Foolshead Pays His Debt / Come Cretinetti paga i debiti (1909)

2.0 out of 5

André Deed, director of the early, and largely lost, science fiction robot movie of 1921 L'uomo meccanico, stars and directs his comic creation Foolshead in this manic, slapstick Benny Hill-esque chase comedy short.

Deed, a former acrobat, is positively hyperactive in an ants in his pants kind of way in this largely plot free short.

Of particular note are the special effects that include an extended stop motion animation, as former acrobat travels around in a moving suitcase while a ghosting effect is used to suggest a supernatural conclusion.

Interesting enough as a cinematic artifact the film, one of a earlier of a series of Cretinetti short movies, is unlikely to connect with modern audiences where since there are far better silent comedies out there and, besides, the advent of sound allowed for far more sophisticated humour than that of making a long running gag out of an acrobat falling repeatedly on his ass.

Maurizio Merli header graphic courtesy of Paddy O'Neill of Foxyfide Graphics