Spirits of the Dead (1968)
- Summaries (5)
Three directors each adapt a Poe short story to the screen: "Toby Dammit" features a disheveled drugged and drunk English movie star who nods acceptance in the Italian press and his producers fawn over him. "Metzengerstein" features a Mediveal countess who has a love-hate relationship with a black stallion - who, it turns out is really her dead lover. "William Wilson" tells the story of a sadistic Austrian student with an exact double whom he later kills.
Three short stories by Edgar Allan Poe are adapted for the screen, each under the helm of a different filmmaker. In "Metzengerstein", the Contessa Frederique de Metzengerstein is a wealthy, depraved and cruel young woman, whose actions are for her own amusement regardless of the affect they have on other people. Her cousin, Baron Wilhelm Berlifitzing, is her closest neighbor, although the two do not really know each other. Unlike Frederique, Wilhelm is a content and happy person. Upon first sighting, Frederique becomes obsessed with her cousin. An incident initiated by Frederique that affects Wilhelm directly has a profound effect on her psyche, which is only strengthened with the arrival of a wild black stallion into her life, from where the stallion came no one knows. In "William Wilson", a young non-Cathloic man named William Wilson feels the need to confess to a Catholic priest of a murder he just committed. His story starts as a boy when he was a cadet in a military school, he a sadistic person who tormented those classmates with who he had issue, with many of his other classmates mindlessly following him in not wanting to face his wrath. He brings his sadistic behavior into adulthood, first as a medical student, then as a military man in the Austrian army. But it is someone from his childhood who follows him, in body and/or spirit, that may ultimately be William's match. In "Toby Dammit", the title character, a British Shakespearean actor, has just landed in Rome where he is scheduled to film a movie, in the role of Christ in the first ever Catholic western. He is unabashedly self-indulgent and has open contempt for the business, even for his fans. He is also neurotic and tormented, he who copes with excessive alcohol. It is a Ferrari which he asked and received as a bonus for the film that he uses as his ultimate weapon to deal with his pain.
Former Shakespearean actor Toby Dammit (Terence Stamp) is losing his acting career to alcoholism. He agrees to work on a film, to be shot in Rome, for which he will be given a brand new Ferrari as a bonus incentive. Dammit begins to have unexpected visions of macabre girl with a white ball.
"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.
Anthology film from three European directors based on stories by Edgar Allan Poe: a cruel princess haunted by a ghostly horse, a sadistic young man haunted by his double, and a alcoholic actor haunted by the Devil.
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