The Crime Epics of Louis Feuillade
May 31, 2013 1:37 PM   Subscribe

The Vampires, a secret federation of thieves and killers, rule the Paris underworld through intimidation, murder, and a certain diabolic je ne sais quoi. After the headless body of the police inspector in charge of the Vampire investigation turns up in a swamp, dauntless reporter Philipe Guérande steps up his efforts to bring the gang to justice. But is he equal to the schemes of the protean Grand Vampire and his lieutenant, the cat burglar, assassin, and sometime torch singer called Irma Vep? And can anyone hope to prevail against the rogue criminal Moréno and the unearthly power of his gaze?
Les Vampires (1915-1916), Louis Feuillade's six and a half hour film serial, still communicates the nerve, pace, and delirium that inspired Lang, Hitchcock, Assayas and Maddin. Here are all ten episodes of this "supreme delight of cinema." Three more of Feuillade's best serials wait below the cut.

Fantômas (1913-1914)
A daring theft in the Royal Palace Hotel proclaims the reign of Fantômas—master criminal, pitiless assassin, the terror with a hundred names! (Based on the book series by Allain and Souvestre.)
I: "In the Shadow of the Guillotine"
II: "Juve versus Fantômas"
III: "The Death That Kills"
IV: "Fantômas versus Fantômas"
V: "The False Magistrate"

Judex (1916)
The enigmatic avenger Judex, resplendent in cape and slouch hat, has planned an ambitious program of retribution against the corrupt banker Favraux. But when a pair of international criminals launch their vicious counterplot, not even the aid of Judex's circus folk allies and his pack of ludicrously well-trained dogs may be enough to win the day!
["Prologue" unavailable]
I: "The Mysterious Shadow" [part 2]
II: "Retribution" [part 2]
III: "The Fantastic Dog Pack" [part 2] [part 3]
IV: "The Secret of the Tomb" [part 2]
V: "The Tragic Mill" [part 2]
VI: "The Licorice Kid" [part 2]
VII: "The Woman in Black" [part 2]
VIII: "The Underground Passages of the Chateau-Rouge" [part 2]
IX: "When the Child Appeared" [part 2]
[Episodes 10 through 12 unavailable]
Bonus: Judex, Georges Franju's 1963 feature-length remake.

Tih-Minh (1918)
A feverish dream of treasures, revengers, mesmerists, pursuits, escapes, disguises, and betrayals; a great favorite with Rosenbaum and fellow Feuillade fanboy Edward Gorey. The complete serial is infamously rare, but an unrestored five and a half hour cut exists on YouTube.

(Feuillade previously)
posted by Iridic (12 comments total) 82 users marked this as a favorite
Fabulous! Thank you!
posted by Marauding Ennui at 1:52 PM on May 31, 2013

There goes my weekend, thanks.
posted by senseofsurreal at 2:18 PM on May 31, 2013 [2 favorites]

I feel like I cannot comment until I have watched every one of those links in full! Joking aside, thank for compiling these.

Looks like Les Vampires has been released on blu-ray by Kino Lorber. There goes my pocket money.
posted by dumdidumdum at 3:01 PM on May 31, 2013

One of these episodes is used as source material for a witch house video.
posted by adipocere at 3:02 PM on May 31, 2013

Let us not forget the very meta film, Irma Vep, with Maggie Cheung playing herself, playing Irma Vep. May I say, that Maggie Cheung would have made a kick ass Irma Vep.
posted by jadepearl at 4:10 PM on May 31, 2013 [2 favorites]

I have this on blu-ray, but I'm waiting until summer vacation starts to watch it. Really looking forward to it.
posted by Huck500 at 4:36 PM on May 31, 2013 [1 favorite]

Wow. Many thanks.
posted by languagehat at 5:04 PM on May 31, 2013

Whep I know what I'm calling my next gang. We even got a uniform; black cat suits are sexy.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 7:55 PM on May 31, 2013

Thanks - this looks fantastic.
posted by misterbee at 7:27 PM on June 1, 2013

This is my favorite post ever.
posted by overhauser at 7:34 PM on June 1, 2013

A great post, thanks for putting all these links in one place. If you are looking for some notes to crib from while wading through all of this you might be interested in:

a summary of feuillade's movies and recurring themes

"how to watch fantomas and why" for the fantomas movies in particular

also the film mentioned in the article about Gorey was I Topi Grigi by Emilio Ghione which was part of his Za La Mort series, which was in many way similar to the Judex films.

Kino Lorber has some more Feuillade films in its Gaumont Treasures collection
posted by Perfectibilist at 9:01 PM on June 1, 2013 [2 favorites]

also lots of these are available on for download in various forms. Though I think the copyright status of the Gaumont videos would be a bit dubious since they have translated the dialog cards and added tinting and the like.
posted by Perfectibilist at 9:24 PM on June 1, 2013

« Older Well, if he had three good legs, I'd consider him.   |   #occupygezi Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments