Spirits Of The Dead Review

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Three top European directors take on the works of Edgar Allan Poe


A triple-decker of Euro-adaptations from Edgar Allan Poe (whose name is misspelled on the box), breaks down to two weirdly fascinating bits of kitsch accompanied by a no less schlocky but nevertheless authentic masterpiece. The supporting items are Vadim’s Metzengerstein, with the Fonda siblings in a semi-incestuous curse story, and Malle’s William Wilson, with dastardly Delon tying up Bardot for sex and haunted by his even more ruthless double. The five-star main attraction is Fellini’s Toby Dammit, with Stamp as a dissolute English film star in Rome to make a Catholic spaghetti Western, sucked into a swirling vortex of colourful media frenzy and haunted by the devil in the form of a little girl with a bouncing red ball. The punch-line involves a collision between two great Italian maestri, signore Fellini and signore Ferrari.

Intriguing and mostly successful.