No idea if there is a list for this yet, but I think I will keep this as kind of…
The Abominable Dr. Phibes
Love means never having to say you're ugly.
Famous organist Anton Phibes is horribly disfigured in an automobile accident while rushing to the side of his sick wife and presumed to be dead. Once Phibes learns that his wife died on the operating table, he is convinced the doctor's are responsible and begins exacting his revenge on all those involved.
I am SO enjoying this month of horror films.
And it really has been the more comedic horror films that have been the stars as far as I'm concerned. Sure, there wasn't much funny about The Exorcist (and that includes Repossessed) but it's been delightful to find several more films that find that always precarious balance between humour and horror. I always really appreciate a film that can strike that balance so well because it's clearly not easy to do.
Here is another one to throw on the pile. I have to say that as much as I loved Theatre Of Blood, it has always seemed to me that The Abominable…
Sixty in September: 13/60
I love all the things Phibes leaves mysterious and unexplained. Vulnavia, "The Girl," never speaks. We never learn where exactly she comes from, or who she is, or how she comes to know Phibes. The poster has them romantically embracing, and yet the film hints at nothing. But she bears a striking resemblance to his deceased wife. Magnetic thought commands. The way she plays her white violin to accompany murders. I love when mysteries are allowed to hang freely like this.
She reminds me so much of Morpho in Jess Franco's Vampyros Lesbos, a similarly mute and stylish henchman, with the subtlest implication of romance with the protagonist. The whole opening sequence had a Franco feel.…
fast paced, fun, sinister, nasty & totally wild to the bone, Dr. Phibes is one of the weirdest and most original horror flicks from the early 70s. the thing plays like Monty Python meets Amicus and seems to have influenced everything from the Saw series to Seven, Darkman & Phantom of the Paradise. Vincent Price gives one of his best and most over the top performances as the tortured anti hero and along the way we treated with some truly gross out death scenes. Here we have a skull faced man obsessed with revenge who in his spare time has built a wind up life size jazz band and likes to play the organ. If you haven't seen it yet, something is missing in your life and now is the time.
Dr. Phibes was way ahead of its time in 1971 and still might be today. Brilliant stuff.
watch it here today : www.youtube.com/watch?v=e6FPbt8zB48
The locust attack might be the greatest themed murder Vincent Price has ever committed.
Also: I would like to be friends with anyone named Vulvania, but especially with this Vulvania.
A visually striking tale of bloody revenge with lashings of ancient mysticism and science fiction which follows two bumbling cops as they struggle to catch the ghoulishly meticulate serial killer, Dr. Anton Phibes. Refreshingly, Price is completely subdued within the character of Phibes and rarely speaks leaving all the wacky stylistic ideas to run amok, which include gilded statues mixed with brash neon plastics, neo-biblical costumes, the colorfully grand design of the Phibes family lair, his car and all of his bespoke murdering apparatus. A unique British horror film and tremendous fun throughout.
Watched as part of Shocktober.
"Nine killed you, nine shall die." So says mad organist Anton Phibes when he plugs himself into the phonograph that gives him a voice since he lost the ability to speak in the fiery car crash that has led people to believe he's dead. Instead, he's merely been biding his time, hanging out in his art-deco mansion, carving wax busts of the medical professionals he holds responsible for the death of his wife (and which he takes a blowtorch to after each murder), and engineering the devices that allow him to have his revenge on them. (My favorites are the frog mask with the ever-tightening collar that keeps going until his victim croaks and the ice machine that blasts another full in the face with hail). As weird as some of the Biblical plague-themed murders are, though (dig the death-by-catapulted-bronze-unicorn-head), the film as a whole pales in comparison with the Shakespearean Theatre of Blood, which vastly improved on the concept.
Tremendous quirky gothic chiller thanks to the opulent style of Robert Fuest. Vincent Price taps into just the right amount of camp and the script has just the right amount of wit without anything sliding into self-parody and the deaths are very well orchestrated. Prime character parts for Joseph Cotton and Terry-Thomas help while Peter Jeffrey does well as the dogged detective trying to keep up with Phibes.
