USA Today - 05/24/1996
"...The finale, directed by Federico Fellini, is a minor classic..."
Sight and Sound - 01/01/2011
"Louis Malle's take on 'William Wilson,' one of Poe's best stories and surprisingly rarely filmed, is the most faithful of these three to Poe's text..."
Description by OLDIES.com:
Three giants of world cinema conspire to bring the dark prose of Edgar Allan Poe to the screen. Roger Vadim, Louis Malle, and Federico Fellini direct Jane and Peter Fonda, Brigitte Bardot, Alain Delon, and Terence Stamp in three separate stories of souls tormented by their own phantasmal visions of guilt, lust, demons and greed.
With SPIRITS OF THE DEAD, three titans of European cinema--Roger Vadim, Louis Malle, and Federico Fellini--team up for a stylish film based on the works of macabre author Edgar Allan Poe. Vadim directs the first segment, METZENGERSTEIN, with Jane Fonda portraying the spoiled, vicious Frederique. When she finally meets her neighbor, Baron Wilhelm (played by her brother Peter), her advances toward him are met with rejection. Humiliated, she takes matters into her own hands, leading her into a downward spiral with a tragic ending. Malle takes the middle slot with WILLIAM WILSON, featuring Alain Delon as the troubled hero, a man who has been haunted since childhood by a man with his exact name. After torturing a gorgeous woman (Brigitte Bardot), a final duel brings William's ghosts home once and for all. Last but not least is Fellini's segment, a story set in the 1970s entitled TOBY DAMMIT, which stars Terence Stamp as a spacey English actor who travels to Rome in order to play Christ in a New Testament Western. When he gets the keys to a brand-new Ferrari, he embarks on a dangerous drive that just might cost him his life. SPIRITS OF THE DEAD is a real gem for those who enjoy the surreal and grotesque.
SPIRITS OF THE DEAD features three short films based on tales by master of psychological terror Edgar Allan Poe. Acclaimed directors Federico Fellini, Louis Malle, and Roger Vadim each bring their highly idiosyncratic styles to bear on this eerie trio of stories.