Spirits of the Dead
Released in Europe as Histoires Extraordinaires and Tre Passi Nel Delirio, this is a portmanteau picture, comprised of three supernatural playlets based on the works of Edgar Allan Poe. "Metzengerstein," directed by Roger Vadim, stars the director's then-wife Jane Fonda as a medieval woman prone to acts of vengeance. Her brother Peter Fonda is somewhat perversely cast as her cousin, for whom she holds incestuous yearnings. When he gives her the cold shoulder, she spitefully sets fire to his stable of horses. He is himself killed in the blaze, but it seems that he has been reincarnated as a horse. In "William Wilson," directed by Louis Malle, a sadistic Austrian officer (Alain Delon) commits various S&M misdeeds upon a variety of victims, including a woman (Brigitte Bardot) with whom he plays cards. The officer himself comes to grief when he finds that the Church will not allow him to say an act of contrition. And "Never Bet Your Head," directed by Federico Fellini, updates the Poe original by casting Terence Stamp as a self-indulgent movie star. Driving drunk one evening, the actor literally bets his head that he can escape a potentially fatal accident.