Le bourreau turc (1904)
Director: Georges Méliès
Cast: Georges Méliès
Georges Méliès had a keen sense of the macabre, a trait that translated well to his style of pioneering film-making. In this imaginative comedy we see four prisoners beheaded in one fell swoop by an industrious executioner who sees their executions as an unwanted diversion from his preferred pastime of drinking wine. Unfortunately for him, the decapitated heads of the prisoners are soon re-united with their bodies and they take appropriate revenge on him by slicing him in two.
Although the film sounds gruesome all the violence is very cartoonish, and the final scenes, with the executioners’ legs running around trying to find his upper half, is quite funny.
(Reviewed 4th July 2009)