view of the rest of the characters, since up until then Fronsac had been content to let Mani handle Badass duty. It turns out he was just as Badass as Mani all along, if not more so, and when properly motivated he plows a path of utter destruction that makes a viewer wonder what he even kept Mani around for at all.
  • Too Kinky to Torture
  • Tsundere: Marianne
  • Very Loosely Based on a True Story: The Beast of Gevaudan is the name given to a man-eating wolf-like creature that terrorized the the province of Gevaudan from 1764 to 1767. Suffice to say, the director and the screenplay writers took plenty of liberties on the story.
  • Werewolf: Not really, but the Gevadaun myth is so often associated with werewolves that the movie must at least play with this trope in passing.
  • Whip Sword
  • Would Hit a Girl: Mani and Fronsac don't have much of a problem fighting the female gypsies. Except La Bavarde, the woman they saved when they first arrived into town. This ends up costing Mani his life.
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