THE MERRY FROLICS OF SATAN (1906)
aka LES QUATRE CENTS FARCES DU DIABLE
Article 2067 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 11-11-2006
Posting Date: 4-10-2007
Directed by Georges Melies
Cast Unknown (but I bet that’s Melies as Satan)
Two travelers embark on a journey, but find themselves bearing the brunt of tricks by Satan along the way.
I don’t know who dreamed up the English title for this Melies fantasy, but it’s certainly one of my favorites. The movie is no slouch, either; Melies pulls practically every trick in the book in this one, and things get pretty wild. In this one, you will see a man kicked by a giant foot, a trunk that contains several other trunks of the same size, each including a couple of demons who connect all the trunks together and transform them into a passenger train, a wild carriage ride with a skeletal horse through the stars (keep your eyes pealed for one of my favorite continuing characters in the Melies oeuvre, the cranky guy in Saturn), and the final scene where one of the travelers is taken to hell where he suffers a nasty fate. Yep, Satan sure has merry frolics, doesn’t he? There isn’t much of a plot with this one, but the special effects are witty and fun.