Rent Spirits of the Dead (1968)

3.2 of 5 from 79 ratings
1h 56min
Rent Spirits of the Dead (aka Histoires extraordinaires) Online DVD & Blu-ray Rental
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Synopsis:
Three titans of European cinema team up for a stylish film based on the works of macabre author Edgar Allen Poe. Roger Vadim, Louis Malle and Federico Fellini direct Jane and Peter Fonda, Brigitte Bardot, Alain Delon, and Terence Stamp in three separate stories of souls tormented by their own phantasmal visions of guilt, lust and greed. Vadim directs the first segment, 'Metzengerstein', with Jane Fonda portraying the spoiled, vicious Frederique. Malle takes the middle slot with 'William Wilson', featuring Alain Delon as the troubled hero, a man who has been haunted since childhood by a man with his exact name.
Fellini's segment, 'Toby Dammit', features Terence Stamp as a disheveled drugged and drunk English movie star who nods acceptance in the Italian press and his producers fawn over him. 'Spirits of the Dead' is a real gem for those who enjoy the surreal and grotesque.
Actors:
, , , , , , , , Marlène Alexandre, David Bresson, , , , , , , , , Monica Pardo,
Directors:
, ,
Producers:
Raymond Eger, Alberto Grimaldi
Voiced By:
Maurice Ronet
Narrated By:
Vincent Price, Clement Biddle Wood
Writers:
Edgar Allan Poe, Roger Vadim, Pascal Cousin, Louis Malle, Clement Biddle Wood, Daniel Boulanger, Federico Fellini, Bernardino Zapponi
Aka:
Histoires extraordinaires
Studio:
Arrow Films
Genres:
Classics, Drama, Horror
BBFC:
Release Date:
Unknown
Run Time:
116 minutes
Languages:
French
Subtitles:
English
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Full Screen 1.33:1 / 4:3
Colour:
Colour
BBFC:
Release Date:
15/11/2010
Run Time:
121 minutes
Languages:
English, French, Italian
Subtitles:
English, English Hard of Hearing
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.85:1
Colour:
Colour
BLU-RAY Regions:
(0) All
Bonus:
  • Features rare Vincent Price voice over narration used for the US theatrical version

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Reviews (2) of Spirits of the Dead

Saved by Fellini? - Spirits of the Dead review by CP Customer

Spoiler Alert
03/02/2011

Each part of this 1968 film (based on three of Poe's short stories) was directed by a different director (Roger Vadim, Louis Malle and Federico Fellini). It has a cast of big names (Jane Fonda, Alain Delon, Peter Fonda, Brigitte Bardot, and Terence Stamp) and a narration by Vincent Price. None of this quite saves it from being dreadful. The best of the three is the Fellini segment (almost as good as Juliet of the Spirits).

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

Come back Roger Corman, all is forgiven! - Spirits of the Dead review by Count Otto Black

Spoiler Alert
14/10/2016

Yes, it's that rarest of beasts, a sixties Edgar Allen Poe film Roger Corman had absolutely nothing to do with. Vincent Price does provide narration (in French), but he sounds so disinterested, if not downright bored, that I didn't recognize his usually unmistakable voice, and, presumably at his own request, his name isn't in the credits.

Instead of Corman, we've got a trio of European arthouse directors doing a third of the film each. Roger Vadim goes first, with a tale bearing no relation to Poe other than borrowing the title of an unfilmable short story in which nothing happens. Mainly it's an excuse for him to show off his trophy wife Jane Fonda looking cute in various leftover Barbarella outfits. She also holds some of the tamest orgies you'll ever see on screen, and falls in love with a horse. Which sounds as though it ought to be a lot of fun on several levels, but it's just pretentious and painfully dull.

Louis Malle's "William Wilson" is a straightforward Poe adaptation, about an evil man whose conscience inexplicably comes to life as his good twin and keeps ruining his fun. That's it. Oh, and Brigitte Bardot gets whipped. It does at least try to be a horror movie in the Corman style, but it fails miserably, plodding along so lifelessly that its 40 minutes feel more like 80.

And then we come to the Frederico Fellini segment, in which a magnificently dissipated Terence Stamp, looking very punk rock indeed eight years before it was invented, plays a bad-boy Hollywood actor undergoing his own personal "Fear and Loathing in Rome", which may or not be semi-hallucinatory and/or a literal descent into Hell, and reminded me a lot of "Jacob's Ladder". Needless to say, this is far and away the best part of the movie. It even has the wit to savagely mock pretentious arthouse films while deliberately being one of those turned up to 11. I just wish we'd gotten to see a bit of the movie our hero is in Italy to make: the life of Jesus Christ reimagined as a spaghetti western.

If Fellini, or indeed anybody, had directed the other two segments with the same level of style, humor, and sheer bizarreness that he brings to the last part, this movie would have been an oddball Surrealist classic. But what we get is a tedious waste of time which at 80 minutes is long enough to be an entire film, with one-third of something worth watching stuck on at the end, almost like a prize for getting that far. And movies are supposed to be entertainment, not an endurance test.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

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