Monday, 24 January 2011

The Hair of the Beast / Le poil de la bête (DVD Review)

Courtesy of eOne Films

Dir: Philippe Gagnon (Dans une galaxie près de chez vous 2)
Cast: Guillaume Lemay-Thivierge, Viviane Audet, Antoine Bertrand, Mirianne Brulé, Gilles Renaud, Patrice Robitaille, Marc Beaupré
Canada, 2010

Reason to see: Werewolf films are always a go for me, but the fact that this is a historically set Canadian werewolf film had me over the moon (howl!)

I was absolutely beside myself reading the description of The Hair of the Beast / Le poil de la bête. A historically werewolf film set in New France? Plus romantic undertones and obviously it just had to be Canadian. I was totally ready to check this one out.

Set in 1665 New France, we follow petty criminal Joseph Côté (Guillaume Lemay-Thivierge) through his morally grey although mostly legal misadventures which lead him to takes refuge in the seigneury of Beaufort, where many women are anticipated to arrive as "daughters of the king". The women who are waiting to become wives aren't always treated that well and even given the time it feels simply bizarre to see them excited about meeting strangers to marry, but alas, given the historical setting and specific context it's easier to take. The time period also lends the film to have great costumes and rich art direction.

Of course, being a werewolf film we are going to need some furry creature action and therefore it is set during the full moon and before long there are werewolf attacks after Joseph Côté's arrival. The attacks are only threatening the residents but also the women who have arrived including sisters Marie & Sophie Labotte (Viviane Audet & Mirianne Brulé) whom are looking to catch the eyes of the sons of de Beauport and secure marriages.

As a werewolf film, I wanted more wolf-ness, although after seeing many, many werewolf films for the Wolfathon that does appear to be to be pretty norm for the course that the furry fellas only come out to play on a few occasions. But, as a historically set film with both romantic and horror tones to it, I enjoyed The Hair of the Beast / Le poil de la bête.

DVD Extras (French only):
  • Making of Les Coulissses du Fantastique (42 minutes) extensive making of including film clips, behind the scenes, costume creation and a fair amount about the created and modified effects for the werewolf-ness, I found them fun to watch even though they were in all French. Also includes interviews with several members of the production team and cast.
  • Segments with Cast (12 segments each up to 1 minute each)
  • Behind the Scenes Segments (6 segments of behind the scenes footage, 19 minutes)
  • Trailer

The Hair of the Beast / Le poil de la bête is available on DVD as of January 25, 2011. Check it out over at

Shannon's Overall View:
I enjoyed it
I'd watch it again
I'd recommend it for fans of historical drama with horror elements

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© Shannon Ridler, 2011

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