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The Red Spectre (1907)

Le spectre rouge (original title)
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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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

Featured in Universal Horror (1998) See more »

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User Reviews

Uninspired.
7 November 2009 | by (www.2020-movie-reviews.com) – See all my reviews

If you've seen any of Georges Melies films there probably isn't anything here that you haven't seen before and, apart from one brief sequence, this film is pretty dull as a result.

The film takes place in an underground cavern where a skeletal demon amuses himself by conjuring up a couple of hypnotised girls whom he wraps in plastic sheet before levitating them. The sheets burst into flames as they hover before the demon makes them disappear. A good spirit then appears to repeatedly spoil the demon's fun. This goes on for the best part of ten minutes and, to be honest, it gets a little tedious after a while.

The one good sequence comes when the demon places three jars on a table then carries the table towards the camera. It's an unusual shot for 1907 and is quite effective - as is the demon's make-up.


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