Les Vampires (1915)
Critic Reviews for Les Vampires
Louis Feuillade's extraordinary ten-part silent serial of 1916, running just under eight hours, is one of the supreme delights of film.
It's possible to overstate the extent to which all this is a bunch of fun: if shown, as it often is, in one great unnatural marathon, it can be sheer torture.
There's an excitement to the action, the suspense, the gothic look and the performances that makes it far more gripping than you'd expect a 100-year-old, seven-hour film to be.
A cracking good story...in those wonderful moments where Musidora's kohl-marked face stares right out of the screen and into your soul, it's terribly perfect.
The elaborate production, written and directed by Louis Feuillade, is an epic modern crime thriller, the precursor to many of today's multi-million dollar action films.
Audience Reviews for Les Vampires
At a total length of well more than six hours, this series is not for everyone except the true die hard fans and academics of early cinema.
Mercifully broken into 10 parts, Les Vampires would have been better if, instead of "Irma Vep", "Vampire" had been rearranged to spell "Ima Perv". That notwithstanding, I was slightly disappointed to realize there were no real vampires involved (oh, spoiler alert maybe), rather just a gang of people committing crimes calling themselves "The Vampires." For 6 hours and 39 minutes. It took me over a week to get through all 10 parts, it was like a chore. But it gets bonus points for being from 1915, before any of the otherwise familiar elements seen in the movie technically ever existed. This doesn't mean it holds up that well in my book, but I do give it marks for originality.
Not just one movie, it's about ten. Louis Feulliade's Les Vampires was a milestone of film making, even if it's vastly unknown and under-appreciated today. Find it, you won't be disappointed.
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