The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971)

Vincent Price is, as far as I am considered, THE greatest of all Horror icons, and my personal favorite actor of all-time. And Price plays one of his most incomparable and unique roles as the mad Dr. Phibes in this ingenious and delightfully macabre highlight, Robert Fuerst’s satirical Horror masterpiece “The Abominable Dr. Phibes” of 1971. Hardly is there another Horror film that pairs a brilliantly grotesque atmosphere with delightfully macabre wit as “The Abominable Dr Phibes” does, and and hardly has there such an ingenious performance as that of the great Vincent Price in this wonderful film.

Dr. Anton Phibes (Vincent Price) is an ingenious organ player and madman, pursues only one goal – to take bloody revenge on the doctors he holds responsible for the death of his beloved wife, who has died several years before. His wife died on the operating table after an accident, in which Phibes himself was disfigured. Years after the accident, Phibes, who is believed dead, and only able to speak through a microphone attached to his throat, plans his revenge on the doctors in his bizarre quarters. The acts of revenge, at which Price is aided by his beautiful and silent female assistant (Virginia North) are carried out by ingeniously grotesque methods…

The unique visual style is as ingenious as the innovating and brilliantly grotesque manner in which the murders are carried out. I will not give any example for this, as I am not willing to spoil any of this film’s wonderful cinematic delight. A much as Dr. Pibes is a vengeful psychopath, he is also a melancholic and sad romantic whose life has become meaningless since the death of his beloved wife, and whose only remaining joys are his grotesque organ play and his desire for revenge. Vincent Price, as mentioned above one of the greatest actors ever in my opinion, plays this role with absolute brilliance. Not only would no other actor have been able to play Dr. Phibes with such greatness, it is simply not imaginable for any other actor playing Phibes at all. This film truly is another proof of the brilliance of Vincent Price, and no one, not even people who don’t like Horror can deny that. The cast furthermore includes the great Joseph Cotten, and Peter Jeffrey is great in the role of the investigatin Inspector Trout, the only one to suspect the presumably dead Dr. Phibes. This film is fantastic in so many aspects that it is not possible to name them all, and no Horror fan or true cineaste in general can afford to miss it! Absolutely Wonderful!