Alternately hard-hitting, hilarious and oddly touching, this documentary by Thomas Rinfret presents a different kind of family saga. His film’s battered but unbroken protagonist is Paul “The Butcher” Vachon, the last living member of a Quebec wrestling dynasty whose members gained renown all over the world. Indeed, The Butcher and his brother “Mad Dog” Maurice were as famous for their bad behaviour inside the ring as they were for the generosity they displayed within the wrestling community for decades. As Rinfret’s film makes clear, all those body slams exacted a high cost on the Vachons, as did the personal struggles and tragedies their fans knew nothing about. With its engaging combination of interviews and archival footage, THE LAST VILLAINS is a deserving and sometimes surprising tribute to these wrestling heroes.
A former member of the Canadian downhill ski team, Thomas Rinfret has travelled the world with his sport – not unlike the Vachon brothers. His passion for visual media dates back to 2001, when Thomas co-founded Pléhouse films, originally dedicated to extreme skiing films. Seven films were thus produced with a worldwide distribution. Thomas innovative approach to the sport and his uniquely human and esthetic vision set his director’s work apart.
In 2008 Thomas then turned to studying documentary at INIS in Montréal (Institut national de l’image et du son). Following this program, he was awarded the Louise Spickler Award recognizing the talent. It was the beginning of a career. The following years were spent directing tv shows at CBC/Radio-Canada and documentaries for Télé-Québec among those, Ma Foi (My Faith) his most personal film to date, all shot with a special camera rig he built to be able to filmed himself, his one-hour documentary received 3 nominations at Gémeaux Awards.
Thomas met Annick Charlebois, his script writting partner back in 2014, on a series called L’Espace d’une Chanson, where Thomas talent for image and music editing was noted by one of the producers that brought him on board to direct his first feature documentary : The Last Villains.