Fantômas: In the Shadow of the Guillotine (1913)

aka Fantômas: À l’ombre de la guillotine

2007 #111
Louis Feuillade | 54 mins | DVD | PG

FantomasThe first of the silent Fantômas films (I reviewed the second previously).

It’s interestingly structured: there’s no ‘origin story’ for Fantômas, he just is an infamous master criminal, who’s introduced in what would undoubtedly be a pre-titles sequence today, before the story switches to follow Inspector Juve and his quest to solve the disappearance of Lord Beltham… which of course leads back to Fantômas. Its pulp fiction roots shine through in the entertaining plot that’s just far-fetched enough.

As I said before, it’s not for everyone, but for those who enjoy this sort of thing it’s unmissable.

4 out of 5

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