I was prepared for this one to be a bit odd. I was not prepared enough. I’m kind of ashamed to say it, but I’ve only seen three other Vincent Price films – Last Man on Earth, Witchfinder General, and Masque of the Red Death. ...Phibes was unlike any of those films. It has the garish color palette of Masque, but that’s where the similarities end. This really felt like two separate films that only come together in the end. For half of the running time, it’s a dry British comedy/police procedural. The other half is like watching a villain-centric episode of the ‘60s Batman television show (especially when it comes to Phibes’ various methods of offing his quarry –…
Steve: The ultimate Vincent Price mad scientist film, here he plays a disfigured man who seeks revenge on the people he feels were responsible for not saving his wife's life. Why he chooses to kill them using the ten Biblical plagues of Egypt is immaterial, you just have to wonder how he's going to kill with frogs or locusts or rivers turning to blood. The sets are art deco, with both Victorian and psychedelic elements, adding to the surreal feel of the film. There are a couple of laugh-out-loud moments: 1) Anton Phibes drinks and 2) The telephone call after the "Beast" killing (watch the background). Caroline Munro fans will be disappointed that she is seen almost entirely in photographs and those who love this film as I do will be disappointed by the sequel.
Amy: Steve giggles every time he hears the name "Vulnavia."
A truly obscure horror film from 1971, featuring THE wackiest introduction I have ever witnessed as a viewer of the genre. Think 'Phantom of the Opera' with extra cheese. 'Cheese' is seemingly the keyword to Vincent Price's performance in this British slasher-horror-meets-highbrow-satirical-farce, but this isn't necessarily a bad thing, with Price somehow making a largely silent, facial gesture driven performance - he doesn't technically speak on screen - stand out amongst some of the most aesthetically pleasing backdrops seen outside a Wes Anderson film.
The satirical elements are deadpan in the true British tradition; the cinematography is crisp and at times innovative, utilising quick pans into offscreen space and always providing a visually stunning framing of the colourful, memorably ornate…
The Abominable Dr. Phibes is an awful lot of fun and probably one of the better roles I've seen Vincent Price in (even if we are lacking his distinctly marvelous voice). The film is quite delightfully twisted and surprisingly funny - the police had me laughing out loud on several occasions. Arrow have also done a bang up job with their blu-ray release of this. Not a bad way to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon in between bouts of PlayStation gaming (currently playing The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt for those interested).
Enjoyed the heck out of both the "Phibes" movies, but then again they are directly in my wheelhouse. Give me Vincent Price, Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, and any actors of that genre and in those years from the late 50's to the mid-70's and I'm happy. Price does great in both these films as the vengeful Phibes, killing his victims off in various, ingenious ways. My favorite was the "scorpion death" from the second film but they were all good, gruesome stuff. I loved a certain scene in the sequel where Phibes is hiding in some rocks, but in plain sight. Those who've seen it know what I mean. I'd been wanting to see these for decades and finally, finally got them on DVD.
An engaging 1971 parody of Victorian horror films by Robert Fuest, the director responsible for the earnestly absurd TV series The Avengers. Vincent Price enjoys himself immensely as a mad doctor who avenges the death of his wife by visiting variations on the curse of the pharaohs on those he believes responsible—including Joseph Cotten, Hugh Griffith, and Terry-Thomas. A former art director, Fuest gives the film a preposterously lush, Ken Russell-ish look. Highly enjoyable. 94 min.
Did Chris Sievey take Dr. Phibes' mechanical house band members as inspiration for the look of Frank Sidebottom, I wonder?
This film reminded me of Dont torture a Duckling in that it had so much potential to be good yet spent to much time following the dull detectives trying to solve the murders. Has its moments, great visuals, feels at times like a campy Saw. But at times I was bored and was unsatisfyed at the end.
Contains every horror film made that is not lost and is found on the letterboxd database.
If there is any…
I must confess, I wouldn’t be as much of a movie fan as I am now if it weren’t for…