Spirits of the Dead

1968

Drama / Horror / Mystery

154
IMDb Rating 6.5 10 5,678

Synopsis


Downloaded times
February 12, 2021

Director

Cast

Alain Delon as Stefano
Jane Fonda as Barbarella
Terence Stamp as The Visitor
Vincent Price as Prosecutor Vital Dutour
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
1.09 GB
1280*720
French 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
121 min
P/S N/A / N/A
2.02 GB
1920Ă—1080
French 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
121 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by winkies 9 / 10 / 10

Young Fondas In Love, A Gorgeous Villain, and Toby Dammit

I'm a big fan of horror anthologies, especially the Poe/Hawthorne ones from Roger Corman and the Amicus films. Spirits of the Dead, based on Edgar Allen Poe stories and directed by Europe's most acclaimed filmmakers of the time, didn't disappoint...well, except for the first story. #1, "Metzengerstein," directed by Roger Vadim. A cruel nymphomaniac countess (Jane Fonda) destroys the one man she can't have (Peter Fonda). That's right, this segment's biggest distinction is that it features a romance between real-life siblings Jane & Peter. Maybe I'm just a boor with no appreciation of high art, but watching those two gaze longingly at each other gave me the serious skeeves. Somewhere amongst the implied incest, the near- implied bestiality, and Jane's leftover costumes from Barbarella is the very thinnest of plots and narrative structure. Vadim doesn't seem to have any comprehension of suspense or what it takes to present a story that, if not scary, is at least spooky. You'll be constantly looking at your watch, but don't let "Metzengerstein" discourage you from seeing the other two stories. #2, "William Wilson," directed by Louis Malle. An angel-faced but throughly rotten and sadistic man (Alain Delon) is hounded by a mysterious man that shares his name. This was a tight, satisfying little story. In contrast to Vadim, Malle is so talented at the art of suspense that he can make a simple card game exciting. Some reviewers have been put off by the scenes of misogyny--and to be honest, they did seem to spill over into exploitation. But I think it was necessary to present just how horrible the main character was, and to contrast it with how attractive he is physically (which to me was the most fascinating aspect of the segment). I found the ending slightly confusing, but still effective & tragic. #3, "Toby Dammit," directed by Federico Fellini. This segment is so virtuoso and packed with Higher Meaning and Symbolism and Commentary On The Nature Of Man, God and the Devil that it really feels like its own movie. A jaded, alcoholic actor is invited to Rome to film a spaghetti western based on the life of Jesus Christ and attend a bizarre Italian version of the Oscars. The world as seen through Toby's eyes is populated with freaks, liars, and soulless puppets-- no wonder he prefers the Devil (uniquely and quite chillingly presented as a little girl). The scene where he is driving the Ferrari is a little overlong, but the ending is quite jarring and the last shot one of the unforgettable images of cinematic horror. The only real negative is that Terrance Stamp, who gives an incredible performance, has his voice completely dubbed by a French actor. If only we could have heard his own voice! It would be nice if Criterion could put this segment out on its own and give it the attention & study it deserves.

Reviewed by arichmondfwc 6 / 10 / 10

Terence Dammit Stamp

Three Edgar Alan Poe stories, three directors, a genius director, a great director and a director. The top international stars of their day: Jane Fonda, Peter Fonda, Terence Stamp, Alain Delon and Brigitte Bardot. The Roger Vadim episode with the two Fondas is quite terrible, Jane with her left over costumes from Barbarella, is always watchable but what a mess. Delon and Bardot are fun to watch but the piece looks more a rehash of one of the weakest Hammer horror flicks than a film signed by the great Louis Malle. However, I wouldn't mind sitting through those turkeys once again for the sheer pleasure of the third segment: Fellini's "Toby Dammit" with a superlative Terence Stamp. Unique, unnerving, jaw dropping, funny, delightful gem of a film.

Reviewed by tomgillespie2002 6 / 10 / 10

If only Toby Dammit was feature-length...

Also known as Histoires Extraordinaires, this film combines three short stories by Edgar Allen Poe, and has each segment directed by a different European director. The first, entitled Metzengerstein, is directed by the man that helmed Barbarella, Roger Vadim. It tells the story of a beautiful yet debauched countess Federica (Jane Fonda) who falls in love with her family rival, Baron Wilhelm (Peter Fonda - bit weird, them being real-life brother and sister), who frees her leg from a trap in the woods. After he rejects her, she orders the burning of one of his villages, and the Baron is killed when attempting a rescue of one of his horses. The horse is taken in by Federica, who becomes obsessed with it once she notices its resemblance to the one painted on a damaged tapestry. The second story, William Wilson, is directed by French film-maker Louis Malle. It tells a familiar doppelgänger story of the wicked William Wilson (Alain Delon) who is also interrupted by his 'better half' who shares his name and his appearance, but none of his evil ways. After winning a card game against Giuseppina (Brigitte Bardot) through repeatedly cheating, his other half exposes him, and the two face a duel. The third, directed by Federico Fellini and entitled Toby Dammit, follows alcoholic Shakesperean actor Toby Dammit (Terence Stamp) who is brought to Rome to star in an adaptation of the story of Christ, re- imagined as a western. Haunted by visions of a blonde girl who has lost her ball, he goes on a drunken ride through Rome in a Ferrari. The biggest problem with this film is the variations of quality in the different episodes. Vadim's opener is a pretty poor effort, with a strange storyline focusing on a woman's obsession with a horse. It seems to be nothing more than an excuse to get Jane Fonda into some skimpy medieval outfits. That is all well and good (it was one of the key reasons why I loved Barbarella!) but it's a silly story and a waste of some beautiful cinematography. Malle's second story is a big improvement, but it is clear that his heart is not really in it. Apparently he agreed to take on the job in order to raise money for Murmur of the Heart, and compromised to make the film more accessible to mainstream audiences. But the eroticism of the card game, and the strange atmosphere that is evident throughout make it an enjoyable 40 minutes. Fellini's final segment is very much the director's own vision. It is so far gone from anything resembling Poe's original vision, it could be easily called Fellini's own. Thematically similar to most of his key works, Terence Stamp's crumbling lead character is the main focus, and his disintegrating sanity is laid out on the screen with a collection of flashing images, bizarre characters, and unconventional camera-work. It is also an attack on celebrity, as the characters that Dammit comes across don't react or flinch at his increasingly strange and unpredictable behaviour. It's a shame that Fellini is restricted to a 40 minute portion of a 2-hour film, as I would have quite happily watched Toby Dammit as a full-length feature. An enjoyable, if unspectacular overall film, with the stories getting notably better as the film goes on. www.the-wrath-of-blog.blogspot.com

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