Ah, the glory days of ’80s era fantasy films -- where have you gone? The days when loincloths were de rigeur, the violence was shockingly bloody, all sorcerers were evil unless they were blind old men and the women were as pure as virgin snow -- except for the witches. Who were bitches. In these post-Lord of the Rings days, film fantasy has gone all high-brow, so where’s a poor, Beastmaster-loving lad supposed to turn for a dose of adolescent wish fulfillment? The answer, my friends, is Russia. One of the highest budgeted Russian films ever made, Wolfhound is a pure throwback to the good old days, only with much better production values.
The sole surviving member of the Gray Dog clan, the Wolfhound has been living a life focused on revenge. Nursed back to strength by a mystical druid following his escape from a life of subterranean slavery in the cruel mountain mines, he has spent his life in pursuit of the villains who slew his family before his very eyes when he was a child. Now a grown man who makes his way as a paid mercenary, the fierce fighter is swept up into a fight to stop an evil sorcerer from freeing an ancient god of destruction, accompanied only by a blind healer, a young scholar and a beautiful slave.
Within the first ten minutes, Wolfhound gives us multiple impalings, magical fire powder, an earthbound bat, a seemingly all-powerful magical enemy, rape and -- of course -- gratuitous nudity. By the time all’s said and done, we’ll have added a rock monster, a secretive princess forced into marriage, smoke spirits, a healthy dose of hand to hand combat and a heaping helping of betrayal. It all adds up to a truly epic adventure of the type people on these shores seem to have forgotten how to make.
Director: Nikolai Lebedev
Screenplay: Nikolai Lebedev
Cast: Alexander Bukharov
Producers: Ruben Dishdishyan
Distributor: Central Partnership