Spirits of the Dead (1968) is another, different anthology of stories by Edgar Allan Poe. I reviewed Two Evil Eyes (1990) in September. As with that film, I’ll talk about each segment individually.
Metzengerstein is about a cruel countess, who develops an unrequited crush on her cousin. She has someone burn his stables, which inadvertently kills him. At the same time, a mysterious horse arrives at her castle that only she can ride. She believes it to be the spirit of her dead love interest, and she’s consumed by this spell. Jane Fonda plays a woman who is in love with her cousin, and the cousin is played by Peter Fonda, her brother. This was my least favorite segment.
William Wilson is about a bully, a horrible man, named William Wilson. Every time he’s about to do something epically cruel, a man who looks like him and is also named William Wilson, steps in to stop him. I really enjoyed parts of this film, but the climax is a drawn-out, boring poker scene with no music.
Toby Dammit, directed by Federico Fellini, is the best of the three. It’s about a British movie star being lauded with praise in Italy, but he’s a drunk and he knows he’s not a very good actor. They interview him and present him with an award, but he’s really only there to collect the brand new Ferrari they promised him. This one was wildly surreal and filled with beautiful sets. I’d probably recommend watching this film alone and skipping the others.