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Spirits of the Dead Blu-ray

United Kingdom
Histoires extraordinaires Arrow | 1968 | 1 Movie, 2 Cuts | 121 min | Rated BBFC: 18 | Nov 15, 2010

Spirits of the Dead (Blu-ray)

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 1.84:1
Original aspect ratio: 1.85:1

English: LPCM Mono
French: LPCM Mono
Italian: LPCM Mono

English SDH

50GB Blu-ray Disc
Single disc (1 BD)

Slipcover in original pressing

Region free

List price: £22.99, Price history

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Movie rating
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Blu-ray rating
Video 4.5 of 54.5
Audio 3.9 of 53.9
Extras 3.0 of 53.0
Based on 2 user reviews

Movie appeal 

Spirits of the Dead


Spirits of the Dead Blu-ray delivers stunning video and great audio in this excellent Blu-ray release

A trio of supernatural stories based on the works of Edgar Allan Poe.
Metzengerstein:A jealous medieval Countess has incestuous feelings for her cousin
William Wilson: a woman finds herself on the end of a whipping when she loses at cards to a sadistic Austrian officer
Toby Dammit: while driving home drunk, a self-obsessed movie star bets his head that he can survive a deadly accident.

For more about Spirits of the Dead and the Spirits of the Dead Blu-ray release, see Spirits of the Dead Blu-ray Review published by on where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.

Directors: Federico Fellini, Louis Malle, Roger Vadim
Writers: Edgar Allan Poe, Federico Fellini, Bernardino Zapponi, Louis Malle, Clement Biddle Wood, Roger Vadim
Starring: Brigitte Bardot, Alain Delon, Jane Fonda, Terence Stamp, James Robertson Justice, Peter Fonda

» See full cast & crew

Spirits of the Dead Blu-ray, Video Quality

  4.5 of 5

Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.84:1, encoded with MPEG-4 AVC and granted a 1080p transfer, Histoires extraordinaires arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of British distributors Arrow Films.

English version:
Struck from a brand new restoration of the original film negative, this new high-definition transfer looks very good. Fine object detail is very strong. A few of the close-ups with Jane Fonda from the first story for instance are beyond impressive. Clarity is also pleasing, particularly during the indoor scenes, as well as the final third of the last story. Contrast levels are also substantially better than I expected them to be. The color-scheme, however, is where this Blu-ray release impresses the most; the variety of reds, blues, greens, browns, blacks, and especially the yellows from the final story look rich and well saturated; indeed, Histoires extraordinaires has never looked this healthy before. Edge-enhancement is not a serious issue of concern. I noticed random traces of it during a couple of scenes, but they were most definitely not disturbing. Pixelation and macroblocking also do not plague the high-definition transfer. There are no traces of excessive noise reduction either. Generally speaking, the fine film grain is very much intact, though occasionally it is also mixed with a small dose of light noise. There are no seriously stability issues either. When blown through a digital projector, Histoires extraordinaires conveys very pleasing depth and tightness around the edges. Lastly, I did not see any large cuts, damage marks, splices, or debris to report in this review.

French version:
Unlike the English version, the French version of Histoires extraordinaires looks dated. Fine object detail is quite inconsistent, clarity unimpressive, and contrast levels problematic. The color-scheme is also compromised; the blues, greens, reds, and yellows often times look as unhealthy as they are on the old R2 SDVD release of Histoires extraordinaires. There are random stability issues, as well as minor flecks and scratches popping up thought the the three stories. Regardless, Arrow Films deserve a lot of credit for including the lesser seen on this side of the Atlantic French version of Histoires extraordinaires.

Note: This is a Region-Free Blu-ray disc. Therefore, you will be able to play it on your PS3 or SA regardless of your geographical location. For the record, there is no problematic PAL or 1080/50i content preceding the disc's main menu.

Spirits of the Dead Blu-ray, Audio Quality

  4.0 of 5

There are a variety of different audio options on this Blu-ray disc. On the disc menu they are identified as Multi-lingual audio and English dubbed audio, but I chose to enter them in our database as English LPCM 1.0 (Mono), French LPCM 1.0 (Mono), and Italian LPCM 1.0 (Mono). There are also multiple optional subtitle options - English subtitles for the French and Italian dialog; English subtitles for the English, French and Italian dialog; and English subtitles for the English dubbed audio.

Metzengerstein - The English LPCM 1.0 track is strong. The narration and dialog are crisp, clean, stable, and very easy to follow. The baroque score is also impressive (the recorder solos are nuanced, full of color). There is some extremely mild background noise that has been inherited, but the quality of the sound is indeed very good. The French dub is fairly decent. There are some minor pops and crackle, but the dialog is relatively easy to follow.

William Wilson - The French LPCM 1.0 track is very pleasing. The dialog is once again crisp, stable, clean, and easy to follow. I also did not detect any disturbing pops or cracks to report in this review. The English dub is also of equally high-quality, though I'd certainly recommend viewing William Wilson in French. Please note that the overdubbing in the French version is intentional.

Toby Dammit - The Italian LPCM 1.0 track (with portions of English) is strong. The dialog is clean, crisp, stable, and very easy to follow. Again, there is a bit of mild background noise, but the music sounds great. The Ferrari footage now also sounds notably better than it does on the R2 SDVD release of Histoires extraordinaires.

Vincent Price voiceover - In 1969, AIP released Histoires extraordinaires in the United States retitling the film Spirits of the Dead and hired an uncredited Vincent Price to read the opening and closing stanzas of Edgar Allan Poe's eponymous poem over the main and end titles. Arrow Films have included Mr. Price's narration. Not subtitled in English.

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