LES VAMPIRES revolves around the exploits of the Vampires gang, a mysterious group of master criminals terrorising Paris. As much a proto-horror film as a template for high-octane crime and detective tales, the serial was composed on the fly by silent-film pioneer Louis Feuillade and released in 10 episodes throughout 1915 and 1916. It made a bona fide action star of Musidora, who played Irma Vep. LES VAMPIRES is a unique, disorienting experience. It influenced the first wave of Surrealists and shares unconventional narrative techniques and untrustworthy onscreen space with the work of David Lynch. Its sense of helpless paranoia reflects the fact that the Great War was being fought just outside Paris during filming of the serial.
This monograph is a personal response as much as an account of the historical context of the production. It features 10 pieces of weird fiction – one for each episode – remixing aspects of the film to create a new, parallel nightmare for a character who is a mix of the principal influences on the film – Louis Feuillade and Musidora.
MIDNIGHT MOVIE MONOGRAPHS: LES VAMPIRES will be published by Electric Dreamhouse Press in September 2018 and can be preordered here.
- Sneak peek – read the full introduction to the book
- Interview with Tim Lucas at Video Watchdog
- Guest blog post at Silent London