THE LAST VILLAINS
starring MAD DOG
& THE BUTCHER
★ ★ ★ ★
Journal de Montréal
★ ★ ★ ★
“A remarkable movie. Funny,
- Robert Lepage
Some stories in life are so extraordinary, it’s hard to believe they could possibly be true.
Alternately hard-hitting, grin-inducing and heart-wrenching, this tall tale of a documentary presents a different kind of family saga, unfolding chapter by chapter in true storybook fashion. The film’s battered but unbroken protagonist is Paul “The Butcher” Vachon, the last living member of a Canadian wrestling dynasty whose members have been loved and hated in equal measure by fans around the world for decades.
Director Thomas Rinfret followed Paul, camera in hand, for four years, crisscrossing North America along the way, as Paul delivered a jaw-dropping first-person account of his wrestling feats of yesteryear and his many outlandish adventures during the course of a life that has been anything but humdrum.
The Last Villains draws a touching parallel between the extravagant tales of Paul’s early years as a powerhouse on the pro wrestling circuit and his much frailer present-day life, clutching on to the last vestiges of a nomadic existence and the freedom it has afforded him.
At 80 years old, he and his third wife live in their modest trailer, travelling to fairs and festivals and selling memorabilia and other knickknacks to get by. For Paul, these events are little more than an excuse to meet his ardent fans as he peddles his autobiographical accounts of his glory days.
Shot in cinéma vérité style, The Last Villains is a film about love, about family, and about life and death. The film enthralls, engrosses and exhilarates with over-the-top stories from Paul “The Butcher” Vachon, while simultaneously exploring the deeper emotional dimensions of his life. It is a film of contrast and authenticity, going far beyond what you would expect from a wrestling documentary – or any documentary for that matter.
THE NEXT STEP
In September 2019, Les derniers vilains was released in French in Eastern Canada. Audiences and critics alike immediately fell in love with the film and its protagonist, Paul “The Butcher” Vachon. (See media coverage)
Raised in a small French-speaking town in eastern Quebec, Paul went on to live most of his life in English. He speaks with candour and humour in either language, and the interviews for the film were conducted in both so people could hear his stories straight from the source.
While editing Les derniers vilains, we had to make the heartbreaking decision to put aside some of the best English footage to maximize the French content for the target audience. But now we are ready to move on to the next and eagerly anticipated chapter of Les derniers vilains: a “no holds barred” version of the epic story of the Vachon wrestling family, only this time in English.
The existing structure of Les derniers vilains will be maintained, and the narration that drives the movie will be translated and recorded in English. We will then incorporate it and the original English footage into the structure. The final version will be about 85% in English. Some French material will remain given its narrative relevance. (Similarly, about 30% of the French version was in English as it was simply too good to leave out.) With these changes, Les derniers vilains will be transformed into The Last Villains, an original English documentary, while keeping all the creative elements that have made the French version a success.
The Last Villains will be geared toward a worldwide market, including audiences who fondly remember the bygone era when Maurice “Mad Dog” Vachon and his little brother, Paul “The Butcher” Vachon, ruled the ring.