Wish I could make tabula rasa of chronologic retinal accretions. As a Ganesha belly rubbed to a shine by countless touches of the supplicants, Les Vampires is patinaed by countless taps that referred & diffused it until Feuillade's original lost all patent originality except where history of film & of technology collide: tied & bundled Irma Vep pressing that horn! Pinched not exsanguinated, once started won't let go.
I liked third episode most. reminded me of Mabuse the Gambler and Bond movies. These serial films (Judex, Fantomas etc.) probably inspire to create fictional organisations like Spectre and Marvel's Hydra.
It gets off to a very shaky start, but on the whole, this is a terrific series built very beguilingly from the simplest of tools. A cornerstone. It's the way crime-fighting is made to look so fun, while crime is made so sexy. It's the way Irma Vep is both the villain and the most interesting character. And it's the way, in the outdoor scenes, that the real world becomes a playground for filmmakers.
Found the UK 3-disc release, almost brand new, for £4.99 in a British Heart Foundation charity store in my town. Its up there with finding Kenji Mizoguchi's The Life of Oharu brand on an out-of-print DVD, for £2.00 in an Oxfam Book Store in terms of finds.
One of the great masterpieces of the silent era. This fascinating tale about a group of petty thieves who revolt against the banality of their time by feeding on the anxiety of the Parisian upper class is a machiavellian reflection of a complacent bourgeois order on the brink of collapse; a subtle allegory for World War 1.
Am I the only one who found the whole plot dull? I was charmed by Irma Vep, yes, but the main character was so annoying I wanted to slap him!!! I appreciate the fact what it means to television culture, okay, but that would be all.