A decade before Fritz Lang brought the master criminal Dr. Mabuse to the screen, French director Louis Feuillade’s helmed five films centered on the incredibly popular, murderous and highly surreal Lord of Crime, Fantomas. Mr. Feuillade’s work kicked off a European predilection for sadistic cinematic supervillains that continues to this very day.

I will be looking at each film over the next week, so don’t be confused by the fact that we begin our examination with Fantomas in the Shadow of the Guillotine.

Ken Begg is the proprietor of Jabootu: The Bad Movie Dimension.