The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971)

UK, 1970
94m
35mm film, colour (by Movielab), 1.85:1
mono, English

A British horror film directed by Robert Fuest. In the UK it was released on a double bill with The Incredible 2-headed Transplant (1971).

Plot Summary

Disfigured musical genius Dr Anton Phibes takes revenge on the surgical team that failed to save the live of his beloved wife. Phibes uses the ten curses unleashed upon Egypt as told in the Old Testament as the basis for his revenge, unleashing swarms of marauding bees, bats and so on.

Credits

* = uncredited

Crew
Directed by: Robert Fuest
© MCMLXXI American International Productions (England) Limited
AIP [logo]. James H. Nicholson and Samuel Z. Arkoff present an American International picture
Executive Producers: Samuel Z. Arkoff & James H. Nicholson
Produced by: Louis M. Heyward & Ronald S. Dunas
Written by: James Whiton & William Goldstein
Additional Dialogue: Louis M. Heyward *
Director of Photography: Norman Warwick
Editing: Tristam Cones
Original Music Composed and Arranged by: Basil Kirchin
Sound Recordist: Dennis Whitlock
Wardrobe: Elsa Fennell
Make-up: Trevor Crole-Rees
Hairdresser: Bernadette Ibbetson
Special Effects: George Blackwell
Sets Designed by: Brian Eatwell

Cast
Vincent Price (Dr Anton Phibes)
Joseph Cotten (Dr Vesalius)
Hugh Griffith (rabbi)
Terry-Thomas (Dr Longstreet)
Peter Jeffrey (Inspector Trout)
Derek Godfrey (Crow)
Norman Jones (Detective Sgt Schenley)
John Cater (Waverley)
Aubrey Woods (Goldsmith)
John Laurie (Darrow)
Maurice Kaufmann (Dr Whitcombe)
Barbara Keogh (Mrs Frawley)
Sean Bury (Lem Vesalius)
Charles Farrell (chauffeur)
Susan Travers (Nurse Allan)
David Hutcheson (Dr Hedgepath)
Edward Burnham (Dr Dunwoody)
Alex Scott (Dr Hargreaves)
Peter Gilmore (Dr Kitaj)
Virginia North (Vulnavia)
Caroline Munro (Victoria Phibes{ *

Alternative Titles

L’abominable Doctor Phibes – Spain (Catalan)
El abominable Dr. Phibes – Spain
L’Abominable Dr. Phibes – France
O Abominável Dr. Phibes – Brazil
L’abominevole Dr. Phibes – Italy
Den Blodtörstige hämnaren – Sweden
The Curse of Dr. Phibes – working title
Dr. Phibes – den fasansfulle – Sweden
Dr. Phibes – USA (advertising title)
Odrazajacy dr Phibes – Poland
Ohavny Dr. Phibes – Czechoslovakia
O Satanikos doktor Phibes – Greece
Das Schreckenskabinett des Dr. Phibes – West Germany
Vampyyrin kosto – Finland

Sequel
Dr. Phibes Rises Again (1972)

See also
The Wizard of Oz (1939)
House of Wax (1953)

At various times a third film was announced but has so far not been made, among them The Bride of Dr. Phibes (no date), Dr. Phibes in the Holy Land (no date), The Son of Dr. Phibes (no date), Phibes Resurrectus (1977), Dr. Phibes (1981) and another proposal titled Phibes Resurrectus (1984)

