Hot Picks

- Ready for My Close Up 2019

- Talk of the Dead 2016

- Queen of Sabbath 2021

- Underground Inc: The Rise & Fall of Alternative Rock 2019

- Someone Somewhere 2019

- Iron City Asskickers 1998

- Buoyancy 2020

- Southland Tales 2006

- Canaan Land 2020

- My Secret Billionaire 2021

- Being Dead 2020

- Heart Wreck 2021

- The Ballad of Captain Vengence 2020

- Versus 2000

- Dead Air 2021

- Nuns: An Italian Horror Story 2020

- X 2019

- Dramatica Diablos - The Rotten Fruit of Eden 2021

- The Act of Reading 2019

- Playdurizm 2020

- The El Duce Tapes 2019

- Erotophono- philiac: Documents of a Lust Murderer 2021

- Witches Night 2021

- Paradise Cove 2021

- Magic Island 2020

- Butchers 2020

- Nothing Else 2021

- ... As If They Were Angels 2018

- Zegen 1987

- Shellfish 2021

- The Mimic 2020

- The Astrology of Pandemics 2021

- Tale of Tails - Pilot 2021

- All Too Human 2018

- Vigilante 1982

- Smothered 2019

- Mother's Day Memories 2019

- Invasion Ireland 2013

- Confession 2020

- Sheep Without a Shepherd 2019

- Volcanic UFO Mysteries 2021

- Hank 2019

- Mandao Returns 2020

- Honesty Weekend 2020

- First Impressions Can Kill 2017

- A Killer Conversation 2014

- Star Crash 1979

- Strangler of the Swamp 1946

Fantômas - L'Échafaud Magique

episode 1

France/West Germany 1980
produced by
Claude Barma, Denis Mermet for Antenne 2, Hamster Films, ZDF, TV 60
directed by Claude Chabrol
starring Helmut Berger, Jacques Dufilho, Pierre Malet, Gayle Hunnicutt, Hélène Duc, Kristina Van Eyck, Mario David, Georgette Anys, Pierre Douglas, Denise Bataille, Katia Tchenko, Coco Ducados, Magali Renoir, Marie-José Courtois, Hubert de Lapparent, Serge Bento
screenplay by Bernard Revon, based on the novel by Pierre Souvestre, Marcel Allain, music by Georges Delerue

Fantomas, Fantomas (Helmut Berger)

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Quick Links

Abbott & Costello

Alice in Wonderland

Arsène Lupin



Black Emanuelle

Bomba the Jungle Boy

Bowery Boys

Bulldog Drummond

Captain America

Charlie Chan


Dick Tracy

Dr. Mabuse

Dr. Orloff

Doctor Who


Elizabeth Bathory



Flash Gordon


Frankie & Annette Beach Party movies

Freddy Krueger

Fu Manchu





El Hombre Lobo

Incredible Hulk

Jack the Ripper

James Bond

Jekyll and Hyde

Jerry Cotton

Jungle Jim


Kekko Kamen

King Kong

Laurel and Hardy

Lemmy Caution


Lone Wolf and Cub

Lupin III


Marx Brothers

Miss Marple

Mr. Moto

Mister Wong


Nick Carter

OSS 117

Phantom of the Opera


Robin Hood

Santa Claus

El Santo

Schoolgirl Report

The Shadow

Sherlock Holmes


Star Trek

Sukeban Deka



Three Mesquiteers

Three Musketeers


Wizard of Oz

Wolf Man

Wonder Woman




Available on DVD !

To buy, click on link(s) below and help keep this site afloat

Always make sure of DVD-compatibility !!!

France, circa 1910: To claim her prize money from the National Lottery, the Marquise de Langrune (Hélène Duc) takes the train to Paris, accompanied by her good friend inspector Juve (Jacques Dufilho), who has the distinct feeling that she will be robbed of her ticket by none other than Fantomas, supercriminal and man of many faces. Nobody takes Juve very seriously, mind you, because Fantomas is his pet obsession, nothing more. Of course, the Marquise is murdered on the train, despite Juve's protection, and the lottery ticket has gone missing. There are clues that Fantomas might have had to do with it, too ...

A few days later, a handsome stranger catches the princess Danidoff (Kristina Van Eyck) naked (duh!) in her bathtub. He behaves all gentleman-like though, but hands her his card - Fantomas.

Yet later, Gurn (Helmut Berger) is found on the premises of Lady Beltham (Gayle Hunnicutt) and arrested on the spot. He is really her lover, mind you, but she dares not admit it because she knows for a fact that he has killed her husband (at her request). He is still tried for the crime, eventually admits to it and is condemned to death by decapitation. For some reason, inspector Juve thinks he's Fantomas (several pieces of evidence in the Beltham murder suggested so), but he's not taken seriously. In jail, Gurn gets special treatment because Lady Beltham bribes his guards, and she just might be able to do a little more for him, because you see, in Paris, there's an actor who looks just like him ... so lady Beltham invites the actor to her place on the night before the execution, drugs him, and with the help of the guards loyal to her, she replaces Gurn with him just hours away from decapitation time.

Juve, who can't wait to see his nemesis beheaded, only notices after the head has come off that the Gurn they executed wears makeup ... just like an actor.


This first episode of a TV four-parter must have come like something of a revelation for serious Fantomas-fans who were disappointed by the slapstick Jean Marais-Luis De Funes films from the 1960's, and perhaps rightly so - but really, this film, taken by itself, isn't much to get excited about. Basically, it totally fails to build Fantomas into the pulpy supervillain he was conceived as, tells a way too down-to-earth murder mystery to create excitement, relies way too heavily on far fetched plottwists and plot devices to remain believable, and the "surprise" ending announces itself way too early in the movie. The whole thing isn't totally without merit, some of the dialogue is sharp and poignant at least, and in several instances, the film enjoyably shifts towards caricature for a few moments, but as a whole, the whole thing's hardly worth your time.


review © by Mike Haberfelner


Feeling lucky ?
Want to
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?

The links below
will take you
just there !!!

Find Fantômas - L'Échafaud Magique
at the amazons ...


Great Britain (a.k.a. the United Kingdom)

Germany (East AND West)

Looking for imports ?
Find Fantômas - L'Échafaud Magique here ...

Your shop for all things Thai

Something naughty ?
(Must be over 18 to go there !)

x-rated  find Fantômas - L'Échafaud Magique at

Thanks for watching !!!



Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD