Belphégor - Le Fantome du Louvre (Phantom of the Louvre/ Spöket på Louvren, 1965)

Belphégor: 1960' TV Cult Horror

Yes, yes, i'm an really old geezer, so old that i still remember the state of Horror this French Cult TV put me in. I wasn't supposed to
watch it surely, but i sneaked up behind my older cousins that sat watching it. The room was dark and they were so enthralled by
the ongoings on the little black and white TV that they didn't notice me hiding behind the sofa.
I don't remember much, as i were only a very small kid, but one thing i remember is when the phantom glided through the corridor
dressed in his black mantle and the creepy music. It was the scariest thing i had ever seen and caused me many nightmares.

This was in the summer of 1966 and the French TV series in 13 episodes about spookery going on at the Paris Louvren museum
was shown one year later in Sweden i guess. As i know, this famous TV series has never been shown in reprisal in Sweden since.
Also, i have never met any other Swede that remember this TV series and it's sadly totally obscure in Sweden.
But i know that on the European continent, i.a. in France, Germany or in Italy this TV series is considered a Cult Classic, especially
then among people of a certain age span, middle-aged or old people. Everyone watching it were scared out of their wits.

The 1965 TV series
Belphégor - Le Fantome du Louvre has been released on DVD both in France and in Germany - but without
any english subtitles, only with german subs. Also on Youtube i think without any english subs. It's very frustrating and a clear
case of a cultural border, the TV show was probably only or mostly shown in the European Continental countries.
The big star of the 1965 TV series was Juliette Greco.

The re-make film was made in France in 2001 and with Sophie Marceau and Michel Serrault in two of the main roles, and here
Juliette Greco can be seen very briefly in a cameo role. The evil spirit of Belphegor is yet again on the loose in the Louvre.

The DVD edition of the 2001 film

Different generations remember different films or TV series as the scariest thing they ever watched as children. People from my old
generation fondly remembers the 1970 TV episode film "Night Gallery" shown in the summer of (probably) 1971 in Sweden, as the
scariest film we had ever seen, especially the opening film with the graveyard and the paintings changing. As all kids were on summer
vacation everyone watched it, and then we talked about it, a lot.

Night Gallery that had Steven Spielberg directing the episode with Joan Crawford and her eye operation. OK, watching a horror film
as a child and as a grownup are two different things. Night Gallery was shown in reprisal some 10-15 years later, and then it wasn't
that scary anymore. Still good though, but not scary.

A great exception to that thesis, that a film that scared you as a child isn't scary anymore when you are adult, is .... The Wizard of
Oz with the great Margaret Hamilton as the witch. The Witch No. 1 of all time (and even Alida Valli as Ms. Tanner in Dario Argento's
Suspiria has to bend a knee) and she still scares the hell out of me today, especially in the early b&w tornado-dream scene.

In Sweden a swedish TV film called "Månguden" scared the 1980's children and in the 1990's it was the Stephen King TV series "It".


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