Doctors are being murdered in bizarre manners - bats, bees, a killer frog mask, etc. - which represent the nine Biblical plagues of Egypt. The crimes are orchestrated by an organ-playing, demented madman (from his home base, replete with a clockwork orchestra and help from a beautiful, mute assistant). Detectives are stumped until they find that all the slain doctors once assisted a Dr. Vesalius on an unsuccessful operation involving the wife of organist Dr. Phibes, killed in a car crash upon learning of his wife's death. He couldn't be the culprit, could he?Written by
Ed Sutton <email@example.com>
Originally advertised in the U.S. with the tag line, "Love Means Never Having to Say You're Ugly," a parody of a famous line from "Love Story," out the previous year; however, that was replaced after the first week, as opening box office was disappointing and it turned out audiences had no idea what sort of film this was supposed to be. A new advertising campaign made it clear it was a horror film, and afterwards it became a box-office hit. See more »
Using neither club nor injection needle, Phibes seems to render the chauffeur unconscious (for hours) with a Vulcan nerve pinch from Star Trek. See more »
Calling this 'Horror' does not make it justice. I wouldn't call it 'movie', either, but 'film'. It's pure art. The sets and art direction are incredible, the whole movie shows the 'aura' of 1920's Art Deco, giving it that 'classy' touch. The script is also very original, and there's even room in it for lots of laughs, without sacrificing style or rhythm. Vincent Price is PERFECT as Phibes, as the other reviewer just said. He IS Phibes, and succeeds where others would probably fail miserably, fitting in perfectly in the 'tone' of the movie. Great direction by Robert Fuest, also. He managed to mix the perfect amount of horror, drama, romance and comedy in a single movie.
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