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DVD: Brotherhood of the Wolf / Pacte des loups, Le (2001) - U.S. Version
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1 (NTSC)

October 1, 2002



Genre: Supernatural Horror  
A small village is terrorized by a wolf-like creature, local folklore, and an indifferent upper class in pre-Revolution France.  



Directed by:

Christophe Gans

Screenplay by: Stephane Cabel, Christophe Gans
Music by: Joseph LoDuca
Produced by: Samuel Hadida, Richard Grandpierre

Samuel Le Bihan, Vincent Cassel, Emilie Dequenne, Monica Bellucci, Jeremie Renier, Mark Dacascos, Jean Yanne, Jean-Francois Stevenin, and Jacques Perrin.

Film Length: 144 mins
Process/Ratio: 2.35 :1
Anamorphic DVD: Yes
Languages:   Dolby English 5.1, Dolby French 5.1
Subtitles:   English and Spanish
Special Features :  

Deleted Scenes (40:00) / Cast & Filmmaker Bios (7) / Production Notes / US Theatrical Trailer

Comments :

While fans of the film have been focusing on the 3-disc Canadian edition from TVA, which ports over the contents of the original French video release, Universal's U.S. disc still offers a decent selection of supplemental material.

Boasting a fine 2.35:1 anamorphic transfer, the disc auto-defaults to the English dub track; both the dubbed English and original French language tracks contain the same robust 5.1 mix, with great sound effects and a stirring score from "Evil Dead" and "Xena" composer Joseph LoDuca.

Universal's DVD contains the slightly shorter American cut, and adds a few extras not on the TVA and French discs.

The deleted scenes gallery is identical to the TVA version, with director Gans providing intro explanations of his editorial decisions, and the whole session ending with a brief collection of trims set to Lo Duca's score. Unlike the chapter-indexed TVA edition, Universal chose to present the section as one big wad, leaving viewers to do some shuttling between sequences.

Unique to the Universal disc are the following:

Basic but informative Cast & Filmmaker Bios cover stars Samuel Le Bihan, Vincent Cassel, Emilie Dequenne, Monica Belucci; co-stars Jeremie Renier, Mark Dacascos; and director Christophe Gans. The lot function as pleasant intros to the largely French cast with which many Americans may not be familiar.

While the deluxe TVA release is outstanding, a similar set of cast bios would have provided a nice intro to the actors, given much of the supplemental material focuses on production details. In turn, Universal chose to distil the basic production facts, and arrange them in an additional informative Production Notes section

The included trailer is for U.S. release, and it follows the typical formula for a foreign import: choice imagery, no dialogue (screaming, its own borderless language, is always o.k.), and English narration that essentially breaks down the story basics, while preserving the film's mystery, capping it off with a 'Universal presents' note concerning this 'French sensation.'


© 2002 Mark R. Hasan

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