Friday, November 25, 2011

Spirits of the Dead (1968)

Directors: Roger Vadim, Louis Malle & Federico Fellini

Starring: Brigitte Bardot, Alain Delon, Jane Fonda, Terence Stamp, Peter Fonda

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Edgar Allen Poe's ultimate orgy!

Plot: "Metzengerstein": the bored and corrupt medieval countess Frederica spends her futile life in orgies and cruelties. When she moves with her friends to one of her castles nearby the lands of her poor cousin Baron Wilhelm, she desires him but is not corresponded. When one of her minions burns the stable, Wilhelm dies trying to rescues his stallion and Federica is haunted by her lost cousin. "William Wilson": the sadistic and cruel soldier of the Austrian army William Wilson confesses to a priest the cruelties he committed along his sinful life and the participation of his double also called William Wilson in specific moments of his dreadful life. "Toby Dammit": the cynical alcoholic and decadent English actor Toby Dammit travels to Rome to make a Catholic Western, but only interested in receiving the Ferrari promised by the production.

My rating: 4/10

Will I watch it again? No, but in an arthouse-y kind of know, with my pinky out.

This sure sounded like a good idea at the time. It's an arthouse horror anthology of three Edgar Allen Poe stories directed by 3 top Euoropean directors. Wrong.

Metzengerstein - directed by Roger "BARBARELLA (1968)" Vadim. They start things off with the dullest of the three tales. It's slow and pretentious. Ugh. I fought sleep all through this one. 2/10.

William Wilson - directed by Louis "ELEVATOR TO THE GALLOWS (1958)" Malle. This one's tons more interesting than the last one but it still drags and the big reveal isn't all that surprising or interesting. 5/10

Toby Dammit - directed by Federico "LA DOLCE VITA (1960)" Felini. This is the best of the bunch partly because of Stamp's performance, the quirkiness of Felini's direction and the playfulness of Nino Rota's score. 6.5/10

For three stories totaling 121 minutes, two of which are slow and tiring, it's simply too much to endure. I would say skip to the last tale and consider yourself fortunate. Otherwise, it's one to skip altogether. I'm not happy I saw any of them. The big bonus is Vincent Price's narration for a few seconds during the end credits. Poe has never been so sleep-inducing.

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