Two decades before "Histoires Extraordinaires " (spirit of the dead)the anthology by Malle/Vadim/Fellini,Jean Faurez made his own Poe adaptation.One should note that only two of the four segments are by E.A.Poe.The others were written by Thomas de Quincey.
The segments are linked,in an artificial way ,by a scene in a police station where gendarmes are initiating a rookie ,using the hard way: they tell him grim tales ,after a lugubrious song on the cast and credits .
Segment one: It takes place in a girls boarding-school ;a serial killer is at large;guess where he is going to look for his next preys? it's non-scary and even the unexpected end fails totally to convince.
Segment two:"the tell tale heart" ;there is so much voice over you can hardly hear the actors talk.The classic tale which is given a flashback treatment cannot hold a candle to Jules Dassin's version;stick with that one.
Segment three:"the Amantadillo cask" ;things go a little better (it can't be worse) with this sketch which features two earnest thespians ,Jules Berry and Fernand Ledoux.It was Ledoux's sweet revenge after Carné's "Les Visiteurs du Soir "where he was tempted by the devil (Berry) and wound up in Hell.These great actors do not need voice over to be convincing.
Segment four ;the second Quincey tale ,which looks like more a poor man's Agatha Christie 's murder mystery than a fantasy and horror story,except for the final trick which deals with a Château-Margaux Bordeaux wine case .
Except for segment three,not very exciting for the French oldies buff