1900s – Part 2


satan-at-playTitle: Satan at Play/The Red Spectre
Country: France/Spain
Year: 1907
Director: Segundo de Chomón, Ferdinand Zecca
Writer: Segundo de Chomón
Stars: Julienne Mathieu

Another ‘trick film’ dealing with the supernatural, this was known as both Le Spectre Rouge and Satan s’amuse. This film, made by pioneering Spanish film director, cinematographer and screenwriter Segundo de Chomón (1871-1929),  was obviously influenced by the work of Georges Méliès. De Chomón, however, had his own style, and was also an innovator, developing a mechanical stencil-based film tinting process  known as Pathécolor.

Brief Synopsis:  In an eerie underground chamber (hell?) a skeletal Satan figure is bored and looking for amusement. He performs an impressive array of magical acts involving the souls of  young ladies, but is eventually thwarted by a Good Spirit/Fairy. The Spirit, in the form of a young woman,  pours holy water on him causing him to vanish, leaving only his costume behind.

See the film here –


The Enchanted HouseTitle: The Enchanted House
Country: France
Year: 1908
Director: Segundo de Chomón
Writer: Segundo de Chomón
Stars: Unknown

Segundo de Chomón directed this remake of Anglo-American film-maker J. Stuart Blackton’s  The Haunted Hotel (1907).  Its French title is La Maison Ensorcelée, and it was also known as The Witch House. The film is remembered mainly for an amazing stop-motion animated food sequence.

Brief Synopsis
: A group of friends decide to stop at an abandoned house. Almost as soon as they are inside, strange things start to happen.  Furniture and clothes vanish, cutlery and food take on a life of their own, and a white-sheeted ghost appears.  The house itself comes to life, and tilting on one edge throws the travellers to the ground.  The house itself then gradually fades away and a giant demon with huge claws appears. The terrifying demon carries the people into the forest,  and leaves them dangling from the branches of a lofty tree.

Se the film here –