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Les vampires 1915
6.9 of 16

Les vampires

HD 7.30 421 min
[US release - 1916] Episode One: "The Detective's Head" The terrible crimes of a mysterious band of law-breakers nicknamed the Vampires have made all France fear these desperate men. No one has been able to discover who they are. A young reporter on Mondial, a newspaper, Philip Guard, has been receiving anonymous notes in a feminine handwriting. He is publishing what clues he has found when Detective Durtal's headless body is found at St. Clement. The officer had been sent there to follow a Vampire clue, and his death is a warning from the band. Philip Guard asks his paper to send him to St. Clement. Philip's mother tells him that near St. Clement lives an old friend of his father's, Dr. Nox. She fears for her son's life and makes him promise that he will seek Dr. Nox's protection. He does so, and meets there a Mrs. Simpson, an American woman, who is thinking of buying Dr. Nox's chateau. Philip is distressed the first night to find that a picture hides an empty space in the wall which could be used to conceal a bulky package. In the pocket of his dressing robe he also finds a message from the Vampires, warning not to seek further clues. The next morning Mrs. Simpson discovers that during the night she has been robbed of both jewels and money. Philip discovers that her jeweled cigarette case has been placed in his pocket. He hurries to the authorities with latest news of the Vampires, and is followed by Mrs. Simpson and Dr. Nox, who accuse him of the theft. His accusers are detained in a room at police headquarters while Philip returns to the chateau with the magistrate to investigate. In the hidden closet behind the picture is found a box containing the head of Detective Durtal. It had been put there only a few hours previous, for, when Philip discovered the place, it was empty. Philip returns with the magistrate to find that Mrs. Simpson left a note acknowledging that he was a Vampire, and that six months previously the band had murdered the real Dr. Nox. The newspaper reporter hurriedly returns to Paris, feeling the next developments will be in the city. The Vampires discover that Philip Guard is learning of their movements from Marfa Koutiloff, a Russian dancer. She discloses her identity to Philip, who hastens to meet her. At the same time, in her dressing room at the theater, she receives a visit from a friend, Baron Mortense. The Baron gives her a ring, accidentally scratching her with one of its sharp points as he places, it on her finger. He then goes to his box to watch her dance. Marfa attempts to dance, but falls dead on the stage. Philip, who has met Baron Mortense in the dancer's dressing room, immediately suspects him of being a Vampire. He does not wait to see what happens to Marfa, knowing that the Vampires have finished her. He follows her executioner, the man who is the grand Vampire. The band is too sharp for him. In turn he is followed and captured. The decree of the judge of the Vampires is that he is to be killed at dawn. The man left to guard Philip is Normandin, a Vampire working for the Mondial. He recalls how Philip has helped him and decides to liberate him. When the judge returns, Philip and Normandin bind him and cover his face. They then escape. It is their aim to capture as many of the band as possible. Under their leadership the police surround the cellar in which the execution is to take place. Before the Vampires can uncover the face of the bound and gagged man, they hear the police breaking in. As they make their escape through the underground passage, they determine that Philip shall not be rescued. They shoot the bound man, not knowing that it is their own comrade they are executing.


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