Monday, 2 August 2010

The Abominable Dr. Phibes

This whole film has its tongue firmly placed in cheek. Its Trippy, its Camp and it's all about surreal embellishment and melodramatic excess. Realism plays no part in this. From the blood that resembles strawberry juice to Price's outrageously theatrical make-up. But as long as you have a macabre sense of humour, I think you will enjoy this film as much as I did. Price is at his hammy best as the disfigured organ playing Dr.Phibes. Phibes is seeking revenge on the group of surgeons, who he blames for killing his wife in an unnamed surgical operation. What follows is a compelling carnival of murder in an art deco looking world. All the murders (based on the plagues of Egypt) are as much genius as they are ridiculous. Rats on planes and shrinking frog masks to name just a couple. And there is a sick death trap/puzzle at the end, which is equally as disturbing as anything seen in a Saw movie. At its heart this film is a love-story. Price gives an outstanding performance as the anguished Phibes. Creepy and funny, yet tragic all at the same time. Comic moments come from Peter Jeffrey as the apparently slow Inspector Trout. Also look out for Terry-Thomas and an uncredited role for Caroline Munro.


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