Free weekly newsletter Free weekly newsletter

The best of London in your inbox!


What's on where plus all the latest cinema and DVD releases reviewed

Search cinema listings

Browse cinemas A-Z

Search 20,000 reviews


Les Vampires

440 mins, 1915, France, Black & White

Average user rating
0 reviews


From Time Out Film Guide

1915: Slaughter at Gallipoli; first use of gas on the Western Front; Lusitania sunk. And as diversion, this serial saga (in 10 episodes) of a band of robbers whose principals include Satanas, who keeps a howitzer behind the fireplace and a bomb under his top hat, and Irma Vep, the notorious anagram, to whom Olivier Assayas rendered homage 80 years later. There's a hero (a resolute reporter), but all the interest goes to Irma and Co - their heists, their feuds with a rival gang and with the agents of law and order, all conducted by means of slaughter, gassing and sinking, on a scale and insouciance appropriate to the time. There's a comic strip aspect ('Episode 1: The Severed Head'), a roundelay of disguises, kidnappings, secret codes and acrobatic getaways. And simultaneously there's the poetry of the grey deserted Paris streets, our consciousness that the trenches are only a bus ride away; and the idea of a separate world of mischief and anarchy, situated just beyond the everyday. It's possible to overstate the extent to which all this is a bunch of fun: if shown, as it often is, in one great unnatural marathon, it can be sheer torture. Best viewed on tape.

Author: BBa

Source: Time Out Film Guide 13

  • Find Show Times
  • Print this page
  • Send to a friend

What do you think?
Post your review now

clear rating

*mandatory fields


Stone deemed the 'Great Satan'

Stone deemed the 'Great Satan'

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad rejects Oliver Stone's request to make a film about his life in no uncertain terms

'Where Mozart ends is where we begin'

'Where Mozart ends is where we begin'

Dave Calhoun finds opera director Peter Sellars in jubilant mood after dishing out cash to filmmakers in far-flung corners of the world

A preview of 'The Simpsons Movie'

A preview of 'The Simpsons Movie'

Creator Matt Groening and producer Al Jean present a hilarious sneak peak at the year's most eagerly anticipated comedy