Les Vampires - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Les Vampires Reviews

Page 1 of 5
July 31, 2017
So the film has great characters, story, atmosphere, music, and camerawork. What's the problem? For many, it comes down to the length of the picture. I'm a firm believer that a film being long is not an automatic flaw. I'd be down to watch a 20-hour epic if it managed to hold my attention through all 20 hours. Unfortunately Les Vampires fails to do that. The cinematic moments are fantastic, breathtaking even, but they are scattered throughout the seven hour runtime. The final three parts slow down to an unbearable crawl (honestly, I almost gave up on this), and the conclusion is not noteworthy enough to justify the build up. It's a product of its time for better or worse.
½ February 4, 2017
Before graphic novels, or television, there was LES VAMPIRES.
November 1, 2015
Tarantino put the poster of Les Vampires at the Parisian cinema of Inglorious Basterds. This wildly-acclaimed masterpiece definitely has its status in the history of cinema.

The narration of this series of silent films was really outstanding, only to be outperformed by its intriguing storyline, which was conjured one whole century ago. Respects.

I gave Irma Vep (1996) the same rating as this, but whatever. Apples and oranges.

20151015 @ Anthology.
April 20, 2015
Amazing. Musidora is probably the first movie star worthy of the title.
January 1, 2015
A crime thriller about a gang of no-gooders in France and the reporter trying to bring them to justice. Of course, they take his interest personally, so for nearly seven hours they attempt to murder him, his mother, his finance, and other people in his life.

Les Vampires is considered a masterpiece because it influenced so many directors in the years that followed, including those of the German Expressionist movement and later work in American horror, gangster, crime thriller and film noir. By modern standards, the basics are here, including basic camera work like the occasional pan and fixing the camera to a moving platform like a car. In the earlier episodes of this 10-part serial, the acting is restrained; things get more dramatic by the end. I enjoyed the earlier parts the best, mostly because they were compact and generally under 30-minutes. The later parts that stretched to nearly an hour became tedious, so I had to watch them over several nights. One of the problems is that the plot becomes increasingly dependent on fantastic elements, including science fiction and hypnotism.

The acting is, well, hard to judge, but seemed fine especially in the earlier chapters. Comic relieve was provided by the character Oscar-Cloud Mazamette and his tiny son, Eustache Mazamette. Édouard Mathé as the "crack newspaper writer" Philipe Guérande was generally mild-mannered, except for moments of humor and slapstick with Mazamette. The various Grand Vampires (the gang leaders) were sufficiently evil.

The standout, of course, was Musidora as the femme fatale Irma Vep. Diabolical and seemingly indestructible, she vamps her way through the events and apparently became a fan favorite.