References

Periodicals

  • Film Bulletin vol.40 no.10 (June 1971) p.37 – review
  • Filmfacts vol.14 no.18 (1971) pp.450-452 – reprinted review
  • Films and Filming vol.17 no.11 (August 1971) p.56 – credits
  • Films Illustrated vol.1 no.2 (August 1971) p.32 – review
  • House of Hammer vol.1 no.1 (October 1976) p.4 – note (Stop press: Late news)
  • The Hollywood Reporter vol.216 no.19 (24 May 1971) p.3 – credits, review
  • Kine Weekly no.3332 (21 August 1971) p.9 – review
  • Monthly Film Bulletin no.452 (September 1971) p.179 – credits, synopsis, review
  • Shivers no.68 (August 1999) pp.34-37 – illustrated article
  • Today’s Cinema no.9855 (10 November 1970) p.8 – credits
  • Today’s Cinema no.9933 (20 August 1971) p.5 – review
  • TV Times 23-29 July 1988 p.39 – review, credits
  • Variety 26 May 1971 p.23 – credits, review
  • Video Watchdog no.11 p.53 – review
  • Video Watchdog no.88 (October 2002) pp.20-21 – illustrated review (Joe Dante’s fleapit flashbacks: The Film Bulletin review, 1969-1974 by Joe Dante)
  • World of Horror no.6 p.60 – illustrated review

Books

  • American International Pictures: A Comprehensive Filmography by Rob Craig p.28
  • American International Pictures: A Filmography by Robert L. Ottoson p.203 – credits, synopsis, review
  • The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror by Phil Hardy (ed.) p.228 – illustrated review, credits
  • British Horror Film Locations by Derek Pykett p.11 – locations
  • Chopped Meat: British Horror of the 1970s by Darrell Buxton p.unpaginated
  • Comedy-Horror Films: A Chronological History, 1914-2008 by Bruce G. Hallenbeck pp.94-96; 215 – review; credits
  • Creature Features Movie Guide Strikes Again by John Stanley p.10 – review
  • A Critical Guide to Horror Film Series by Ken Hanke pp.245-248; 250 – credits
  • Elliott’s Guide to Films on Video (3rd edition) by John Elliott p.1 – review, credits, video data
  • English Gothic: A Century of Horror Cinema by Jonathan Rigby pp.208-10, 209
  • The Encyclopedia of Fantastic Film by R.G. Young p.2 – credits, note
  • Euro Gothic: Classics of Continental Horror Cinema by Jonathan Rigby p.295
  • Faster and Furiouser: The Revised and Fattened Fable of American International Pictures by Mark Thomas McGee pp.281-282; 300
  • Film Review 1972-1973 by F. Maurice Speed p.213 – credits, review
  • The Films of Vincent Price by Iain F. McAsh pp.28-29; 45 – review; credits
  • Ghastly Beyond Belief by Neil Gaiman and Kim Newman p.173 – quotes
  • Hoffman’s Guide to SF, Horror and Fantasy Movies 1991-1992 pp.14-15 – review, credits
  • Horror and Science Fiction Films: A Checklist by Donald C. Willis p.15 – credits
  • Horror and Science Fiction Films II by Donald C. Willis p.1 – credits
  • Horror Films of the 1970s by John Kenneth Muir pp.78-82 – credits, synopsis, review
  • Merchant of Menace: The Life and Films of Vincent Price by Denis Meikle pp.281-290; 374-375 – review; credits
  • Reference Guide to Fantastic Films by Walt Lee p.2 – illustrated credits
  • Rock ‘n’ Roll Monsters: The American International Story by Bruce G. Hallenbeck pp.236,-238; 293
  • Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Film Sequels, Series, and Remakes: An Illustrated Filmography, with Plot Synopses and Critical Commentary by Kim R. Holston and Tom Winchester p.15-16 – credits, synopsis, review
  • Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy Film and Television Credits Volume II by Harris M. Lentz p.732 – credits
  • Top 100 Horror Movies by Gary Gerani pp.18-19 – illustrated credits, synopsis, review
  • Uneasy Dreams: The Golden Age of British Horror Films, 1956-1976 by Gary A. Smith p.29
  • The Video Source Book (13th Edition) Volume 1 by Julia C. Furtaw p.6 – credits, video data
  • Videohound’s Complete Guide to Cult Flicks and Trash Pics by Carol A. Schwartz p.3 – review
  • Vincent Price: The Art of Fear by Denis Meikle pp.170-178; 230 – review; credits
  • Vincent Price Unmasked by James Robert Parish and Steven Whitney pp.130-132; 238-239 – review; credits
  • Women in the Horror Films of Vincent Price by Jonathan Malcolm Lampley pp.147-155; 191 – review; credits