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The Red Spectre (1907)
"Le spectre rouge" (original title)

6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 253 users  
Reviews: 6 user

A demonic magician attempts to perform his act in a strange grotto, but is confronted by a Good Spirit who opposes him.

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Title: The Red Spectre (1907)

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Storyline

In a strange grotto deep in the bowels of the earth a coffin uprights itself, dances, then opens, and out steps a demonic magician with skeletal face, horns, and cape. He wraps two women (who appear to be in a trance) in fabric, levitates them, and causes them to burst into flames and disappear. As he gathers their ashes in a pitcher a Good Spirit [a young woman who resembles Peter Pan] appears, shakes her head No, and reveals the "souls" of the two women in a secret compartment deeper within the cave. The Good Spirit vanishes in a puff of smoke. The magician then produces 3 glass bottles on pillars, takes them downstage close to the camera, and reveals 3 tiny women in them; one woman beats a tambourine while the other two sway. The magician pours ashes (?) into the bottles, but the Good Spirit reappears and makes these trapped figures disappear in a flash, angering the magician, who chases her away. He makes an easel appear. There is an odd sort of screen on it bearing the Pathe ... Written by wmorrow59

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Genres:

Short | Fantasy

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Release Date:

17 August 1907 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Red Spectre  »

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(hand-tinted)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Has a link to the Ulli Lommel's Zodiac Killer (2005) case. A letter allegedly sent by the Zodiac Killer, who may have been a film buff, was signed "The Red Phantom" and could have referred to this film or to the color "Masque of the Red Death" sequence in Lon Chaney's 1925 The Phantom of the Opera (1925). See more »

Connections

Edited into Visions of Light (1992) See more »

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User Reviews

Decent Trick Film
21 June 2012 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

The Red Spectre (1907)

** 1/2 (out of 4)

Mildly entertaining French film from director Ferdinand Zecca was clearly influenced by the work of Georges Melies. In this film, in what appears to be Hell or something like it, a skeleton brings to life a couple women and then begins to do various tricks with them. That's pretty much everything you need to know in regards to the story as everything else is just one trick after another. There are a few good things about this film but at the same time it's just so easy to see that it's no where near the league of Melies and you have to feel that the French master was doing this type of film a decade earlier and doing it much better. I think the biggest problem is that there's really no strong pacing and after a while the 9-minute running time just feels like it's dragging along. There are several of the tricks, which simply aren't that entertaining and for one good example just check out the one where the skeleton wraps a woman up in some sort of tarp. How the trick was done is easy to spot. There are some good things however and this includes the scenery, which is quite nice to look at. The biggest highlight has to be the very good tinting and especially the reds.


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