#93: DR. PHIBES

"Nine times nine. Nine killed you, Nine shall die. Nine eternities in doom."

THE ABOMINABLE DR. PHIBES is the most beautiful to look at horror movie ever made.  Vincent Price stars in the title role as Anton Phibes, who is so enraged at losing the love of his life in a medical mishap, that he vows revenge on the 9 doctors who botched the operation.  But instead of just killing them quickly and efficiently, Phibes stages elaborately conceived deaths that take the theme of the biblical plagues almost 30 years before SEVEN used a similar scheme with the Seven Deadly Sins (you can read a cool page called THE MURDERS OF DR. PHIBES that describes each one in exquisite deatail).  

And in the sequel, he goes a step further and tries to bring his wife back to life.

The world of Phibes is layered in elegant art Deco extravagance.  In fact, a 1984 article in an Art Deco journal called THE SOPHISTICATE stated, "In _The Abominable Dr. Phibes_ and _Dr. Phibes Rises Again_ Robert Fuest surrounded his outrageously artistic villain (Vincent Price) with a phantasmagoria of Art Deco interiors and artifacts, to include a dance-band of full-size clockwork robots. Phibes' succession of gruesome murders is accompanied by period music as well - "Charmaine", "Darktown Strutters Ball", "Over the Rainbow" - and the mad doctor makes his dramatic entrances and exits on an elevating concert organ (with Deco pipes of illuminated crimson glass) to the tune of Mendelssohn's "War March of the Priests".

PHIBES is also one of the original, and best, revenge from beyond the dead flicks.  What's even cooler about Phibes is that he's not just some wacko out to kill anyone he sees, he just reall wants to find a way to make his wife live again.  

Vincent Price does an incredible job as PHIBES in the two films THE ABOMINABLE DR. PHIBES, and DR. PHIBES RISES AGAIN.

MONSTER FACTS

In the sequel PHIBES RISES AGAIN, Vincent Price sings "Over The Rainbow" as he paddles away in his boat, but the song was removed from later versions of the video for copyright purposes.

THE ABOMINABLE DR. PHIBES was Vincent Price's 100th film.

WEBSITES

THEATER OBSCURA'S PHIBES TRIBUTE

CLOCKWORK WIZARDS


Dr. Phibes Shopping Zone

BUY THE ABOMINABLE DR. PHIBES on DVD from AMAZON for only $12.99  And get the sequel, DR. PHIBES RISES AGAIN on DVD from AMAZON for $12.99

 

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