A scene from THE VAMPIRES: THE RING THAT KILLS, directed by Louis Feuillade for Gaumont.

The Vampires: The Ring That Kills (1915, Louis Feuillade)

In The Ring That Kills, Feuillade goes with a gradual build-up and a rather tense finish. There’s no recap of the previous Vampires entry, which gets confusing towards the end, when a supporting character returns.

Feuillade uses that character, played by Marcel Lévesque, as comic relief. He’s just revealed the Vampires evil plan for protagonist Édouard Mathé and things aren’t looking good for him.

Then Lévesque bumbles in and relieves a bunch of the tension for a while.

That scene is the best in the short, which has some other good scenes, but it’s where Feuillade finally takes a breather.

Early in Ring, he introduces Stacia Napierkowska as a dancer (and Mathé’s romantic interest). Mathé, being a dedicated reporter, however, abandons her to pursue the Vampires gang and finds himself in the aforementioned hot water.

It’s a fun short, with Napierkowska’s winged ballet visually stunning if somewhat tepid dramatically.

2/3Recommended

CREDITS

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

Starring Édouard Mathé (Philippe Guérande), Jean Aymé (Dr. Nox), Stacia Napierkowska (Marfa Koutiloff) and Marcel Lévesque (Oscar Mazamette).

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