Federico Fellini, Louis Malle and Roger Vadim adapt works by macabre author Edgar Allan Poe in the anthology film Spirits of the Dead [Histoires extraordinaires].
Dealing with tormented characters experiencing a personal hell, filled with angst and delirium, Spirits of the Dead was a ground-breaking departure for the adaption of Poe in cinema. Vadim directs Jane Fonda as Countess Metzengerstein, a debauched heiress leading a life Caligula would commend. The Countess becomes tormented by the denial of her incestuous desire for her cousin Baron Berlifitzing (fittingly played by her brother Peter Fonda). Malle directs Alain Delon as William Wilson, an Austrian Solider who is haunted by his doppelgänger, tormenting him at times in his life where he is at his most cruel and sadistic. Fellini's famed segment sees Terence Stamp as a Toby Dammit, an actor arriving in Rome to meet the producers of his new film, the first Catholic Western. Drugged and drunk, Dammit is disturbed by the haunting image of the devil, which like Mario Bava's Kill, Baby... Kill! and Bunuel's Simon of the Desert, is actually a young girl, ominously bouncing a ball.
Spirits of the Dead is presented in a brand new transfer from a new High Definition restoration of the original film negative. Reinstating Terence Stamp's superb performance with his original English audio as well as an alternate English audio option for Metzengerstein.
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This is a masterpiece and well worth a watch.
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Do you like the 60s? Do you like arty films? Do you like those old films that are split into 3 or 4 stories? If the answer to all these is yes - buy this! The first part is very dodgy but quite fun in a way - imagine Barbarella's costumes in a completely different setting - well thats what Vadim's mini-film is like! The second part is quite good, Bardot just looks unbelievable as usual. However... the best is saved for last. Fellini's contribution with Terence Stamp at his absolute best is just brilliant! I cant say why I like it so much but suffice it to say, this part makes the whole thing worth buying. This set comes in a very nice slipcase together with a little book telling you all about it and the Poe stories that the stories originate from. If you see it under a tenner, snap it up!
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