HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Tokyo Dragon Chef
Pittsburgh
12 Hour Shift
Intergalactic Adventures of Max Cloud, The
Spoilers, The
Killer Therapy
Man Upstairs, The
Bloodhound, The
New Mutants, The
Tesla
Flame of New Orleans, The
Ham on Rye
Imperial Blue
Tenet
August 32nd on Earth
Don is Dead, The
Seven Sinners
Body of Water
Away
Soul
About Endlessness
Let It Snow
Ava
Deliver Us from Evil
Shark Attack 3: Megalodon
Midnight Sky, The
Lego Star Wars Holiday Special, The
Mon Oncle Antoine
Blast of Silence
Blackout, The
Stars in Your Eyes
Alone
Climate of the Hunter
Farewell Amor
Let's Scare Julie
Okko's Inn
Shaolin vs. Wu Tang
Fatman
Butt Boy
Dog of Flanders, The
   
 
Newest Articles
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
The Butterfly Effect: Mothra on Blu-ray
Living Room Theatre: Play for Today Volume 1 on Blu-ray
Didn't He Do Well: The Bruce Forsyth Show on DVD
Blood Wedding: The Bride with White Hair on Blu-ray
The Inhuman Element: The Ladykillers on 4K UHD
As You Like It, Baby: Breathless on Blu-ray
Stargazing: Light Entertainment Rarities on DVD
Down to the Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 2 on DVD
Herding Cats: Sleepwalkers on Blu-ray
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
They're Still Not Sure It is a Baby: Eraserhead on Blu-ray
   
 
  Spirits of the Dead Faced With Poe
Year: 1968
Director: Roger Vadim, Louis Malle, Federico Fellini
Stars: Brigitte Bardot, Alain Delon, Jane Fonda, Terence Stamp, James Robertson Justice, Peter Fonda, Salvo Randone, Daniele Vargas, Marco Stefanelli, Françoise Prévost, Marlène Alexandre, Marie-Ange Aniès, Marina Yaru, Anne Tonietti, Umberto D'Orsi, Peter Dane
Genre: HorrorBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 3 votes)
Review: This is a compilation of three tales adapted by three European directors from the works of Edgar Allan Poe: Metzengerstein, William Wilson and Toby Dammit. The first tells the story of Countess Frederica (Jane Fonda), a decadent young woman who inherited her lands and riches early in life and enjoyed nothing more than an orgy - or an execution. She never thought she'd change her ways until she met her cousin Baron Wilhelm (Peter Fonda), an austere young man who to her infuriation wanted nothing to do with her. She'd make him notice...

Handily for a selection of three horror stories, they are presented here in reverse order of interest. Not that any of the efforts are particularly terrible, it's simply that the Federico Fellini episode that ends the film works up to a delirious finale (after a delirious rest of it) and the Roger Vadim peters out. Whether you're a Poe fan or not, it must be admitted that when the Italian director makes with his magic, the reason it's so effective is that he has pretty much thrown out the whole of the source material, Never Bet the Devil Your Head. The other two unfortunately offer fairly predictable narratives even if you haven't read the originals.

The segment with the Fondas is lyrically adapted, but despite an air of debauchery it would fit in with a PG certificate today if it weren't for the implication that the Countess' interest in her cousin might be sexual as well as petulant. He still ends up dead in a stable fire attempting to save his beloved horses, a fire started on the orders of the Countess, but as his favourite stallion survives, she grows obsessed with it and the whole thing begins to look like a forgotten episode of Black Beauty.

Next up is Louis Malle's kinky take on William Wilson, with a well cast Alain Delon in the title role. Those famously unruffled feathers get the wind put up them when he meets his double, or doppelganger, who has a habit of appearing at various points in his life and putting paid to his schemes, which are on the level of the Countess's. Unusually for a evil double plot, it's the main character who is the evil one, so when the medical student attempts to perform an autopsy on a still living young woman, it's his decent counterpart who stops him. Apart from that, and a black-wigged Brigitte Bardot showing up long enough to be cheated at cards and whipped, it all proceeds much as you would expect.

Nothing too scary so far, which is a drawback for a chiller, but Fellini's contribution is something that lifts the enterprise. Terence Stamp stars as Toby Dammit, a film actor as dissolute as the previous lead characters, looking appropriately like death warmed up with his corpse-grey features. He is obviously hammered on drink or drugs or both, but has to appear on an Italian television show which has asked him to be part of the broadcast while he's in town to shoot a religious western. Fellini surrounds the already zonked Toby with a feverish dream of mist, snatches of conversation, and gloom pierced by the odd shaft of colour or glitter, all punctuated with appearances of a little girl playing with a ball who turns out to be the Devil (shades of Mario Bava). Even if you can guess how this will resolve itself after Toby has stolen a sports car to get the hell out of there, it's this episode that stays in the mind and makes this film worth watching.

Aka: Histoires Extraordinaires, Tales of Mystery and Imagination.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 7867 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Roger Vadim  (1928 - 2000)

French writer-director who had a habit of romancing his leading ladies. And God Created Woman, his debut, created a sensation and made a superstar of Brigitte Bardot. His other films include Blood and Roses, Barbarella (featuring then-wife Jane Fonda), the first part of Spirits of the Dead, the Hollywood excursion Pretty Maids All in a Row and Night Games.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
Enoch Sneed
  Geraint Morgan
Paul Smith
  Lee Fiveash
   

 

Last Updated: