The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971)
Critic Consensus: The Abominable Dr. Phibes juggles horror and humor, but under the picture's campy façade, there's genuine pathos brought poignantly to life through Price's performance.
The Abominable Dr. Phibes Photos
as Dr. Phibes
as Dr. Vesalius
as Dr. Longstreet
as Nurse Allan
as Dr. Hargreaves
as Dr. Kitaj
as Dr. Dunwoody
as Inspector Trout
as Dr. Whitcombe
as Sgt. Schenley
as Mrs. Frawley
as Lem Vesalius
as 1st Policeman
as 2nd Policeman
as Mrs. Victoria Phibes
as Dr. Hedgepath
as 3rd Policeman
as 4th Policeman
as Police Official
as Police Official
as Graveyard Attendant
Critic Reviews for The Abominable Dr. Phibes
Mr. Fuest makes very tolerable use of bis means: added to which he has the overwhelming advantage of Vincent Price as the Abominable Doctor.
It has, incidentally, a really well thought out revenge plot, directed by Robert Fuest with tons more style and assurance than he brought to Wuthering Heights.
A former art director, Fuest gives the film a preposterously lush, Ken Russell-ish look. Highly enjoyable.
High-camp horror with its tongue firmly in its gruesomely deformed cheek, this British oddity features Vincent Price in one of his most memorable roles.
Fuest plays up the 1930s-by-way-of-the-1970s set design, but any atmosphere gets lost in scene after scene that's lighted like a TV show.
Audience Reviews for The Abominable Dr. Phibes
A wind-up orchestra nicknamed the "Clockwork Wizards", reenactments of biblical curses and a phonograph in order to talk are only the faintly peculiar oddities in this olive-black, droll hybrid of operatic horror and Grand Guignol comedy. Since his face has been corroded away, Price conveys all of his vengeful emotions and homicidal frivolity with his disembodied, alto voice and his expressively mischievous eyes. Phibes' lair is a masterstroke of geisha design with a rich lavender-and-pink color palette. For a film with such an outrageously shlocky premise, the death scenes are underwhelming and tame with the particularly gruesome details held off-screen like the aftermath of a locust attack. An acid-rigged contraption by Phibes is obviously an influence for the elaborate traps for the 'Saw' franchise. The film achieves the requisite spookiness when Phibes is cavorting in his hideout with his mannequin band. To be fair though, the objective is a fiendishly funny and classy hurrah for Price and as a showcase for the erstwhile cult-classic maven, it more than delivers.
The is from the MGM Midnite Movies Double Feature Collection. These movies are always worth getting and make a fine collection. Sheer terror doesn't get much more frightening than this. Scare-master Vincent Price plays a doctor who loses his voice in a car accident, but can still speak by way of an electronic device. He vows revenge on the nine doctors that were responsible for an unsuccessful surgery attempt on his wife, Victoria. He, along with his fiendish but sexy assistant Vulnavia (Virginia North), murder them one by one in such grotesque ways as draining one guy of all his blood, attacking a nurse with a swarm of locusts, and giving an attendee of a costume party a frog mask that becomes so tight around his neck that it snaps his head off. The sheer audacity of these grisly murders, along with Price's meticulous and methodical planning, make for a one-of a-kind scary experience. 4 stars 6-08-13
The movie plays kind of like a campy version of Seven, except British. And John Doe is played by Vincent Price, whose playing the titular character somewhere between Dr. Evil and The Phantom of the Opera. Totally bonkers and totally worth a watch.
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