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Vincent Price - Dr Phibes Rises Again (1972) (SiRiUs sHaRe) torrent
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Dr Phibes Rises Again (1972)
The moon rises at a predestined angle and awakens the sleeping Dr. Phibes three years later. To his dismay, he finds his house has been demolished and his papyrus scrolls stolen, the scrolls he needs to find the Pharoah's Tomb in Egypt, where the River of Life flows. After identifying the source of the papyrus theft, he packs and leaves for Egypt with his assistant Vulnavia, still intent upon awakening his dead wife Victoria. The parties responsible for the theft of Phibes' scrolls suffer an attrition problem as Inspector Trout chases him across the world.
Vincent Price ... Dr. Anton Phibes
Robert Quarry ... Darius Biederbeck
Peter Jeffrey ... Inspector Trout
Fiona Lewis ... Diana Trobridge, Darius' Girl
Hugh Griffith ... Harry Ambrose
John Cater ... Sir Wayne Waverley
Gerald Sim ... Hackett
Lewis Fiander ... Baker
John Thaw ... Shavers
Peter Cushing ... Ship's Captain
Director: Robert Fuest
Runtime: 89 mins
Codecs: DivX 5 / MP3
Dr Phibes Rises Again is the sequel to the magnificent 'The Abominable Dr Phibes'. The original film achieved cult classic status through a magnificent performance from Vincent Price as the vengeful doctor of the title, and an over the top, absurd, camp styling that set it apart from most other films in it's field. Both of these ingredients are present for the sequel, but it doesn't succeed like the first one did because there's just something missing. The sequel sees Dr Phibes 'rise again' upon the moon aligning itself in a certain way (or something) and travelling to Egypt to find a river that will grant him and his neither living, nor completely dead beloved, immortality. However, things aren't so simple because the scrolls that lead the way to the river have been stolen and Phibes has a contender; someone that needs to find the river just as much as he does out there in Egypt with him.
What's basically missing from this film is assurance. The first film obviously knew what it wanted to do and so was able to do it and not let anything get in the way; this one is very muddled, and it never completely gives the impression that it knows where it wants to go. Just like the first film, this one delivers some very imaginative and very grisly methods of dispatch for it's lesser characters. However, these death scenes almost appear superfluous to the plot, and appear to only be there to continue what the original started, as Phibes probably could have gotten where he wanted to go without them…but I'm not one to complain about a film that sees a man trapped in a giant gold scorpion while being eaten to death by live ones, and another man killed via a sharp spike shooting out of the telephone, so whether they're needed or not; they're nice. The film also features, like the original did, a lovely camp feeling; but it's never on the same level as it was in 'The Abominable'. Perhaps it's the move to Egypt and the low quality of the set's (as opposed to the grand and lavish ones of the original) what's done it.
As mentioned, Vincent Price returns to take up one of the roles that have helped cement him in the minds of his fans - Dr Phibes himself. This role, frankly, was made for Vincent Price; and he excels at playing it. It can be said that he doesn't do quite as good a job here, but then again; he didn't have as much good stuff to work with. Also making an appearance is fellow horror legend - Peter Cushing. Cushing only actually appears for all of about two minutes, but it's nice to see him nonetheless. Robert Fuest returns to the director's chair, as you'd probably expect; but the most notable performance in the film (other than Price) comes from Peter Jeffrey, in the role of the inept Scotland Yard inspector - Inspector Trout. Jeffrey delivers his lines with impeccable comic timing and steals every scene he's in. I'd even go as far as to say that Jeffrey is just as important a part of these two movies as Vincent Price is.
Overall, this film isn't nearly as good as 'The Abominable Dr Phibes', but fans of the original will find lots to like and despite the fact that it's a lesser film and has many flaws; I love this kind of stuff so it gets a big thumbs up from me.
I found this movie to be quite an enjoyable little romp. A lot of it features the late Vincent Price doing what he does best, chew the scenery, and he is a riot to watch. But, at the same time, I still found Dr. Phibes to be far more sympathetic and likable than most of the alleged good guys in this film, in particular Biederbeck. I mean, he treats everyone like crap throughout the film, and I don't see how we were meant to feel any sympathy for him. I just found him to be a total jerk. That made me a lot more happy when I was pleasantly surprised to see that Phibes wins in the end. In all seriousness, the ending makes me happy almost to the point of tears. Also the ironic use of "Somewhere over the rainbow" adds to the atmosphere.
The film also has tongue planted firmly in cheek, be it Phibes taking off his face and posing as a skull, as well as his mechanical band, to some of the very silly death sequences, such as the scorpion's embrace as the trailer called it and the bottle one (words can't really describe it). I was happy of this as there are some B-movies that try to be serious and end up being ridiculous.
I am aware that many feel that having Phibes talk as much as he did ruined the character and found his speeches repetitive and boring. I actually felt that these helped the character, as it demonstrated just how obsessive he was over Victoria. I also find that Vincent Price's voice is one of his most valuable assets. Another reason I discovered was that there was a lot not in the finished film that explained events better, and they felt by having Phibes talk more it would explain the situation better (check out the original script, for even though I liked this film it is far better).
The cast are alright, though I was very surprised to see Terry Thomas and Peter Cushing appear in the film, and almost wish that more was done with them. Trout and Waverly were very amusing with their dry sense of humour, and the new actress playing Vulnavia was good as well.
I have to say that the make up was also good, as they do make Phibes really look like a zombie. And the costumes that were designed for Vulnavia were very nice too. The musical score, like the previous film was very good, and I laughed a little when Phibes began playing the phantom of the opera theme.
In general, I feel this is a great B-movie that is worth checking out, and I felt that it was a worthy sequel to the original Doctor Phibes film.
* Just before being crushed in a giant press-screw, Baker can be seen reading "The Turn of the Screw".
* When the pregnant Virginia North was unable to reprise her role as Vulnavia for the sequel, Valli Kemp was cast instead.
* Many of the characters were named after famous jazz trumpeters, (Biederbeck being the most obvious).
* The desert sequences were filmed in Spain.
* Vincent Price's final film for America Internatonal pictures.
* There was a lot of hostility between Vincent Price and Robert Quarry, particularly when Price discovered that AI were planning on replacing him with Quarry as their major horror film star.
* Phibes originally had less dialogue. However, new lines were added after a lot of scripted sequences were cut out for budget reasons.
* Frankie Howerd was asked to be in this project.
* The Bach Singers, a volunteer group, worked for free, agreeing only to a donation to charitable purposes.
* In the original script Beiderbeck's first name was Jonathan.
* Shavers was originally meant to be impaled by a golden eagle, ala The Abominable Dr. Phibes.
* The Scottish fusiliers, who are mentioned in the finished film, were originally meant to have an on-screen role.
* Vulnavia was originally going to be a new character, but the studios insisted on keeping her name. This explains why the character returns despite being killed in The Abominable Dr. Phibes.
* The Pyramid which features in the climax was intended to consist of levels filled with traps and have boiling oil filling into it. It was changed for budget reasons.
* The second of a planned trilogy. The third would have either featured Phibes fighting a group of Nazis, or him searching for the key to Olympus. A film treatment still exists for the latter. The title would have been Phibes Resurrectus, The Seven Fates of Dr. Phibes or The Brides of Dr. Phibes.