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The Abominable Dr. Phibes [DVD]

Price: £6.96 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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The Abominable Dr. Phibes [DVD] + Dr. Phibes Rises Again [DVD] + Theatre Of Blood [DVD]
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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: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: French, Italian, Dutch
  • Dubbed: German, French, Italian
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English, German
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: 20 Oct 2003
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000C24HW
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 15,542 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Meet Doctor Phibes: a one-time concert musician who's now an all-time crazed murderer. In this clever, crypt-kicking classic, horrormeister Vincent Price plays a diabolical doc seeking the ultimate in revenge with precision creepiness and surgical wit.


The Abominable Dr Phibes is an unusually beautiful horror classic in which Vincent Price stars as the titular genius who specialises in organ music, theology and concocting bizarre deaths for anyone who wrongs him. Discovering why is half the fun, so for now let's just say that Phibes is a little mad and very, very angry. Aided by his assistant, the lovely, silent Vulnavia, Phibes begins cutting a gory swathe through London's medical community, with the dogged Inspector Trout hot on his tail. The film contains many pleasures--exquisite art direction and a dark sense of humour among them--but the real treat is in watching an old pro such as Price at work. Whether he's playing his organ, staring down a victim or drinking through his neck, Price is at the top of his game. He mixes dark menace with wry comic touches, revealing both Phibes' maniacal obsession and offhanded confidence in his own genius. Settle in for an evening of elegant gore--and if an attractive, mute deliverywoman comes to the door, whatever you do, don't answer! --Ali Davis

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Victor HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 12 Oct 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This must be one of the greatest tales of revenge ever told. The abominable Dr. Phibes is on the rampage, finding inventive ways to bump off the team of doctors he blames for his wife's death.

Don't worry about the silly premise, the plot holes, or the anachronisms - just sit back and enjoy the fun. Vincent Price shines as Phibes, it's amazing how much he manages to do with the character given that he can only mime facial expression to a pre-recorded voiceover. He makes the character a believable genius psychopath, bringing just the right amount of creepiness and humour to the part.

It is the sense of humour that is the key to this film. If it was just a run of the mill psycho revenge movie it wouldn't work. But by using a cast of gifted comic actors and adding a touch of macabre humour to several key scenes the film is lifted to great heights. Who can forget Terry Thomas' reaction to the beautiful Vulnavia walking into his room? Or Hugh Griffiths as the strangely Welsh sounding Rabbi?

This is decent budget DVD release. The film is presented in the original 1.85:1 widescreen, with a mono soundtrack. There has been no remastering, but the picture is nice and clean with a minimum of artefacts. Extras are limited to the original theatrical trailers which are quite interesting.

Not a film to be taken seriously, this is enormously entertaining and is highly recommended to anyone who enjoys a black comedy
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By ds VINE VOICE on 11 Aug 2011
Format: DVD
From the stable of producer Samuel Z Arkoff comes the delightfully trashy story of Dr Anton Phibes, his not quite dead wife and the vendatta to end all vendettas. Phibes' wife, (Victoria) lies in state of sleep, not quite alive, not quite dead. And her devoted husband Anton blames 9 surgeons for this state of affairs. To this end he devises a series of increasingly elaborate, biblically themed demises for the men he holds responsible.

The comedy is blacker than black, the whole ambience is rather kitsch, camp and teetering on the precipice of rather knowing self parody, particularly in the case of Price himself. That the film holds together is a testament to the strange mix of tenderness, pathos and steely malevolence Price brings to his role. Even better, he manages to do it without ever opening his mouth: Phibes only seems to be able to speak by plugging himself into an amplifier. He's supported more than ably by stalwarts like Joseph Cotten and the wonderfully hapless Detective Inspector Trout, nicely played by Peter Jeffrey. There are even some rather spiffy cameos from the likes of Terry-Thomas; a most unwilling blood donor!

The set design is the oddest thing about the film, though. Everything is a weird mix of the gleaming modernist 70's (see Cotten's home), the art deco of the hospital the characters find themselves in towards the end of the film and the rather more Edwardian appearance of Trout's office and the uniformed policeman's uniforms. It makes it very difficult to say exactly when this film is supposed to be set, but at the same time gives it a rather more timeless feel. All that said, the visual design is in keeping with the character of the film itself, a strange mix of the old and the new.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Su TOP 100 REVIEWER on 6 Dec 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Dr Anton Phibes (the late great Vincent Price) is out for revenge on those who's incompetance killed his wife Victoria (Caroline Monroe) with the help of his beautiful but mute assistant Vulnavia (VIrginia North).

In the firing line are the likes of Terry Thomas who plays Dr Longstreet a porn mad surgeon who suffers the curse of blood. Joseph Cotton plays Dr Vesalius, a part that was originally meant for Peter Cushing, but Mr Cushing's wife was very ill at the time and he had to withdraw from the filming.

All the deaths follow the plagues of Egypt: curse of boils, bats, frogs, the curse of blood, the curse of rats, hail, of beasts, the locust, of course, the death of the first-born, and then, finally, of darkness.

It is one of those films where you want the bad guy to win, and played to the campest level possible. Inspector Trout (Peter Jeffrey) and Sgt Schenley (Norman Jones) add extra comic relief to the film.

A great piece of escapism, that I remember from my childhood along with the Friday night Hammer Horror movies. Absolutely wonderful regardless of the fact that there are no extras.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Charles Vasey TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 27 Jun 2013
Format: DVD
This tale of revenge would barely be considered horror these days; and in truth I don't think it was even back then (1971). The clever methods of killing lacking something of the fear of the feral. Following very much in the style of British high-sheen rather campy crime series like the Avengers Dr Phibes takes his revenge against various blood-letters in a predictable order with attractive young women in attendance; the interestingly named Vulnavia was played by the young lady who became Gordon White's wife. What really holds the film together is the performance of the various British coppers; all of whom have escaped from Central Casting. Joseph Cotten acts with a patrician aura.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on 22 Dec 2003
Format: VHS Tape
Not since Dante came up with appropriate eternal punishments for those sent to the Inferno has there been such a macabre genius for taking vengeance as "The Abominable Dr. Phibes." The title character, played to the hilt and beyond by Vincent Price, seeks revenge upon the nine doctors he feels are responsible for the death of his beloved wife, Victoria. As inspiration, Anton Phibes uses the Plagues of Egypt, knocking off victims (including Terry-Thomas) with frogs, locusts and the like with the help of his silent assistant Vulnavia (Virginia North), while playing his grand pipe organ. Poor Inspector Trout (Peter Jeffrey) tries to get one step ahead of the Good Doctor, but he cannot even keep up as the murders progress. Phibes saves the best for last: Dr. Vesalius (Joseph Cotten), the man who botched the operation, at least in Phibes twisted view. By this point Phibes is up to the Death of the First Born and Dr. Vesalius has to operate on his son to the boy from suffering the same fate as Phibes.
"The Abominable Dr. Phibes" is like "Richard III" and "Silence of the Lambs" in that you find yourself rooting for the villain. This might be camp but it is done with such style and flair, not to mention a macabre (if not sick) humor. I love the fact that Vincent Price does all of his lines as a sort of disembodied voice. His lips never move, a result of having his character's mouth currently being in the side of his neck (what did you expect in a film that is so tongue in cheek?). This 1971 film, directed by Robert Fuest, was scripted by James Whiton and William Goldstein, a pair of decidedly sick human beings. Followed the next year by "Dr. Phibes Rises Again," Price did another camp revenge film, "Theater of Blood" in 1973. But be warned: most women do not consider these films appropriate for dates.
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