Synopsis by Mark Deming
French legend has it that a creature known as the Beast of Gevaudan -- a huge, wolf-like monster -- was responsible for the violent deaths of over 100 persons in the mid-18th century, and this horror fantasy blends the lore of this fabled beast with a story of two men who set out to capture it. After a number of mutilated corpses begin appearing across the French countryside, naturalist Chevalier Gregoire de Fronsac (Samuel Le Bihan) is dispatched by the King to find and capture the animal responsible for the killings. Mani (Mark Dacascos), an Indian from Canada and an experienced hand in the wilds, is hired to assist de Fronsac in his work. Gregoire's assignment earns him the acquaintance of Marianne de Morangias (Emilie Dequenne), the lovely daughter of the idly wealthy Count de Morangias (Jean Yanne), but Gregoire receives a much chillier welcome from her brother Jean-Francois (Vincent Cassel), who, despite having lost an arm to a lion in Africa, is quite the huntsman himself. As Gregoire and Mani arrive in the village of Gevaudan, they're drawn to a local house of prostitution, where the animalistic allure and supernatural powers of Sylvia (Monica Bellucci) prove to have a profound effect on the naive Gregoire. Jim Henson's Creature Shop provided the special-effects expertise for the creation of the Beast of Gevaudan.
beast, killer-animal, wolf, hunting, legend [fable], man-eater, aristocracy, capture, countryside, French [nationality], loyalty, Native-American, naturalist, patriotism, brothel, Kung-Fu, supernatural-powers, cult