Notes from Friends of Fantômas

Tim Lucas is the publisher of Video Watchdog magazine. He supplied the production credits for the 1920 US serial, the 1960s French Fantômas films directed by Andre Hunebelle, and the 1979 French/German TV series directed by Claude Chabrol and Juan-Luis Buñuel. (For more information see The Fantômas Films.)

He writes: I have a Georges Franju film entitled Shadowman, which is the US condensation of a French TV serial called Nuits Rouge (Nights of Blood). The title character is based on Fantômas, and the film was intended to fulfill Franju's wish to make a film about this beloved character. It has some good scenes, but doesn't really work—at least not in its short form. Shadowman (aka The Man Without a Face, as he's called in the movie) is played by Jacques Champreux, the grandson of Louis Feuillade, who also conceived and scripted the project.

There is indeed a connection here, as one of the many epithets referring to Fantômas (the Lord of Terror, the King of Night, the Genius of Crime, etc.) is L'homme sans visage (The Man Without A Face). As Tim has also pointed out, Jacques Champreux was also involved in Georges Franju's 1963 remake of Feuillade's 1917 serial Judex, a faithful adaptation that is well worth seeing.

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