Drive-In Dust Offs: The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971)

With Vincent Price, it’s all about the dance; the way his voice dips and swoons regardless of partner, the wave of his hand signaling the start of a new song. A little dramatic and florid, yes; but an artist of his stature deserves all the sweeping fanfare bestowed upon him; and nothing makes me want to strike up the band more than The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971), a gorgeously demented waltz for the ages.

Produced and released by American International Pictures stateside in May, Phibes was a big hit with critics and audiences alike; and really, what was not to love? Wickedly funny and ghoulish, people were ready to be in on the joke like Price had been all along.

A black cloaked figure sits at a pipe organ, in an ornate mansion with marble floors surrounded by life size automated band members dubbed Dr. Phibes’ Clockwork Wizards. The figure
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