Les Vampires

Les Vampires

I am...The Great Vampire.

Les Vampires is an interesting one, mainly because it is a movie serial that comprises ten episodes. It’s also French, but being a silent film it is easily translatable into other languages, so no worry there. As always, I’ve tried to review the film(s) as I would if I were living in the time period of the film’s release, watching it for the first time, and garnering what I would from that. However, in this case, even though I was watching it as if I were in 1915, I still didn’t really get why I had to watch it in the first place.

The plot is very interesting, and really is about the only thing that’s really redeemable about the series. The cinematography is basic at best, even for the times. The color coding for the types of lighting is a little odd, but you quickly become accustomed to it, and it becomes a useful tool for the story. There are a number of subplots that are all taking place around the same time, but few of them warrant any real attention and seem to be there mostly for padding the serial.

To be honest, I’m not really certain why this, above others, was chosen to be on the Must See list. Aside from the marginally compelling plot, there’s nothing here that’s really notable enough to warrant “must see” status. I’ve noticed my reviews have tended to be curved more towards the higher end of the scale, so I’ve gotten a little stricter with my arbitrary ratings as of late, but even still, this is one I can’t really recommend aside from 1001 Movie completionists, and they’ve got quite a long haul to get through with this one.

Arbitrary Rating: 4/10

4 thoughts on “Les Vampires

  1. Granted, time seems to move very slowly when watching this film, but as for why it’s on the list, I’d suggest that its the presence Musidora, who as Irma Vep, is one of film’s first liberated women. From the perspective of audiences in 1915, I think i can see the allure. Still, it’s a pretty long haul 🙂

    • It is a long haul. It’s worth remembering, I think, that audiences back in the day saw this episodically, not all at once.

      Of course, that doesn’t change the fact that I hated this film pretty thoroughly.

  2. Seems I am the only one around who really liked the series. I think it was facinating to see all these serial themes played out in this early phase of cinema. To see where it all come from. Of course the acting is a bit off at times but the storyline is inventive and yes, Musidora is a striking character. Maybe it has something to do with that I saw it in small 15 minute increments…

    • That might’ve helped, indeed. I saw it episodically over a week or so; it kinda hit the middle ground between seeing it marathon-style and risk deadening yourself to what’s happening, and seeing it broken up over a longer period and risking not caring what happened over that long a period of time. It just didn’t suck me in at all, which is why I ended up giving it the rating I did more than anything.

      Incidentally, check out the 1001 Blog Club entry for this one and see what everyone else thought; links on the sidebar over there >>. There’s a few positive reviews up there.

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