Spirits of the Dead (1968) is a strange anthology film containing three Poe stories. While American International Pictures didn’t produce this film, they distributed the English version; I watched the French/Italian version. It’s strange that not all the voices can be heard as they are erased from the soundtrack. I wonder if it’s the same in the English version.

Spirits of the Dead

The “Metzengerstein” segment is about a young heiress who is into orgies and other wild acts. The costuming and sets are well imagined. This story is just strange, being French or not. I think if I’d seen the English version, I’d have thought the same. I don’t recall reading this poem as maybe if I had, I would have better insight on it. However, as they displayed it in this anthology, I’m not a fan.

Next is the “William Wilson” segment and is the tale of a man who has a doppelgänger; well, another young man has the same name, but they don’t look the same. In one scene, I’m convinced that the cadaver was real; if you watch the movie, you’ll see what I mean. It’s an interesting story, though I don’t think this adaptation does it justice.

The final segment is “Toby Dammit,” which is the adaptation of Never Bet the Devil Your Head, and takes us on the journey of a drunkard actor who is losing his career. He accepts a role in Rome hoping to regain fame. Of the three, this is the most bizarre and shows the madness that is Poe. This is my favorite in the anthology.

2 Stars

I found Spirits of the Dead arduous to view with few redeeming qualities and give it 2 out of 5 Stars.

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