One downside of many silent films restored for modern audiences is the music, and Les Vampires is no different. I heard two different versions of music, one that was monotonous and another that was too busy and electronic.
June 7, 2014
Rather than a 60-95 minutes feature, Les Vampires consists of 10 parts which total to 6 hours and 30 minutes. Fortunately not all 10 parts are required at one time. Each part consists of different stories which all fall under an overall arc regarding a criminal gang known as The Vampires. It's an interesting idea that fans of the silent film era would love. However, for those who prefer their features with a bit of dialogue may struggle to get through it.
The first part starts off fairly well. Through the use of movement and suitable dialogue slides, it is easy to understand the story from start to finish. Characters are distinguishable from one another and the environment sets the scene. Unfortunately, from what started off with an interesting lead eventually ended in an conclusion which was a bit of a let down. As you work through each part, you will notice many similarities between the sets, characters and the plot to the point that you struggle to keep interested. By the time you reach the end of the tenth part, you are just relieved that it has ended.
However, if I must praise Les Vampires for anything it would be the decision to tint the screen different colours. Rather than keep the screen a standard colour, it switches to reflect the time or the day and the mood. Whilst this is still confusing at times, it is a little idea that I thought was nice to see.
If shortened down from the epic running time, it might have more of a chance to impress. A 6 hour serial could have worked, it just doesn't have enough in it past the second part to impress me personally. However, I can't deny that it has been made well for the early years of cinema.
April 27, 2014
Película #998: Una de las primeras series que en el ámbito cinematográfico y uno de los primeros thrillers de los que se tiene memoria, con más de 6 horas de duración y durante 10 partes nos muestra el enfrentamiento entre un periodista y una banda criminal llamada "los vampiros".
April 5, 2014
Louis Feuillade's astonishing 6+ hour silent film, divided into ten chapters, ranks among the masterful pleasures of cinema - complex, mysterious, and damn good fun.
½ November 7, 2013
Worth the seven hours.
½ October 6, 2013
After watching the first episode and reading the other reviews, i have decided not to continue with this.
½ August 14, 2013
For a 7 1/2 hour silent film serial seen nearly 100 years later, its striking major accomplishment is that it is fun. An intrepid reporter and his wacky friend Mazamette chase the evil criminal gang The Vampires through 10 episodes full of secret doors, letters with invisible ink, poison gas (or poison champagne), kidnappings, robberies, incredible stunts, and general mayhem. Feuillade never moves his camera (although he does cut frequently within scenes) but within the scene there is movement, deep focus, and a great use of framing. To this eye, it is modern enough, in technique and story, that I'm ready to start a conspiracy that it is a faux silent film (actually directed by Kubrick, taking a break from directing the moon landing for NASA).
½ October 16, 2012
While luck is on the side of the squeaky clean heroes, the audiences sympathies may well be directed to the villains in this early serial following the criminak exploits of Les Vampires and their muse, the original Irma Vep. Good fun, but it would have been interesting to see the audience reaction at the time.
½ May 19, 2012
Super-cool serial film that's nearly one-hundred years old.
April 11, 2012
very intresting movie..........
April 5, 2012
I was fooled by the image of woman with dark eyes and teeth showing into thinking this was an early silent horror film, made before Nosferatu, but I still liked it even though it wasn't. Basically it is a six hour thirty-nine minute serial, a long film split into ten parts.great fun if it weren't so unnecessarily long. Like early pulp fiction its nonstop use of dastardly doings, devious schemes, and nasty devices may keep you coming back for the next episode time and time again (same bat time, same bat channel) but the plot will probably slow you down in the end. I really enjoyed Les Vampires though, it rockets along and is great fun. If you enjoy silent films I would definitely recommend watching this
½ March 19, 2012
The only criticism I have for this brilliant brilliant crime epic is that after a while the sets get a little samey.
February 24, 2012
I love vampire movies.
February 23, 2012
â~Les Vampiresâ(TM) is a 399-minute film (or rather film serial) broken into ten pieces, following the story of a mysterious gang that also gives the film its title. Working for good to stop these crooks are reporter Phillipe Guerande (Edouard Mathe) and his friend Oscar Mazamette (Marcel Levesque). What unfolds is a marathon of fast paced, whimsical set pieces with brilliant scope and daring experimentation. Showcasing everything from mysterious gothic costuming to one of filmâ(TM)s first buddy action adventures, stunning sets and wild camera work, writer/director Louis Feuilladeâ(TM)s film is a groundbreaking piece that is unconstrained by the conventions of modern cinema. The most obvious example of this is the format in which it is presented. The ten segments range from 15 to 60 minutes in length, hardly offering the consistency of even a modern mini series, and well beyond the two, or even three hour length of nearly all of todayâ(TM)s longest features. This inclusion of segments makes it a much less daunting beast to tackle, offering new arcs and small closures to break down the mammoth runtime. The result is surprisingly fast-paced storytelling that is also boosted by the varying lengths of each little arc, which supply a spontaneity and energy void of unwanted filler in the name of uniformity. The total length allows for thorough, intriguing character developments and the promise that leads can happily switch sides and loyalties throughout, avoiding any explanatory monologues or jumps in logic that might compress such developments. All in all, itâ(TM)s an epic given in small, elaborate chapters, which is pleasing in its grand effect thanks largely to the buddy film at the heart of the investigation and some stunning, and (from a modern sensibility) wonderfully stylized special effects work. This is one of the more relatable, timeless, and satisfying silent films Iâ(TM)ve seen, and its constructs and stories are so active even today, that for all its aged aspects it remains relevant. Sure it is long, but as with long airplane rides, properly broken up and mentally prepared for it is quite a treat. As with most movie marathons I suggest getting into it when youâ(TM)re slightly tired, when the body is happy to rest yet your mind is still ready to take in a story. The finale is fitting and satisfying, and though there are inconsistencies in which serials are best or most prominent, it remains a largely focused, genre-defining trip through early cinematic storytelling, free of a format that has come to define motion pictures and television alike. It is a great, untarnished reminder of the camera as a tool for telling stories in new and fun ways.
½ January 30, 2012
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.
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