AU SECOURS! (1924)
Article #1345 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 11-19-2004
Posting Date: 4-18-2005
Directed by Abel Gance
Featuring Max Linder, Jean Toulout, Gina Palerme
A man takes a bet that he can spend an hour in a haunted house.
Max Linder was a popular French comedian of the silent era. The concept of getting laughs by placing a comedian in a haunted house was probably old even when this movie was made, and if this movie consisted of nothing more than comic scare gags, there wouldn’t be much to recommend here. However, the movie was directed by Abel Gance, whose early movies emphasized bizarre visual tricks. As a result, this short is much weirder than anything you could imagine, with a startling array of bizarre creatures and weird imagery; it’s actually a little scary at times. As a result, this may be one of the best examples of the comic haunted house subgenre, and it’s definitely worth catching.