The Abominable Dr Phibes (1971)

This deliriously potty Gothic shocker takes vengeance-seeking to new heights. Blaming a team of doctors for his wife’s death, the eponymous doc (Vincent Price) embarks on a murderous spree using the Bible’s ten plagues of Egypt as inspiration. The first victim we see is eaten by bats, the second has his head squished by a mechanical frog mask, the third (Terry Thomas) is drained of blood and so on and so forth. The opening sequence is a tour de force as we watch the doc manically bashing away on his church organ before winding up a mechanical band for an elaborate dance he performs with his assistant Vulnavia. The film’s a weird mix of theatre and comedy with deeply sinister undertones and, even by today’s standards, some pretty grisly death sequences. It is amazing at how well it stands up. DA
Dir Robert Fuest (Vincent Price, Joseph Cotten, Hugh Griffith)

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