The Nexus of Pop-Culture Fandom

Of Madmen and Wolves: More Obscure Foreign Cinema

Written by: Jimmy Hitt, CC2K Staff Writer


Can you breathe? I can’t breathe. God, fashion will be France’s downfall.

In the interest of keeping my “obscure movie God ” reputation intact, please allow me to briefly recommend two flicks that you may or may not have heard about in the last few years.  Each is based on real, documented events, although the first is far more fantastic in nature than the latter, and the latter makes Tony Montana of Scarface fame look like Nicolas Cage in The Family Man.

The first film you should see immediately is a French film called Brotherhood of the Wolf AKA Le Pacte des Loups.  In 2002 it became the best selling French film of all time and it even did $10 million in business stateside, believe it or not.  Its plot centers on the very real Beast of Gévaudan, a wolf-like animal that terrorized Southwest France for several years during the 18th century.  Tracking the beast is a pair of globetrotting supermen who somehow possess futuristic fighting skills to go with their savoir faire.  You won’t find a more heavily stylized film, and indeed you would be hard-pressed to see another film even remotely similar to Brotherhood of the Wolf; Sleepy Hollow rings a bell but that’s a stretch.  Weaving in bits of history, mystery, and possibly even anime inspired fight choreography, Brotherhood will no doubt challenge even the most seasoned action fans while putting to rest the notion that Les Francais are a bunch of fairies—that is, if Cache didn’t do that already.  What’s that?  You haven’t seen Cache either?  What are you doing on a movie geek website?  


Eric Bana in the Role that made him too big for Australia

Nearly ten times as insane as Brotherhood is the also very real source material for the 2000 film Chopper, starring Eric Bana as Uncle Chop Chop himself.  Based on nearly 10 autobiographical books written by Australia’s Mark Brandon “Chopper” Read, Chopper thrusts the audience into a sliver of its title character’s back-story.  Abandoned by his mother as a child and given electroshock therapy for his violent temper, Chopper Read went on to become the most notorious and feared criminal in Australia’s history.  Think Sin City’s Marv, but real.  He began as a hitman, morphed into a self-employed extortion artist, and eventually worked for the police killing drug dealers (or so he says).  Of course, no written description of any movie, much less Chopper, can do the film or the persona of Chopper justice, you simply must see it for yourself.  In a nutshell, Mark Read is perhaps the best at describing his own personality:

“I'm just a bloody normal bloke. A normal bloke who likes a bit of torture.”

Well said, Chopper…although it’s not like I’m going to disagree with a man who has no ears.  
I highly recommend each of these fascinating films to the general public at large.  But please, do not bring the kids as the content—especially in Chopper, is extremely objectionable.  Maybe that’s why I like it…