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>
Writer William Goldstein has said that Vulnavia was originally meant to be another clockwork device, complete with a wind-up key in her neck. Believing that Phibes needed a more mobile assistant, director Robert Fuest made her human, but retained the blank facial expression and mechanical movements. See more »
When he plays the organ, Dr. Phibes' hand movements almost never match the music we hear. See more »
Vincent Price was born to play this role! Camp, surreal, with lots of black humour, this is one of the most entertaining movies I've ever seen.
Vincent Price bashers accuse him of being a ham. Now Price was capable of restrained performances, just have a look at 'Witchfinder General', but sometimes his hilarious over the top style perfectly suited the material. This is definitely the case with 'The Abominable Dr. Phibes', which could well be his most entertaining movie. The film was directed by Robert Fuest, who had previously been a writer and art director for 'The Avengers', and it shares a similar camp sensibility, with lots of black humour and some deliciously surreal touches. Price was born to play this role! Later there was a sequel (good), and an attempt to recreate the approach with 'Theatre Of Blood' ( for me, a bit of a disappointment), but the original Phibes is easily the best. Price is supported by a strong cast, including Joesph Cotton (who made 'Baron Blood' with Mario Bava around this period), Terry-Thomas, and Peter Jeffrey ('If...'). Cult fans will also get a kick when they see who plays Phibes wife (uncredited): Caroline Munro ('Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter', 'Maniac', 'Faceless'). 'The Abominable Dr. Phibes' is one of the most entertaining movies I've ever seen. If you haven't seen it before then you are in for a real treat!
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