The Covenant

Crimes

• Turning the story of five teenage boy-witches into a flagrantly homoerotic episode of Charmed

• Creating gothic atmosphere through a constant, almost Biblical barrage of thunderstorms

•Allowing the line "How 'bout I make you my wee-yotch?!" to make it through every stage of production

Defender: Director Renny Harlin

Tone of commentary: Extremely technical. Harlin never fails to point out the numerous CGI tricks and post-production "bleach bypass processing" that made even the simplest scene possible, which might explain why the non-technical aspects of his films (the story, the dialogue, the performances) are so mismanaged.

What went wrong: Making Montreal in the dead of winter seem like New England in late summer wasn't always easy, particularly in an opening beach-party scene where Harlin tried to keep the freezing extras happy in sub-zero temperatures by passing out free T-shirts and DVDs as "prizes." Harlin tried and failed to use trained hyenas for Exorcist: The Beginning, and here, he found trained spiders just as undisciplined. The experiment ended when "a spider bit my assistant and went under the sofa for the rest of the production."

Comments on the cast: Harlin praises every member of his unseasoned cast, though mainly for their sculpted bodies. ("Can we say 'abs'?! Look at those guys!") For a scene in which a boy-witch lifts a young woman's skirt to reveal her lack of undergarments, Harlin describes a "bizarre day" that he spent in his office where he considered about 40 girls for the part, presumably to determine which one had the nicest ass. ("I finally found a girl that fit the part, and I hope you'll agree that she did a really good job.") He's also pleased to point out that he's an "equal-opportunity nude displayer."

Inevitable dash of pretension: Harlin shows off his extensive research into Celtic engravings and symbols, even while acknowledging that "maybe one [person] in a million will notice" all the details he put in the background.

Commentary in a nutshell: "We decided that training spiders wasn't the smartest thing."

Filed Under: DVD

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