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The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971)

 -  Comedy | Fantasy | Horror  -  18 May 1971 (USA)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 8,172 users  
Reviews: 108 user | 107 critic

A doctor, scientist, organist, and biblical scholar, Dr. Anton Phibes, seeks revenge on the nine doctors he considers responsible for his wife's death.

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Title: The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Rabbi
...
Virginia North ...
Peter Jeffrey ...
Derek Godfrey ...
Crow
Norman Jones ...
Sgt. Tom Schenley
John Cater ...
Aubrey Woods ...
...
Darrow
Maurice Kaufmann ...
Dr. Whitcombe
Barbara Keogh ...
Mrs. Frawley
Sean Bury ...
Lem Vesalius
Susan Travers ...
Nurse Allen
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Storyline

Doctors are being murdered in a bizarre manner: bats, bees, killer frog masks, etc., which represent the nine Biblical plagues. The crimes are orchestrated by a demented organ player with the help of his mute assistant. The detective is stumped until he finds that all of the doctors being killed assisted a Dr. Vesalius on an unsuccessful operation involving the wife of Dr. Phibes, but he couldn't be the culprit, could he? He was killed in a car crash upon learning of his wife's death... Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

doctor | revenge | organ player | bat | frog | See more »

Taglines:

HE CAME BACK FROM THE DEAD FOR REVENGE with Nine Diabolical Curses ... BEES ... BATS ... BEASTS ... BLOOD ... FROGS ... HAIL ... LOCUSTS ... DARKNESS ... DEATH! THE ABOMINABLE DR. PHIBES ... the most terrifying film you will ever see! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Fantasy | Horror

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some horror violence/gore | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Language:

Release Date:

18 May 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dr. Phibes  »

Box Office

Budget:

£300,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The organ music at the beginning is "War March of the Priests" by Felix Mendelsohn. See more »

Goofs

We learn that the doctor's face is disfigured so badly that he cannot open his mouth anymore and instead he has a gullet opening at his neck. However, he could not eat any solid food (since he could not chew it), but he does so in the movie. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Butler - Ross: Good morning Sir.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Phibes is heard laughing after the song and the credits end. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Haunted World of El Superbeasto (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

One for My Baby (and One More for the Road)
Music by Harold Arlen
Lyrics by Johnny Mercer
Sung by Scott Peters
See more »

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User Reviews

 
One of the greatest of the Great
9 July 1999 | by (Iowa City, IA) – See all my reviews

This is one of Vincent Price's performance, and perhaps even his best (although Theatre of Blood is very close). Where to start...? The clever writing (which was lost in the sequel) revolving around Phibes' method of execution, based on the Biblical plagues of Moses. The grim-faced unstoppability of Phibes. Joseph Cotton in one of his best post-60's roles, here perfectly in character as a god-like doctor (particularly in the final operation sequence).

There's also the Art Deco set design which many have oohed and ahhed over in here and elsewhere.

The British cops are a bit too humorous, and there's not really a lot of background here. But the movie is a good example of the "Tales of the Crypt" macabre revenge line, with Phibes' scarred visage standing in for the Ghoul or the Crypt Keeper. Most of the doctors we see (particularly Terry-Thomas) are just the kind of elite arrogant snobs that so often got their one-uppance in such anthologies.

In any case, I would definitely recommend this movie. It's not really a "horror" movie, but more of a "grotesque serial killer" type flick in the lines of stuff like Se7ven.


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