Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Dr. Phibes Rises Again (1972)

After lying dormant for 3 years, the eccentric Dr. Phibes returns to revive his beloved by unlocking the secrets of the River of Life below a secret chamber in Egypt.. But not before leaving a trail of bodies in his wake! This prompt follow-up retains all of the same black humor and tone set to the bizarre stylings of the previous installment. The deaths are exceedingly graphic by comparison, but in most other aspects the similarities outweigh the differences between the two, which makes Phibes return feel too much like the original. That being said, it is still so absurd, surreal, and unique that one cant help but become enthralled with the film. The circus-like theatrics, bloody murders, and over the top acting reflect the stage performances of the Grand Guignol, focusing more on the strength of the visual style over the substance of the film. Price delivers another excellent performance as our anti-hero Dr. Phibes, with more impressive miming as he conveys the clearly insane but inquisitive and sad character. Although it falls short of the first film, I found this one to be an enjoyable followup, and it is entirely worth the run-time to hear Vincent Price's rendition of Somewhere Over the Rainbow over the credits!

Rating: 7/10.
Gore: 6/10.

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  1. These movies bring back great memories...I'll always like 'em.

  2. Well, I already made my feelings about this one pretty clear, but I still have to ask one thing.

    How come they never released Price's version of the song? I would gladly buy it now, tomorrow or any day of the week.

  3. I was pretty much amazed, it was such a genius final note for such a bizarre film series

  4. I see you've been indulging in quite a few Vincent Price movies recently, Carl. Good stuff. I watched this one fairly recently too (should probably get my skates on and post a review), and whilst certainly very similar to the first Phibes film, it still retains enough jet-black humour, exquisite style and theatricality and absurdity all its own, to ensure an equally enjoyable romp. I adore the ending, too. Nice to see Phibes and Victoria together again at last... ;)

  5. Oh yes, I got the Scream Legends set and have been going through it systematically! The Phibes films were definitely fun, just sheer craziness, love it. I was very happy with Theater of Blood as well, once I complete the set I am going to have to go back to the older Price films to form my final opinion on the man

  6. The two Dr. Phibes films are the best out there. They have Vincent Price and a totally original feel. "My Sweet, Vulnavia."

  7. Vulvania does kick some serious ass, that duality between the two characters made for a whole other level of humor. She was one of my all-time favorite sidekicks!


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