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the abominable doctor phibes
The Production Team
Director: Robert Fuest.
Producer: Ronald Dunas and Louis M. Heyward.
Script: James Whiton and William Goldstein.
Cinematography: Norman Warwick.
Editing: Tristam Cones.
Art Direction: Bernard Reeves.
Makeup Department: Trevor Crole-Rees and Bernadette Ibbetson.
Sound Department: Peter Lennard, Ken Nightingall and Dennis Whitlock.
Original Music: Basil Kirchin and Jack Nathan.
Vincent Price - Dr. Anton Phibes
Joseph Cotten - Dr. Vesalius
Virginia North - Vulnavia
Terry-Thomas - Dr. Longstreet
Sean Bury - Lem Vesalius
Susan Travers - Nurse Allen
David Hutcheson - Dr. Hedgepath
Edward Burnham - Dr. Dunwoody
Alex Scott - Dr. Hargreaves
Peter Gilmore - Dr. Kitaj
The Abominable Dr Phibes was made in 1971, and is one of the most stylish British horrors of its period. Full of black humour, it maintains a fine balance between genuine horror and black comedy. The script by James Whiton and William Goldstein is suitably wacky for such a bizarre concept, and director Robert Fuest maintains a snappy pace while squeezing as much as possible from the kitschy art-deco sets. Due to the films success, a sequel, Dr. Phibes Rises Again was released the following year.
Set in England, circa 1929, Dr Anton Phibes (Vincent Price) is a deformed madman out for revenge. His wife (Caroline Munro) died during a routine operation, and he intends to enact revenge on every one of the physicians who failed to save her life. One by one, he constructs a series of ingenious deaths based upon the ten biblical plagues of ancient Egypt. So we see a nurse having her head covered in liquefied Brussels sprouts, and killer locusts set upon her; a doctor attacked by rabid rats in his aeroplane, another doctor attacked by vampire bats, and Dr. Whitcombe (Maurice Kaufman) speared to a door by the brass horn of a unicorn.
Dr. Longstreet (Terry-Thomas), is interrupted while watching a ‘naughty’ film featuring a belly dancer with a snake, he is seduced by the Doctor's lovely assistant Vulnavia (Virginia North) and allows himself to be bound to the chair, Vulnavia distracts his attention by belly-dancing while the good Dr Phibes drains him of his blood – which is left on the mantle shelf in jars. Scotland Yard’s long suffering Inspector Trout (Peter Jeffrey), and his eager assistant Crow (Derek Godfrey), are initially puzzled by the murders until Crow pieces together they had all served on a surgical team headed by Dr Vesalius (Joseph Cotton). The police's problems do not lessen, they know Phibes is behind the murders, but they also know that he supposedly died when driving his car off a cliff several years before. Phibes was not killed, only hideously scarred, with no features to speak of; he only takes on an identity when he dons his rubber facemask. He also speaks through a cord extended from his throat and eats through a tube. As the head of the surgical team that failed to save Victoria's life, the final curse, the curse of darkness, is spared for Vesalius. Vesalius learns Phibes has kidnapped his son, and goes to his house to play out the final scene.
you smile because iam different,i laugh because your all the same
Aug/9/2008, 5:16 pm
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