The moon rises at a predestined angle and awakens the sleeping Dr. Phibes three years later. To his dismay, he finds his house has been demolished and his papyrus scrolls stolen, the scrolls he needs to find the Pharoah's Tomb in Egypt, where the River of Life flows. After identifying the source of the papyrus theft, he packs and leaves for Egypt with his assistant Vulnavia, still intent upon awakening his dead wife Victoria. The parties responsible for the theft of Phibes' scrolls suffer an attrition problem as Inspector Trout chases him across the world. Written by
Ed Sutton <email@example.com>
...as the original. Yes, the design is impressive. Yes, Phibes is nearly as good. The Biederbeck sub-plot (Robert Quarry's best performance by far: check his IMDB credits list to see how many turkeys he's been in) is interesting, and makes him a suitable rival for Phibes. Sort of.
And that's kind of where I'm stuck at. Everything in this movie is "sort of." Biederbeck is "sort of" Phibes' rival, but the two never meet until the end. The movie "sort of" carries on the theme of the original. But without a driving force or motivation of vengeance, or a theme like the Plagues, here it's just a matter of seeing how many nifty ways Phibes can (rather implausibly) knock someone off. And some of those (a raven?) aren't even that interesting.
The humor here is also a lot broader, which wasn't really to my taste, either. Watching Phibes chow down on grapes through his neck hole and almost choking struck me as parodying the character itself, which tends to rob Phibes of much of his menace.
Overall, this sequel is enjoyable, but to me, it ultimately fails to rise to level of its predecessor.
7 of 11 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?