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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. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

In one chapter of this three-in-one feature inspired by Edgar Allan Poe's tales, a countess (Jane Fonda), shunned by a horseman (Peter Fonda), kills the man and his animals yet pays dearly for her deadly act. Another focuses on a religious man (Alain Delon) who seeks absolution for a murder only to find that his violent impulses come rushing back. The third is about a boozing actor (Terence Stamp) who accepts a car as compensation for a role, but is ultimately defeated by addiction.

Cast & Crew

Jane Fonda
Contessa Frederique de Metzengerstein
Terence Stamp
Toby Dammit
Alain Delon
William Wilson and his double
Peter Fonda
Baron Wilhelm Berlifitzing
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Critic Reviews for Spirits of the Dead

All Critics (21) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (18) | Rotten (3)

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

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