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“Nine killed you. Nine shall die. Nine times, nine! Nine killed you! Nine shall die! Nine eternities in DOOM!” – the exposition from Vincent Price in The Abominable Dr. Phibes sets up the revenge plot of the film with usual Price flourish and delivery. Billed as Price’s 100th film (it isn’t, by the way), Phibes provides Price with another opportunity to create a lasting and frighteningly campy character to be cherished by horror fans for decades. The Black Saint and Doc Rotten tackle another groovy horror film from the 1970s.
Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 39 — The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971)
Vincent Price is one of those iconic actors who helps define the horror genre. His presence, talent and spirit elevate any film in which he appears from House of Wax & The Fly (1957) to the Corman Poe films to Edward Scissorhands. But with The Abominable Dr. Phibes, from director Robert Fuest, he became synonymous with a new (in 1971) horror character, Dr. Anton Phibes. Prices scarred and delusional character is hellbent on revenge on the nine doctors he holds responsible for the death of his beautiful wife, Victoria (Caroline Munro). After his own untimely accident which leaves him deformed – and thought dead by the world – Phibes hatches an elaborate plan to dispatch his targets using the 10 Plagues of Egypt as his M.O. Gruesome, gory and full of high camp, The Abominable Dr. Phibes is a highlight of Price’s later career and a milestone horror film. The Black Saint and Doc Rotten, joined once again by Bill Mulligan, dive into the A.I.P. classic.
The Grue-crew explore the film, its impact and some trivia surrounding its production. The discuss how Vincent Price would tease Joseph Cotton by intentionally making funny faces so the actor, uncomfortable in his role, would break up laughing. They reminisce on what the film would be like if Peter Cushing, who was originally offered the Cotton role of Vesalius, would have been like with the two actors facing off. The crew marvel at the Art-deco design and the production work throughout. If you gather that the crew love The Abominable Dr. Phibes from this description, you’re not far off. The podcast is an affectionate look back at one of Seventies most iconic early films.
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