Paris, 1830: Vidocq is killed by a mirror masked man. A thief turned investigator, he was working on a case of men hit by lightning, burning up. A beautiful woman was involved. After Vidocq's death, his biographer tries to solve the case.
In 1764 something was stalking the mountains of central France. A 'beast' that pounced on humans and animals with terrible ferocity. Indeed they beast became so notorious that the King of France dispatched envoys to find out what was happening and to kill the creature. By the end, the Beast of Gevaudan had killed over 100 people.To this day, no one is entirely sure what it was, a wolf? a hyena? or something supernatural? The Beast is a popular myth in France, albeit one rooted firmly in reality; somewhat surprisingly it is little known to the outside world, and perhaps incredibly it has never been made into a movie. Until now. Based on the true story of the Beast of the Gevaudan that terrorized France in the eighteenth century, the movie aims to tell first and explain afterwards. In the first part, a special envoy of the King of France, altogether biologist, explorer and philosopher, arrives in the Gevaudan region, in the mountainous central part of France. The Beast has been ...Written by
Universal Pictures paid $2 million for the rights to distribute this movie in the United States, and this movie went on grossing $11.2 million in limited theatrical release in the United States, making it the second-highest-grossing French-language movie in the United States since 1980 (this movie also did brisk video and DVD sales in the United States). See more »
Mani would not have been called a "Mohawk", even by the Chevalier De Fronsac, as this tribe had not yet been granted this official unique name. In French, he would have been called an "Agnier", "Iroquois" or simply "Indian". See more »
A third version of the film was released theatrically and on DVD in the UK. In this version all the scenes involving the Royal Hunter (Bauterne) are removed - his character is referred to, but never seen. This includes the removal of the following scenes:
The entire elaborate arrival of Bauterne is removed.
The scene with Bauterne in the bath telling the Chevalier that he is no longer required and then attempting to seduce an unwilling female servant.
The scene where Chevalier is ordered to use his skills to make an ordinary dead wolf killed by Bauterne look like the beast, and the following scenes where he does so.
The scenes where the fake 'beast' is presented to the Royal court and the ensuing discussion are all removed. Later DVD editions (2007 onwards) re-inserted these scenes.
Greatly entertaining and deeply stupid "potage a l'aventure"
They threw everything in the pot on this one -- oversized mysterious woman-eating beast, Machiavellian court intrigue, religious espionage, hot enigmatic gypsies and even hotter enigmatic Italian prostitutes, a rakish knight accompanied by a jujitsu-master "Peau-Rouge" (it appears, in fact, that martial arts instruction for both sexes was de rigueur in 18th-century provincial France), life-saving potions, conspiracy paranoia, incest, racial intolerance, amputees, bizarre weaponry, several cans of Whup-Ass, and a little French revolution tossed in for seasoning. And I've left out a lot. A ludicrous popcorn movie that should be very very bad but is redeemed by sheer reckless enthusiasm (the tone is demonstrated by our martial-arts Iroquois shaking out his long black tresses in Miss Clairol slow-motion). If it seemed fun, they threw it in. Check your brain at the door and enjoy The Dissolve - a cut so ridiculous and juvenile it has become an instant classic.
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