Had Dark Purpose been an hour long episode of a TV show, it would have delivered. But forced to come up with, roughly, three half-hour acts, it can’t sustain the momentum and Shirley Jones, while perfectly acceptable, just isn’t dynamic enough to make us forget nothing much is going on.
Taken as a trilogy, Hunebelle’s Fantomas films seem to hew closely to the spirit of those early serials that first brought Fantomas to the screen. You could even regard them as three unusually elongated chapters in such a serial. In keeping with that, Hunebelle doesn’t forget to spice Fantomas up with a generous helping of nostalgic, Saturday matinee style thrills.
Immediately after completing Les Vampires, Feuillade threw himself into his next feature, another original serial called Judex. The slow move toward domestic melodrama that crept into the end of Les Vampires was front and center in Judex.
Musidora wears this maillot de soie sporadically, a few minutes spread throughout the serial’s nearly seven hours, yet that is – not undeservedly – the indelible iconic image not just of Les Vampires, but of Louis Feuillade’s entire filmography.
Strange things were happening on the streets of Paris in 1913. In February, trials began for the surviving members of the infamous Bonnot Gang, a group of murderers and anarchists who cut a swathe of criminal terror across France and Belgium.
Adaptations of books have a long history of being derided by theauthor, but few have as dramatic a claim to this dubious honor as this adaptation of Boris Vian’s J’irai cracher sur vos tombes. Vian stood up minutes into the premiere screening to shout his disapproval. He then, suddenly, dropped dead.