October 28, 2010


With the recent release of the Fantomas collection from Kino International, Halloween coming this weekend, and a new Richard Sala book around the corner, It's been macabre mystery mania here at the Spy Vibe lair. I unfortunately missed the debut of the new Sherlock Holmes, but I have been busy enjoying the thrills and intrigue of classic French characters like Fantomas and Judex. Fans familiar with the penny dreadful tradition of serialized pulp fiction will hopefully recognize this rogue's gallery of mystery villains and avengers. If you have made the leap to an eReader, you might want to check out one of the many original Fantomas novels available on-line (many are priced around $1.00). You can even read them on your smart phone with Kindle's free app!

Today on Macabre Mystery Week we have a clip from the Fantomas serial by Feuillade (1913-1914). Fantomas began as an arch-criminal character in a series of 32 pre-WWI French stories by Allain & Souvestre. In this classic cliffhanger ending to one of the films, Fantomas sneaks away from his crafty underwater hiding place, while Juve and the police search the building. His escape culminates in a sensational shot- the villain has set the building to explode, destroying all evidence and his would-be captors! Before the credits roll, he raises his hands in victory, his body framed in a doorway by the light of the blast. If it were a sound film, we certainly would have heard his evil laugh. Maybe something like John Phillip Law in Danger Diabolik? Thrilling, macabre fun from the silent era! Learn more about Fantomas here.

1 comment:

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