THE FILM

LE PACTE DES LOUPS (Brotherhood of the Wolf, 2001) takes place in
18th century France. A brave young naturalist (Samuel Le Bihan) and his Native American companion (Mark Dacascos) 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...

Inspired by actual events taking place during the reign of King Louis XV, THE BROTHERHOOD OF THE WOLF revisits one of the rare French myths, that of the "Beast of Gevaudan" which killed a number of persons before being vanquished under mysterious circumstances.

For two years, the monstrous Beast had been terrorizing the region of Gevaudan, attacking mostly women and children. It is said to be of colossal size and dragon-like and often rumored of being the devil.  All of France was shaken by these inexplicable killings. 

Delegated by the Royal Court, Gregoire de Fronsac arrives in Gevaudan one autumn night.  His mission is to find the Beast and to eventually destroy it during a hunt.  Strong, spirited, and rational, the young noble horseman is accompanied by the taciturn Mani, a Mohawk Indian that he met in New France during the Seven Years War.  The two are housed at the home of old Marquis D'Apcher's, whose grandson, Thomas, serves as their guide.

During a dinner given in his honor, Fronsac meets Mariane De Morangias along with her brother Jean-Francois (Vincent Cassel), members of the most influential family in the region.  A traveler as well, Jean-Francois lost an arm during a great African hunt. 

While the Beast's attacks multiply as winter arrives, Fronsac is met with animosity from the more influential people of the region.  His interest for Marianne increases, but his liaison with Sylvia (Monica Bellucci), a beautiful but troubled prostitute, doesn't help matters.  The King, unhappy with the lack of progress during the numerous hunts, dispatches his own lieutenant, Antoine de Beauterne, to the region.  No sooner does he arrive to Gevaudan, than he captures a wolf, claiming falsely that he has killed the Beast.  Under the order of the King, Frosnac is forced to participate in this pretense before being allowed to return to Paris.

Braving the King's mandate not to return to Gevaudan, the horseman decides to respond to Thomas D'Apcher plea to organize one last hunt.  This time, Mani will head the hunt, using ancient Shaman techniques.  Nothing will prepare them for what they discover.

 

 
G E N E R A L   C A S T
Directed By: Christophe Gans
Screenplay By: Christophe Gans and Stephane Cabel
Cinematography: Dan Laustsen

Grégoire de Fronsac - Samuel Le Bihan
Jean-François de Morangias - Vincent Cassel
Marianne de Morangias - Emilie Dequenne
Sylvia - Monica Bellucci
Thomas d'Apcher - Jeremie Renier
Mani - Mark Dacascos
Le Comte de Morangias - Jean Yanne
Henri Sardis - Jean-Francois Stevenin
Thomas d'Apcher (old) - Jacques Perrin
Geneviève de Morangias - Edith Scob
Beauterne - Johan Leysen
Laffont - Bernard Farcy
Marquis d'Apcher - Hans Meyer
La Bavarde - Virginie Darmon
Jean Chastel - Philippe Nahon 

Trailer
Summary on imdb.com
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Official site

THE LEGEND

In February 1765, faced with the intensifying situation, the King sent Denneval, famous for his slaying of wolves, to Gevaudan. Denneval was ineffective.  Antoine de Beauterre, the King's Battle Lieutenant, replaced Denneval.  All the tracking and fighting brought absolutely no results - the Beast was still a mystery.

In September 1765, Antoine de Beauterre captured a large wolf.  The attacks stopped and the countryside breathed a sigh of relief.   Then, in 1766, the killings began again.  On June 18, 1767, Jean Chastel, during a search organized by the Marquis d'Apcher, finally caught the Beast.

The Legend of Gevaudan is born.

THE THEORIES

What was the beast that terrorized the northern regions of Lozere between Aubrac and Margeride?  If church records are to be believed about the Beast's identity as well as the date of the killings, it would more closely resemble a mysterious, supernatural force.

However, witness' accounts are subject to interpretation. How do you differentiate between what someone saw (often a child) versus what a person thinks he saw?  Why, in this land inhabited by wolves and their frequent attacks, are these three particular years attributed to a legendary beast?  Without a doubt, this is because it garnered great publicity by Abbot Pourcher. Outside of that, the sheer number of victims was shocking.

What about accounts of the Beast disrobing or speaking into the ear if its victims?  Isn't there something here that could be perversely profitable while feeding the myth of demons and werewolves?

In any case, after the last wolf disappeared if you happen to be taking a stroll in Gevaudan, perhaps you will hear the piercing howl of a wolf...just remember the Beast.

 

 




In 18th century France, a brave young naturalist (Samuel Le Bihan) and his Native American companion (Mark Dacascos) are hired to trace the origins of a bloodthirsty 'beast' which has been terrorizing the French countryside, killing women and children. But their investigations uncover an appalling conspiracy which cuts to the very heart of French high society... (more)

 

 

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 Thank you to Google Images and Gypsie Moon for their great images of the film. Of course thank you to Christophe Gans for directing such a beautiful film and to all of those that were involved in the making of the film.  Not one to forget everybody go give the fanlistings a big old hug for being so ingenious and great.  Copyright 2006. Le Pacte is for entertainment only.