Spirits of the Dead

Critics Consensus

Three auteurs descend on the works of Poe, each putting on a ghoulish show -- adapting The Tomahawk Man's tales of dreams and fright, with Fellini's segment particularly out of sight.



Total Count: 20


Audience Score

User Ratings: 2,346
User image

Spirits of the Dead Photos

Movie Info

This film features adaptations of three short stories by Edgar Allan Poe. In "Metzengerstein," a woman believes a horse possesses her dead cousin's spirit; "William Wilson" focuses on an Army officer who murders his double; and "Never Bet The Devil Your Head" tells a tale of a jaded movie star.


Jane Fonda
as Contessa Frederique de Metzengerstein
Peter Fonda
as Baron Wilhelm Berlifitzing
Brigitte Bardot
as Giuseppina
Alain Delon
as William Wilson and his double
James Robertson Justice
as Countess' Advisor
Anny Duperey
as 1st Guest
Georges Douking
as du Lissier
Katia Christine
as Young Girl
Daniele Vargas
as Professor
Terence Stamp
as Toby Dammit
Fabrizio Angeli
as 1st Director
Ernesto Colli
as 2nd Director
Anne Tonietti
as Television Commentator
Vincent Price
as Narrator
Alcardo Ward
as 1st Interviewer
Paul Cooper
as 2nd Interviewer
Marco Stefanelli
as Wilson as a child
Antonia Pietrosi
as Actress (segment "Toby Dammit")
Rick Boyd
as [Never Bet The Devil Your Head]
Jérôme Polidor
as [Never Bet The Devil Your Head]
View All

Critic Reviews for Spirits of the Dead

All Critics (20) | Top Critics (3) | Fresh (18) | Rotten (2)

Audience Reviews for Spirits of the Dead

  • Sep 05, 2010
    This movie features three stories directed by three great foreign directors, and the cast features some of the best foreign actors at the time too. I really liked the stories and seeing all the different directing styles is so cool. I highly recommend this movie.
    Aj V Super Reviewer
  • Dec 14, 2008
    3 Edgar Allen Poe tales, I haven't read any of them: Roger Vadim's entry which he also scripted seems like it was sourced from a twelve-page tale and extended to forty minutes. Easily the least of the series, but features Jane Fonda during her hottie '60s era. Luridly interesting/uncomfortable to see her in a couple three-way scenes since she recently revealed that her then-husband (the very same Roger Vadim) would force her into such trysts. They always say to write what you know. Louie Malle's tale is the best, and quite disturbing with Alain Delon as a completely evil sadistic bastard - even as a child, he would tear up letters from his mother unread and dangle schoolmates into a barrel of rats. Yikes. However, his evilest plans are constantly thwarted by a strange alter-ego. Fellini's tale is the weirdest, and a segment I found very entertaining until the last 15 minutes which seems aimless and padded. Still, the Italian Oscars sendup is a marvelous mix of satire and surrealism. Even the title character's name is funny: Toby Dammit. All told, an entertaining and visually stimulating waltz of the macabre.
    Doctor S Super Reviewer
  • Apr 07, 2008
    Poe's macabre tales are re-envisioned by three auteurs: Vadim, Malle, and Fellini. Vadim's 'Metzemgerstein' is reinterpreted in the form of a debauched, depraved, decadent countess -- Jane Fonda. Her nature is aptly described as a 'petty Caligula.' Orgies, bisexuality, and hedonism abound. Her costumes were late 60's outrageousness. Falling in love with her cousin, played by her brother, Peter, just added to the creepiness factor. Eventually, she and her spirited black stallion are literally consumed by flames. Malle's vision of 'William Wilson' was my personal favorite. Alain Delon is perfectly cast as a sadist, haunted by his conscience, which is manifested as his doppelganger. Malle's jumpy camera perfectly translates the terror and anxiety experienced by Delon after murdering his doppelganger. By eliminating his superego, he has essentially murdered himself. Fellini's loose adaptation of Poe's story is replete with surrealistic trademarks. This heightens the absurdity of the story. Terrence Stamp is well cast as an amoralist, tormented actor. His joyride to hell is the most shocking scene in the trilogy. The combination of the tales is quite moralistic: the devil will always get his due.
    Stefanie C Super Reviewer
  • Jan 09, 2008
    the 3rd segment by Fellini, "Toby Dammit", is amazingly kinetic, and Malle's has some disturbing touches
    Adam M Super Reviewer

Spirits of the Dead Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

News & Features