TV Cream

Films: D is for...

Dr Phibes Rises Again

Short order sequel to The Abominable, in which Vincent Price does just that, and naffs off with Vulnavia (a different one this time) to Egypt to look for the River of Life. Fortunately, Peter Jeffrey’s back, and in hot pursuit! And so’s Terry-Thomas, but in a different role. There’s a bit of ex cathedra folderol about parchments, and the various folk who get in Phibes’ way meet – yep – extravagantly baroque ends – stung by scorpions, having a telephone earpiece blast a gold clockwork snake through the ear, and drowning in a bottle of gin. Finally Vince gets to dress up as a sheikh and pilot a boat down an underground river, singing Somewhere Over the Rainbow. If it’s sillier than before, it looks even better, with Eatwell given more money for MDF and photography in the capable-as-fuck hands of Alex Thompson, the man who made Excalibur worth looking at. Sadly the projected third episode, with Phibes battling a bunch of Nazis, was shelved when Price’s director of choice Fuest either wasn’t available or was considered persona non grata by the studio after his decidedly wacko The Final Programme flopped like Big Daddy. Still, never mind – just load up on this delightful duology and you’ll be well away.

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