Monday, June 25, 2018


 The black cloaked and brimmed hatted Judex
is actually the good guy here

I have to make a confession here, I was planning to watch Louis Feuillade's 1915 French serial Les Vampires that I saw was available on YouTube. I knew if didn't involve blood sucking vampires, but criminals of some kind. Other than that, I didn't know much about it going in. Okay...I watched the first episode and then the second. I began to think to myself that I didn't think this was Les Vampires. A clue may have been the title card which read Judex before the episodes began!

So what to do now? Should I give this up and try to find another copy of Les Vampires (I eventually found Les Vampires on or keep watching Judex? I had to admit the copy of Judex on YouTube(a TCM restoration) looked nicely clear and the musical score was very good. So I kept watching.  The plot involves a heroic character named Judex (often compared to The Shadow) who benevolently watches over certain people and tries to get the goods on a corrupt banker named Favraux. The plot has a lot of twists and turns (as you would hope in a serial), and an awful lot of kidnappings, lots of familial drama and lots of good guys and bad guys and reformed bad guys...

On the whole, it's a more pleasant watch than the more famous Les Vampires, though both are pretty long, so make sure to pack a lunch before viewing.

Two noted performers from Les Vampires return for Judex: Marcel Levesque as the comic relief (Mazamette in Les Vampires, Cocantin in Judex) and Musidora providing the vampishness (Irma Vep in Les Vampires and Diana Monti in Judex).

Feuillade's other famous serial Fantomas may have to remain unseen by me, but never say never.

The hypnotic Musidora in Judex

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