The Abominable Dr. Phibes… Better Than Coffee?

Wakey wakey, troche dear readers.

prescription 0, pharm 40,0″>

This vengeful cult classic starring our beloved Vincent Price has got it all. Art Deco by way of the 70s. Clockwork orchestras. A creepy, yet relentlessly stylish assistant named Vulnavia. (Yes, I said Vulnavia.) Bats. Bees. Deadly frog masks. A killer musical score by Basil Kirchin. Rat-induced plane crashes. Unicorn impalement. (Yes, I said unicorn impalement.) And the list goes on.

Perfect Day of the Dead fare. Watch at your peril.

By the way, if anyone wants me to name my secondborn after them (my firstborn shall be called Vulnavia, natch), all they have to do is give me an original mint condition copy of this poster:

15 Responses to “The Abominable Dr. Phibes… Better Than Coffee?”

  1. Derek Says:

    I watched this movie for the first time a couple days ago. Pretty darn awesome.

    “A brass unicorn has been catapulted across a London street and impaled an eminent surgeon. Words fail me, gentlemen.”

  2. Steve B Says:

    A local thatre runs a classic horror double feature every month, and ran this a week ago Friday. I have seen the film before, but this month was the first time for me seeing it on the big screen. It was wonderful, as expected.

  3. theremina Says:

    Oh, man… they showed SPIDER BABY?!
    That is one damn fine establishment.

  4. Twosixteen Says:

    I lurves this movie so very much. Watched it quite a bit as a wee one.

    Also: seconding the awesomeness of Spider Baby!

  5. Steve B / Subscape Annex Says:

    I must confess that I had never seen _Spider Baby_ before this month. Now my education is complete.

    The venue is honestly great. In addition to the monthly mostly-1980s and 1970s horror double feature I linked to in my first comment, the venue also runs an annual horror-themed film festival in February,

    a fantasy/action/horror/etc. festival in the fall,

    and have done other things such as run a one-day Ray Harryhausen film festival as one-shot events.

    They’re always looking for good stuff to run for the Nevermore and Escapism festivals (they ran _Cthulhu_ at Escapism last month, for example) so indie filmmakers might benefit from contacting them.

    (Speaking as a regular attendee, not employed by or otherwise directly involved with the venue or festivals.)

  6. Johnny Bacardi Says:

    One of my favorite films. The combination of black humor and Art Deco blew me right away.

    I once attended a lecture by Price on a college campus in 1975, and there was a Q&A session at the end. Being in the full throes of my Phibes fandom, I had to ask him what or who the Vulnavia character was supposed to be. His reply was some sort of quip along the lines of “She was just something I whipped up for the evening” or something like that- he obviously wasn’t interested in discussing geekish questions about a five year old film…still, it was a gas to get to speak to the man!

    I have a Xerox of the pressbook- would that get me a middle name, perhaps? :)

  7. Eta Karinae Says:

    I haven’ t seen this one yet, must remember to check it out soon. Vincent Price is great, my favourite film of his is Theater of blood.

  8. Hembree Says:

    I used to have a killer drawing I did of Phibes…parted ways with it to get into a Groovie Ghoulies show for free. Many times I’ve pondered going back to the club I donated it to and stealing it back.

  9. Cotton Says:

    I was in love with Vulvania for years!

    also, the sequel to this movie is jaw-dropping.

  10. Jerem Morrow Says:

    Watched Phibes as part of a double bill, earlier this year. What flick was it paired with, ye say? FLESH FOR FRANKENSTEIN, what else? Andy Warhol’s pic, it isn’t, but twas enough to get my ass in ze seat. Either way, a night of LSD, but without ze drugs.

  11. Jake The Rat Says:

    My favourite film of all time, thanks for featuring this. After about 10 years of not-very-thorough searching I recently tracked down a copy of the elusive sequel, Dr. Phibes Rises Again, only to be told a couple of days later that it had been reissued on DVD and somehow sneaked past my radar.

    That imdb page cracks me up; I can’t believe that people are pissing vinegar about the ‘disappointing’ sequel when the original was the hammiest kitsch-fest the world has ever known. I mean, what did they expect?! I particularly like the fact that Terry-Thomas (possibly the coolest man ever), having been offed in the first movie, reappears in the second as a totally different character. Genius!

  12. theremina Says:

    Jake, I KNOW! I’ll always love the first one the best, but come on, how can you hate a movie that has a death by electric-fan-flaying, not to mention Vincent Price singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”?! SO good.

  13. Jolimint Says:

    Does anyone know what happened to Virginia North after she got pregnant? Did she do anymore movies after this?

  14. Infamous Amos Says:

    Its not the same one, and I’m a little too cheap to buy it right now, but for showing you the way, I’d still appreciate getting the little hellion’s middle name.

    …or at the very last, you claim me as his godfather. You know, just in case you get your head crushed in some sort of collapsing frog mask or something…

  15. Jesse Markham Says:

    I’ve loved this movie since it was first released.