Fantomas 3: The Murderous Corpse/The Dead Man Who Killed (Le Mort Qui Tue)

In this third Fantômas episode Fandor steps into the limelight (while both Fantômas and Juve become less prominent), attempting to crack the mystery of crimes apparently committed by a dead man. In Les Vampires, director Louis Feuillade's follow-up to the Fantômas series, he created a protagonist much like the Fandor shown here: a sleuthing journalist determined to track down an elusive master criminal. This episode also has the flavor of a police procedural, with its emphasis on “scientific policing”, specifically the anthropometry system of the French police officer Alphonse Bertillon - inventor of the mug shot.

Related:

Fantômas: In the Shadow of the Guillotine (Fantômas - À l'ombre de la guillotine)

Fantômas is the first famous film criminal mastermind. Like all criminal masterminds, he is pursued by a shrewd and determined detective - Inspector Juve. But unlike other police detectives in film, Juve is no hero, no pompous know-it-all. Yet, unlike noir private detectives, Juve isn't portrayed as an antihero. Juve is simply a loser - a loser who is unstylish, seeems to have no family or love life, and tends toward despondence and chain-smoking. In short, Juve is the soul of this flick, giving it its uniquely modern feel. And, for those of us that normally root for the bad guys, Juve is the only detective we can comfortably cheer for - because we know he will lose.

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