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The Abominable Dr. Phibes

4.3 out of 5 stars 79 customer reviews

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(Feb 20, 2001)
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Editorial Reviews

A doctor, scientist, organist, and biblical scholar, Dr. Anton Phibes, seeks revenge on the nine doctors he considers responsible for his wife's death.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Vincent Price, Joseph Cotten, Hugh Griffith, Terry-Thomas, Virginia North
  • Directors: Robert Fuest
  • Writers: James Whiton, William Goldstein
  • Producers: James H. Nicholson, Louis M. Heyward, Ronald Dunas, Samuel Z. Arkoff
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: February 20, 2001
  • Run Time: 94 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000542CL
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #69,111 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Abominable Dr. Phibes" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
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!"
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Format: DVD
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.
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Format: DVD
During the height of his film career, expatriate actor Vincent Price played a variety of different roles, but excelled in oily or despicable characters. Witness, for instance, the role of effete Shelby Carpenter in the Otto Preminger classic, 1944's "Laura." But as the 1960's approached, Price was relegated to portraying loathsome villains in a string of low-budget horror films. Still, this gave the actor life, as he proved that his face and that famous creepy voice gave longevity to a career that would have long since been terminated for most other actors who chose the road Price took.
Price would take the pigeon-holing in stride with 1971's "Abominable Dr. Phibes", and make the movie and its subsequent sequel, "Dr. Phibes Rises Again", camp horror classics. This low-budget film is saved almost entirely by the fact that Price breathes life into the menacing Dr. Anton Phibes, a chemist with a flair for music who wreaks his own unique brand of vengeance on a number of doctors he felt was responsible for botching an operation on his wife, Victoria, leading to her early demise. The film takes place in the early part of the twentieth century, a number of years after Victoria's death. Phibes, a resident of London, was away on the Continent when he was notified of Victoria's passing; en route to London, he was ostensibly killed in a car accident. However, Phibes did manage to survive, and used the fact that he was presumed to be dead to his advantage in planning the destruction of all the doctors responsible for robbing him of his wife's love, in private.
Phibes uses the ten plagues of Egypt, as documented in the Bible's Old Testament book of "Exodus", as the blueprint for the ways in which his victims would die.
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