Dr. Phibes Rises Again (1972)

Article 4321 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 9-29-2013
Directed by Robert Fuest
Featuring Vincent Price, Robert Quarry, Valli Kemp
Country: UK / USA
What it is: Campy horror sequel

After three years, Dr. Phibes arises from his tomb with a plan to bring his beloved wife back to life… and he won’t let anyone stand in his way.

The common view of this film is that it is the inferior sequel to THE ABOMINABLE DR. PHIBES. Still, I have to count myself in that minority of people who like it better than the original. No doubt part of the reason is that I saw the sequel first, and after experiencing its campy floridness and over-the-top stylish excesses, I found the original to be somewhat on the dry side. Vincent Price gets a lot more dialogue in the sequel, and I love to hear him talk (though admittedly, much of what he says is redundant). The cops are, if anything, even more dimwitted here than they are in the original, and for me, the most nightmarish murder occurs in the sequel (the one with the scorpions). The sequel gives me more of a hint as to how the character would work in a continuing series of movies, and I would gladly gladly trade ten sequels to FRIDAY THE 13TH for a couple more Dr. Phibes movies. I won’t deny it has its fair share of flaws; in particular, I couldn’t help but notice this time that the script is more than a bit threadbare. Still, when I want to experience a Dr. Phibes movie, this is the one I’m likely to choose. My favorite joke is one that I didn’t catch until a third or fourth viewing; when one of the policemen suggests that they need a ram to open a door, notice where the other policemen looks.


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