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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Dan Candy's Law" or "Le tonnerre rouge")


directed by Claude Fournier
Canada 1974


Based on a true story, mountie Dan Candy (Donald Sutherland, DON'T LOOK NOW) swears to track down the Cree Indian Almighty Voice (Gordon Tootoosis, LEGENDS OF THE FALL) - arrested for slaughtering one of his own cows for food without the permission of the colonial government - who killed his friend Malcolm (Kevin McCarthy, INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS). When his superior Inspector Brisebois (Jean Duceppe, MON ONCLE ANTOINE) will not spare more men and resources, Dan takes off on his own, hunting Almighty Voice and his pregnant wife Small Face (Ernestine Gamble) across snowy landscapes from outpost to outpost, and repeatedly encountering Sounding Sky (Chief Dan George, LITTLE BIG MAN) who neither helps nor hinders his quest. When Small Face gives birth, however, Almighty Voice goes on the offensive and starts hunting Dan. In a move to placate the townspeople, Brisebois puts a price on Alimighty Voice's head and Dan fears that a bunch of bounty hunters will prevent him from apprehending Almighty Voice alive. Dan tracks Almighty Voice and a few other Cree to a stretch of forest, but the intervention of Brisebois and forty mounties (and a canon) threatens to turn the standoff into a circus as well as a massacre. Francine Racette (FOUR FLIES ON GREY VELVET) plays Malcolm's widow and John Boylan (Chabrol's BLOOD RELATIVES) plays one of Dan's concerned colleagues. It may be that the Quebec-native director (who also photographed the film) was less comfortable with English, or that he was more concerned with the look of the actors and the settings, but ALIEN THUNDER (aka DAN CANDY'S LAW) is an extremely uneven experience. Shot-through with painterly landscape shots and chiaroscuro interiors scenes as if attempting to take after McCABE & MRS. MILLER while anticipating DAYS OF HEAVEN, ALIEN THUNDER pays only lip-service to its necessary exposition without conviction. Its action scenes lack suspense and its dramatic scenes lack resonance. Donald Sutherland's performance is ludicrously all over the place (including some downright embarrassing line readings) as if he was given little direction and Duceppe is wooden (Racette is marginally better, although neither may have been comfortable acting in English). Tootoosis and Chief Dan George come across the best, but they are not required to do any more than be wise and ambiguous, as per the script's cardboard characterization. George Delerue's spare but beautiful score tries to sweep us up in the flow of the beautiful images, but the editing is choppy (making several transitions seem like reel change points in their abruptness).

Eric Cotenas


Theatrical Release: 22 February 1974 (Canada)

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DVD Review: Scorpion Releasing - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

DVD Box Cover

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Scorpion Releasing

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:32:03

2.32:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.61 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono
Subtitles none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Scorpion Releasing

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.32:1

Edition Details:

DVD Release Date:  June 28th, 2011

Chapters 12





A public domain DVD staple in its cut, panned-and-scanned version under the title DAN CANDY'S LAW, this Cinerama Releasing pick-up has finally been restored to its Panavision dimensions (and its original title) in this anamorphic, progressive, single-layer edition from Scorpion Releasing. Compositions seem tight (almost zoomed in on occasion), but I am unsure if that is the case.

Say what you want about the film, the HD-mastered image is as gorgeous as the cinematography and the mono audio in good shape, vividly rendering George Delerue's score and the sound effects. There are no extras other than trailers for two other Canadian titles released by Scorpion (and a third British one).

  - Eric Cotenas


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Scorpion Releasing

Region 0 - NTSC


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