Stars: Vincent Price, Joseph Cotten, Hugh Griffith, Terry-Thomas, Virginia North
Genre: Comedy, Horror
Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Runtime: 94 minutes
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 why is half the fun, so for now let's just say that Phibes is a little mad and very, very angry. With his assistant, the lovely, silent Vulnavia, Phibes begins cutting a gory swath through London's medical community, with the dogged Inspector Trout hot on his tail. Phibes contains many pleasures--exquisite art direction and a dark sense of humor among them--but the real treat is in watching an old pro like Price at work. Whether he's playing his organ, staring down a victim, or drinking through his neck, Price is at the top of his game. He mixes dark menace with wry comic touches, revealing both Phibes's maniacal obsession and offhanded confidence in his own genius. Settle in for an evening of elegant gore and if an attractive, mute deliverywoman comes to the door, whatever you do--don't answer! --Ali Davis
Dr. Anton Phibes:
Where can we find two better hemispheres, without sharp north, without declining west? My face in thine eye, thine in mine appears, and true plain hearts do in thee faces rest. Within twenty-four hours, my work will be finished, and then, my precious jewel, I will join you in your setting. We shall be reunited forever in a secluded corner of the great elysian field of the beautiful beyond!
There is no doubt that the classical tradition is the curse of boils, bats, frogs, the curse of blood, the curse of rats, hail, of beasts, the locust, of course, the death of the first-born, and then, finally, of darkness.
Yes. The final curse upon the land. To end forever the sleep of man.
Human error won't stop him. He's had years to hide, to plot this damnable thing. He's compelling himself to follow exactly the classic death pattern of the G'tach. It's the psychic force that holds the man together, this maniacal precision. If we could just throw it off, interrupt the cycle, then he might be stopped by his own inflexible standards.
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