POLIDOR AL CLUB DELLA MORTE (1912)
aka Polidor at the Death Club
Article 4623 by Dave Sindelar
What it is: Parody of Robert Louis Stevenson story
Polidor dreams that he has become a member of the death club, a society for those tired of life. The loser of a card game must commit suicide, and Polidor is dealt the wrong card…
This is a parody of Robert Louis Stevenson’s “The Suicide Club”. I’ve seen several versions of this story, and though admittedly there’s a certain macabre aspect to the concept, they’ve been pretty light on the fantastic content. If there’s one thing that can be said about this short, it ups the fantastic content considerably; on top of the basic premise, all of the other members of the club look pretty cadaverous, there’s a floating skull that pops up, several hooded members of the club appear out of nowhere, and much of the action takes place in a locked room with bizarre trap doors. Furthermore, Polidor is an amusing comedian who makes good use of the concept, and the short remains amusing after all these years. This is one of those movies that I couldn’t find for years and finally ended up on my “ones that got away” list; it’s good to see it finally appear.