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The Abominable Dr. Phibes
The Abominable Dr Phibes
Actors: Vincent Price, Joseph Cotten, Virginia North, Terry-Thomas, Sean Bury
Genres: Indie & Art House, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Cult Movies
PG-13     2001     1hr 34min

This unusually beautiful horror classic features Vincent Price in the title role of Dr. Anton Phibes, a genius who specializes in organ music, theology, and concocting bizarre deaths for anyone who wrongs him. Discovering...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Vincent Price, Joseph Cotten, Virginia North, Terry-Thomas, Sean Bury
Genres: Indie & Art House, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Cult Movies
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Cult Movies
Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen,Anamorphic - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 02/20/2001
Original Release Date: 05/18/1971
Theatrical Release Date: 05/18/1971
Release Year: 2001
Run Time: 1hr 34min
Screens: Color,Widescreen,Anamorphic
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 4
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: English, French, Spanish
Subtitles: Spanish, French

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Movie Reviews

One of Price's best baddies!!
Daniel V. Reilly | Upstate New York, United States | 01/06/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I remember "discovering" this movie as a teenager; I came across it one night on Channel 7 in NYC, at around 3 in the morning. It was love at first sight. Vincent Price plays Dr. Anton Phibes, an organ-playing Super-Genius, who seeks revenge on the 9 people he holds responsible for the death of his Wife: The 8 Doctors and the Nurse who failed to save her after an accident. Phibes and his lovely assistant, Vulnavia, operate out of a secret lair, complete with a ballroom and clockwork orchestra of Phibes' own creation, and as the film begins, their plan is already well underway: they will kill the "responsible" parties using the 10 Biblical plagues of The Pharoes- Boils, Bats, Blood, Frogs, Beasts, The Death of the First-Born, Locusts, Rats, Hail, and Darkness.....Let the fun begin.... What is so great about this movie is that, in my opinion, there ARE no other movies like this one. It's a surreal period-piece (The film takes place in the 1920's), that deals with grusome murders, has a wicked sense of humor, and a villain straight out of a comic-book (Comic readers will find Phibes to be a cross between Doctor Doom and The Joker). The sets and locations are great, and Vincent Price is superb, as usual. You can tell he had a great time playing the good Doctor. The ending is weirdly satisfying, and again, is one-of-a-kind. The cast is superb, and Joseph Cotten is a great foil for Price. Their scene in the operating theater is phenomenal. The DVD is short on extras, just a Theatrical trailer, which is a hoot. And anyone who has had to suffer through awful-looking Television airings will love the crisp look of the film in Widescreen. Anyone who is a fan of either Horror movies or Vincent Price MUST add this film to their collection. As the Policeman says early in the film, "There are a lot of strange people practicing medicine these days!""
Campy yet ghoulish fun!
Darrell Heath | Little Rock, AR USA | 12/22/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Vincent Price will always be remembered best for his numerable horror film roles. While many of these films may be less than stellar, occaisionaly one would come along that outshone all the others. "The Abominable Dr. Phibes" is one such little gem. Price plays Dr. Anton Phibes, a musician and all around twisted genius with a mission. Phibes is bent upon killing off the team of doctors who failed to save the life of his beloved wife after a rather nasty automobile accident. Of course, being a twisted genius, Phibes doesn't go about exacting his revenge like any other normal homicidal maniac. He's decided to take the Old Testament plagues visited upon Pharaoh and Egypt and adapt them for his own nefarious purposes. The way Phibes uses the plagues of blood, bats, boils, hail etc. I'll leave for you to see. Now, if you go into this film expecting a straightforward horror film, with lots of blood and gore, you may be disappointed. Director Robert Fuest, as one reviewer has already pointed out, had a stint on "The Avengers", and he tells this story in the same tongue in cheek style that was so typical (and endearing) of that classic TV series. Also, the lavish deco designed sets lend the film a stylish and sometimes surreal look and feel. The clockwork musician sequences are a notable example of this stylish/surreal imagery. There are also some wonderful performances here -Joseph Cotten as the senior physician for whom Phibes saves as the last of his victims, Virginia North as the ethereal and lethal Vulnavia, and Terry-Thomas turns in a nicely comic performance as one of Phibes' earliest victims. The really knockout performance here must go to Vincent Price as Dr. Phibes. Price manages to strike a fine balance between the camp and yet menacing role of Phibes without over playing either side. A wonderful little story element in the film has Phibes' vocal apparatus having been destroyed in the accident that claimed his wife. In order to speak he has constructed a device that allows him to attach a plug into the side of his neck (he also eats and drinks through this hole) while his voice emerges from something that looks like an old megaphone speaker off of a Victrola phonograph player! This meant that Price had to record his lines first and then act out through facial,eye, and body movements the emotion of his words as his famous velvety tones emerge out of the speaker. Not an easy trick for any actor. Price is also able to give Phibes a sympathetic slant as well. Phibes is certainly a murderous maniac and misguided in his quest for revenge but Price allows us to see a human side as Phibes sits and talks to a photograph of his dead wife. Phibes was obviously obsessively in love with his wife and its this same obsession that drives him to do the twisted things he does. This powerful love of Phibes' also gives the character a hint of necrophilia which becomes particularly apparent during the films finale. All in all this is a wonderfully quirky little film. Great production values, fine script and performances make this an above average horror movie. And if you've ever wondered what it means for something to be "camp" then this is a fun way to learn the meaning of the word."
Classic Film, Bad DVD
Mr. Movie Man | Ontario, Canada | 05/26/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)


This is a cult-classic!
Unfortunately, it was released on a disc of
poor quality.

It won't play in any of my DVD-players.
Not Happy
Vincent Price in a great, if deranged role
Mr. Movie Man | 02/04/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Vincent Price. A Deranged doctor out to enact revenge for the death of his beautiful wife while on the operating table. What more needs to be said? This movie has Price at his campy best. While the plot is somewhat ploding at times, in terms of sheer cinematic shock value this is a great flick. I won't give away any of the various murders but suffice it to say none of them are pretty. All in all one of Vincent's best and a great movie to watch late at night with the covers up."