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The Infernal Boiling Pot (1903)

Le chaudron infernal (original title)
Two demons throw helpless captives into a boiling cauldron, and then try to summon forth their spirits.

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Devil
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Storyline

Two demons have captured a woman, and they wrap her in a cloth and throw her into a boiling cauldron. One of the demons then brings in two more captives, who also are tossed into the cauldron. One demon then stirs the pot, while the other demon tries to summon forth the spirits of the recently departed. Written by Snow Leopard

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Short | Fantasy | Horror

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17 October 1903 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Infernal Boiling Pot  »

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| (hand-colored)

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1.33 : 1
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Edited into Ombres vives ...une autre histoire du cinema... (2013) See more »

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A Colorful, Macabre Feature
20 September 2005 | by (Ohio) – See all my reviews

This colorful, macabre feature is also something of an interesting change of pace from Georges Méliès. His impish wit is at its most morbid here, and while the special camera effects are used less lavishly than usual, this also enhances their impact. The hand-tinted color is still vivid enough to add to the overall effect, with the greenish demons and the brightly flickering flames helping to set a sinister atmosphere.

The brief story follows two demons as they toss three helpless captives into "The Infernal Boiling Pot", and then stir up the pot to see what comes out. The 'spirit' effect works particularly well, and the ghostly shapes show how versatile Méliès could be in varying his techniques as required. To be sure, the techniques used in much more recent movies have gotten us used to seeing effects like this, but for 1903 it is quite impressive, and it holds up very well.

It would be interesting to know how the original viewers of this feature responded to it, since its ghoulish tone and vivid images contrasted with almost any other movie of its day. In any case, it is still an interesting feature that is definitely worth seeing.


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