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Thursday, January 19, 2006

The Abominable Dr. Phibes

I have been told that I should start a film review blog in addition to my existing comic blog,
  • Paper Pills

  • I have been putting it off for a long while, but I am stirred to take action tonight. I was motivated to start this blog by the appearance of "The Abominable Dr. Phibes" in the television listings. What a rare joy! What a great way to exacerbate one's insomnia! And what an appropriate film to start a blog with.

    The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971)
    Directed by Robert Fuest

    I know a lot of people love the movie "Se7en." I am one of them. Before "Se7en," however, there came "The Abominable Dr. Phibes," the grandaddy of darkly humorous serial killer flicks. The film centers around Vincent Price as Dr. Phibes, a deranged phantom-of-the-opera sort who aims to murder a group of surgeons using methods derived from the ten plagues of Egypt. The protagonist who thwarts his wickedness is Dr. Vesalius, played by Joseph Cotten (Gaslight, Citizen Kane). Phibes' lovely assistant is the cold and obedient Vulnavia, played by Virginia North (known mainly for her protrayal of a Bond Girl in On Her Majesty's Secret Service).
    Never mind that the bible contained no Plague of Bats, or that Price and his assistant murder someone halfway through the film by impaling him on a giant unicorn bust. Nevermind that locusts generally don't eat people. Nevermind that you can't embalm yourself and then walk around like a normal person. This is a hilarious, campy horror film that has tongue firmly in cheek for all of its 94 minutes. If you get the chance to see it, I highly recommend it.

    Flicks in the same vein: Theatre of Blood, Se7en, Saw

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