This horror anthology has three prominent European directors – Roger Vadim, Louis Malle and Federico Fellini – each adapt an Edgar Allan Poe short story for the big screen, each starring top stars of the day.
“Metzengerstein” – directed by Vadim – features a beautiful but cruel medieval countess (Jane Fonda) who has a love-hate relationship with a black stallion – who, it turns out, is really her dead lover Baron Wilhelm (Peter Fonda).
Despite Fonda’s skimpy Barbarella-style outfits, this is the weakest of the three segments.
“William Wilson” tells the story of a sadistic Austrian army officer (Alain Delon) who is hounded by a mysterious man that shares his name and appearance, but none of his evil ways. Directed by Louis Malle.
Brigitte Bardot puts in a courageous performance as Giuseppina and the De Sadean climax in which she gets whipped for losing a game of poker is strangely fascinating.
“Toby Dammit” – directed by Fellini – features the titular jaded alcoholic English movie star (Terence Stamp) arriving in Rome to film a spaghetti western based on the life of Jesus Christ and attend a bizarre Italian version of the Oscars.
Haunted by visions of a young blonde girl playing with a ball who turns out to be the Devil, he goes on a drunken ride through Rome in a Ferrari. Based on Poe’s novel Don’t Wager Your Head to the Devil.
Contessa Frederique de Metzengerstein
James Robertson Justice
Friend of Countess
Baron Wilhelm Berlifitzing
Young girl on the dissection table
Wilson as a child