TAD ’07: Wolfhound

Posted: November 4, 2007 in Film Reviews, Toronto After Dark Film Festival
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Fantasy films are now in the business of grand illusions, overflowing with CGI monsters and epic budgets to match their tales. At least Russia remembers how it used to be.

Wolfhound is a throwback to the captivating fantasy films of the 1980’s, such as Beastmaster and Conan the Barbarian. They share similar character types and simple plots of good versus evil.

Wolfhound is the only remaining survivor of the Grey Dog Clan. As a child he watched a masked villain with a wolf tattoo slaughter his parents and destroy his village. He was taken to be a slave in the treacherous mountain mines but eventually won his freedom, leaving with an injured fruit bat as his companion. Now grown and ready for battle, he hunts the murderers fulfilling his vow of revenge. Along his journey a slave girl, blind healer and young scholar join him on his travels. As his path crosses with a virtuous princess, he swears to protect her life with his own in an attempt to lure the object of his wrath.

The adventure takes the characters through haunted woods and dangerous terrain. The scenery is standard but no less charming, as they cross through valleys, by rivers and through mountains. In a world of sorcery, magicks are used for good and evil, to cure and to kill. The representations of these occurrences range from warm glows to mysterious fogs to laser-like swords.

The battles involve comprehensible numbers and distinct swordplay. It is expected Wolfhound will best anyone he fights but it is still engaging.
This type of film is like an extended, larger-than-life fairy tale – it requires a suspension of belief and a desire to enjoy.

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