LA GRIFFE D'HORUS a.k.a. The Claws of Horus. France. 1990.
Director: Jean Rollin.
Note: video short.

(Review by Frederick Durand)

For years, I've been intrigued by this one. It was virtually impossible to see, until Lucertola Media released it at the end of Rollin's Perdues dans New-York. La Griffe d'Horus is based on a popular series of french short novels published in the first half of the 20th century. This series were called Harry Dickson, le Sherlock Holmes américain (Harry Dickson, the American Sherlock Holmes). It told the adventures of detective Harry Dickson and his assistant Tom Wills. Both of them often faced strange secret societies, near-supernatural events (sometimes explained at the end, in the classic tradition of Ann Radcliffe). These bizarre stories featured mad scientists, gorgons, vampires, etc. Many of these novels were written by belgian literature prodigy Jean Ray (who published some of his short-stories in the well-known magazine Weird Tales). Many directors, including Alain Resnais, have been trying for years to adapt Harry Dickson. La Griffe d'Horus was somekind of "demo" made by Rollin as an attempt to convince a producer to invest in a TV-series... Unfortunately, the project never saw the light of day.
It is written by Jean and french writer/journalist/musician Gérard Dôle. Jean-Michel Nicollet embodies Harry Dickson. Nicollet is a talented french illustrator. There's also, as a policeman, François Ducos (he's a policeman in his life, for real. Much interesting is the fact that Ducos directs the excellent french collection Bibliothèque du Fantastique for publisher Fleuve Noir). It is a short-short film (about 3 minutes !) obviously shot on video, quite theatrical and close to the serials in its spirit. A TV-series would certainly have been interesting. It's difficult to further comment this film, as its brief duration does not allow me to pen a lenghty-analysis. Much of the film consists of a dialog in the bureau of Dickson. Then, there's a chase for a bizarre monster and the film ends abruptly. It was probably shot in one day, between friends.

Frédérick Durand