Sunday, 22 October 2017

The Abominable Dr. Phibes

Every now and again I feel the need to dip into a classic and today is definitely one of those days and 'The Abominable Dr. Phibes' is most definitely a classic.

The film tells of the elaborate revenge Dr. Anton Phibes (Vincent Price) and his chauffeur Vulnavia (Virginia North) take on the medical team he blames for the death of his wife.   Taking his cues from the 10 biblical plagues of Egypt he exacts a bloody retribution whilst being hunted by Inspector Harry Trout (the great Peter Jeffrey) and potential victim Dr. Vesalius (Joseph Cotten).

Price is at the top of his game here, no piece of scenery is left unchewed and his silent presence for the first 30 odd minutes of the film show just how good an actor he could be and how perfectly cast he is here.  The film manages to be both gory and amusing (occasionally downright silly) is beautifully made with a fantastically creepy ambience especially with regard to Phibes' automaton orchestra and the phenomenal Basil Kirchin score.  Both the actors opposite him give as solid performances as you'd expect given their respective pedigrees and indeed the cast as a whole seem to be relishing the gothic campness; my particular favourite being the gravedigger with the immortal line of "Fools! Fools! They'll have the worms soon enough."

Enjoy.

Buy it here - The Abominable Dr. Phibes [DVD]- or watch it below

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