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Dr Phibes Rises Again - A sequel that matches the original,
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This review is from: Dr. Phibes Rises Again [DVD] (DVD)
In 1971 the original `Abominable Dr Phibes' was released, and defined the genre of revenge psycho killer black comedy. It set the bar incredibly high for any following films, but the team responsible rose to the challenge and made this sequel in the following year. Unusually, the sequel is as good, or perhaps better than, the original.
After 3 years asleep, Phibes is awoken by his rather ingenious alarm clock. He sets about finding the secret of eternal life in Egypt (on behalf of his beloved wife), and merrily slaughtering anyone foolish enough to get in his way with a series of wonderfully inventive methods, involving clockwork snakes, grit blasting, scorpions, eagles, and my personal favourite, a distinctly un-orthopaedic bed.
Vying against Phibes is Beiderbeck, played by Robert Quarry, who also needs to find the secret river, for reasons of his own.
Vincent Price once again shines as Phibes, as evil genius psycho killers go, he's one of the best. Even though he's evil, he's so likeable that you really end up rooting for him at the end.
The film is once again a mix of grisly death and destruction, leavened with lashings of black humour (mainly provided by the two policemen on his trail and totally out of their depth), and a rip roaringly good 90 minutes entertainment.
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 trailer, which is quite interesting.
Recommended to all fans of black comedy and evil genius revenge horror films.