The Abominable Dr. Phibes is probally one of the stranger B-movies of the 1970's, Vincent price stars in this English cult classic as a dead doctor risen to revive his dead wife. It appears that his wife died on the operating table many years ago and Dr. phibes could not get over the fact that the doctors failed to save her life. His plan is to resurrect from the dead and then go around and kill each of the doctors that caused to death. That's basically the premise of the entire film but what makes it so charming is the strangeness to it overall.
Nothing about this movie is serious, it obviously knows that it's a B grade movie, so it's entirely tongue in cheek. It is self-aware of what it is so it does not try to be deadpan; instead dive straight into the camp territory. It's Vincent price who plays a pleasantly brilliant role, however you never actually hear him speak you hear him voice box. When Phibes is revealed in his glorious form, audiences are in for quite a treat. It is also a classic British thriller with a build up to why Phibes is doing such atrocities. It is overall creepy because it has a disturbing charm to the film, it appears funny from the outside but once the murders begin, it becomes quite dark very fast. I remember seeing this movie as a kid and the murder sequences really did disturb me, essentially as he tortures victims before he kills them. Some of the deaths of the doctors involve killer rats, a killer mask, and the draing of blood. Overall this is Vincent price's most odd film, and there was a sequel released. The interesting thing about the movie is that it's not bad, it's actually very well directed. Director Robert Fuest at this time was experienced enough, making some of the most wonderful and odd English horror fantasy films of the time period. The buildup towards the end is so suspenseful, you find yourself on the edge of your seat. Overall despite it being obscure it has gained a large cult following, even being referenced in the Simpsons; apparently it's Marges favourite Vincent Price movie.
Local distributor Shock brings us Phibes in a 1080p transfer in its original aspect ratio of 1:84:1. It is really flawless with minimal print damage and specs. It appears to have undergone a true clean up, and for a film over 40 years old it looks quite stunning. The scenes in Phibes lair really do shine, the neon lights are lit up and stand out strong. The scenes shot on set present a lot of detail and clarity, there was detail on the DVD that was missing due to the old transfers compression. The outdoor scenes look great with natural grain and clarity. Overall this is the best the film has ever looked, and probably will for a long time to come.
A strong audio performance here too, with dialogue coming off clear and easy to understand. The sound effects do blast when the time comes to show of your sound system. With no cracks or pops, its an extremely clean audio experience. The score and Phibes playing his large pain type thing, really sound fantastic. Shock has done a great job here.
Extras: The only extra on the blu ray is a trailer; it does show off the highlights of the film and is highly entertaining overall.