blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

The Vampires: The Severed Head (1915, Louis Feuillade)

A scene from THE VAMPIRES: THE SEVERED HEAD, directed by Louis Feuillade for Gaumont.

I probably should have paid more attention to The Severed Head‘s title. Even when the discussion of a decapitated murder victim came up, the title didn’t register any significance.

Guess what? Director Feuillade gets in a severed head. I didn’t even think the murder case mattered, since most of the short concerns reporter Édouard Mathé visiting an old family friend–played by Jean Aymé–who is selling his home to a wealthy American (Rita Herlor).

Mentioning Feuillade has a severed head in the short doesn’t really give anything away. The big finale involves something else unexpected entirely.

Since there’s no real drama–for a while I thought it was about Mathé messing up Aymé’s home sale–all attention goes to Feuillade’s direction.

He’s competent, though he repeatedly gets establishing shots and emphasis shots backwards.

Feuillade’s more interested in his plot, which complicates itself throughout.

With that emphasis, Head mildly intrigues.

1/3Not Recommended


Written and directed by Louis Feuillade; director of photography, Manichoux; released by Gaumont.

Starring Édouard Mathé (Philippe Guérande), Jean Aymé (Dr. Nox), Rita Herlor (Mrs. Simpson), Marcel Lévesque (Oscar Mazamette) and Thelès (The Magistrate).


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