Monster 50

The Abominable Dr. Phibes

Horribly disfigured, Dr. Anton Phibes seemingly has risen from the dead to avenge the death of his wife. As played by the wonderful Vincent Price, Dr. Phibes is both creepy and oddly amusing. It is this delicate mix that runs through the entire picture, along with Price’s great performance, the vaults the good doctor onto this list.

I love the fact that Dr. Phibes has to speak through a phonograph, connected to his larynx with a chord, due to the accident he suffered. This makes the monster instantly creepy along with imparting instant sympathy. I also like the makeup and wig Phibes uses to make himself appear more normal.

The detective who is trying to discover the madman behind the weird killings is played by Peter Jeffrey. Every string of murders needs a good detective to solve the crime, and Detective Trout is great fun to watch. The murders are informed by the twelve plagues written in the Old Testament of the Bible.

Spoiler, but my favorite kill in the movie happens when the victim is impaled to a wall by a brass unicorn. Not a plague that I remember.

The entire movie is shot with great style and art deco theme. An example of all the right ingredients mixed together perfectly to create something special.

There was a sequel called Dr. Phibes Rises Again, which is also good, but I hold the original as better. You are free to argue with me, but you would be wrong.