The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971)

Posted: February 8, 2011 in *NEW!!*, Classics, Revenge, Strange

I’m pretty stoked to talk about this one, as it is a film that is dear to my heart. As I’ve mentioned before in my blog, my Dad has always been a huge influence in my love for horror cinema. I began watching movies with the greats at a really young age, and for some reason I really loved Vincent Price’s work. There was something very obscure and classic about him that I’ve always been so enthralled by. In fact I recently found out that my aunt met him in the 80s and they had a lengthy conversation apparently. I’m very, very bitter about that. ANYWAY.

The Abominable Dr. Phibes stars Price, playing Dr. Anton Phibes, a famous organist and musical genius. In 1921 after a devastating car crash that leaves him horribly disfigured and his wife Victoria severely injured, Dr. Phibes goes into hiding after learning that his wife died on the operating table. For several years he plots his revenge against the doctors that killed his wife. Four years after the accident, with the help of his mute sidekick Vulvania, the Doctor begins to put his plan into motion, with a series of grotesque murders.

I love love love this film. It is so completely bizarre and imaginative. For example, Dr. Phibes is left without the ability to speak after the accident, so he uses his knowledge of music to create a device that allows him to speak through a Victrola. To obscure his scarred face, he creates a lifelike mask and wig.

The best aspect of this film in my opinion is the creative death scenes. Each medical professional faces a horrifying and inventive end, obviously calculated with extreme care. This film is really a pleasure to watch. It has been described as having an art deco feel, with its vibrant colors and 1920s fashions.

To put it all together, this is a super great flick with awesomely bizarre characters, fantastic contraptions and a storyline that will keep you interested all the way through. A classic for sure.

For fans of frog masks, animatronics, and embalming fluid.

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