Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, October 29, 2015


"Hackett isn't saying anything!"
DR. PHIBES RISES AGAIN (1972). Director: Robert Fuest.

In this sequel to The Abominable Dr. Phibes, the not-so-good doctor (Vincent Price) is after certain Egyptian scrolls that he hopes will bring his beloved Victoria (Caroline Munro) back to life, but first he has to get rid of anyone who might get to the scrolls first. Phibes' chief adversary is archaeologist Darrus Biederbeck (Robert Quarry of A Kiss Before Dying and Count Yorga, Vampire), but Phibes has absolutely no problem ridding himself of everyone in Biederbeck's party by various inventive, diabolical -- and often quite funny-- means. There's a fog that melts away flesh; a phone device that snaps a spike through the caller's ear; a body- crushing device; an attack by falcon; crawling scorpions; and the like, all served up with ghoulish and amusing relish. Peter Cushing, Beryl Reid, Fiona Lewis, Hugh Griffith, and Terry-Thomas have smaller roles, while Price himself seems to be having a ball.

Verdict: Gruesome and funny in equal measure, this is a sequel that's as good as the original. ***.

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