Malpertuis

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PrintUnderground Film Series

Malpertuis

  1. Friday, October 31, 2014 6:30 p.m.
Still image from the film Malpertuis
Based on the cult novel by Belgian author Jean Ray, Harry Kümel’s Malpertuis combines elements of fantasy, horror, and exploitation in a cinematic fever dream where nothing is what it seems. When a young sailor (Mathieu Carriè) unexpectedly finds himself in the crumbling Gothic mansion for which the film takes its name, he encounters a bizarre cast of characters (including none other than Orson Welles as the bed-ridden patriarch of the manor and Susan Hampshire playing no less than three different roles) and is soon caught up in their games of deception. Veering between classicism, existentialism, and camp, the film is an often-overlooked work from Kümel, master of the cinematic fantastique. (35mm presentation)