- SKU: 8538406
- Release Date: 09/11/2007
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Ratings & Reviews
- Exclusive featurettes - Vincent Price: Renaissance Man, The Art of Fear, Working With Vincent Price
This sequel to the stylish 1971 melodrama The Abominable Dr. Phibes once more stars Vincent Price in the title role. Long believed dead, Phibes arises from a state of suspended animation, in search of the means to bring his deceased wife back to the land of the living. Phibes also wears a rubber mask to disguise his own horribly disfigured countenance. (The giveaway: he never moves his mouth when speaking, and eats by applying his fork to his neck!) With the aid of the enigmatic, never-speaking Vulnavia (Valli Kemp), Phibes follows an Egyptian expedition, seeking out an ancient elixir of life and killing everyone who gets in his way. In the original film, all of the doctor's grisly but ingenious murders were motivated, and all were linked by a Seven Deadly Plagues throughline. In the sequel, Phibes kills whenever he feels like it, and utilizes an impressive array of death-dealing contraptions (one victim literally has his skin blown off his body by a high-powered electric fan). This marks one of the only films ever made to wrap with Vincent Price singing "Somewhere, Over the Rainbow." ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
This semi-serious horror film represented the first on-screen pairing of icons Vincent Price and Peter Cushing, who play, respectively, aging former horror star Paul Toombes and actor-turned-writer Herbert Flay, who unite in an effort to revive the popularity of Toombes' screen character "Dr. Death" for a TV series. Having recently recovered from a nervous breakdown, Toombes comes under suspicion when several members of the show's cast and crew are murdered in grisly reenactments of Dr. Death's greatest movie moments (as depicted in numerous colorful clips from some of Price's AIP films for Roger Corman). Though it at times aspires to the level of Price's classic of macabre humor Theater of Blood, this film tends to stumble due to a middling script that dodges the opportunity to generate energy from the interaction of its two superb leads. Also known as The Revenge of Dr. Death. ~ Cavett Binion, Rovi
Tales of Terror
Roger Corman's Tales of Terror stars Vincent Price in a trio of short stories, liberally adapted by Richard Matheson from the works of Edgar Allan Poe. The film gets off to a rousing start with "Morella," in which Price's bitterness over the long-ago death of his wife results in tragedy for his estranged daughter Maggie Pierce. The last of the three terror-filled tales, "The Case of Mr. Valdemar," finds Price being put into a state of suspended animation by the diabolical Basil Rathbone; when Rathbone claims Price's bride Debra Paget for himself, Price briefly revives, only to melt before our eyes (this horrific image was reproduced on the film's advertising posters). The film's best story is its centerpiece, "The Black Cat," which weaves elements of "The Cask of Amontillado" into a mordantly funny revenge tale concerning Price, his bitter enemy Peter Lorre, and Lorre's two-timing wife Joyce Jameson. This is the one in which a besotted Lorre walls up Price and Jameson in his cellar, then endures a hellish hallucination of Vincent and Joyce playing a football game with his head! A mixed bag, to be sure, but Tales of Terror remains one of the best of Corman's Poe cycle (though it does lose a lot when not shown in its original Cinemascope form). ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
The Abominable Dr. Phibes
Long thought dead, the victim of a horrible accident, Dr. Anton Phibes (Vincent Price) still lives, surrounded by art-deco bric-a-brac and attended by mute beauty Vulnavia (Virginia North). Outwardly normal in appearance, Phibes actually wears a rubber mask, covering his hideously deformed countenance; giving away the artifice is the fact that, when he dines, he takes his food through his neck rather than his mouth. Able to speak only when plugging a wire into his damaged vocal chords, Phibes elucidates his plan to murder the medical team whom he holds responsible for the death of his wife. Each of the killings is patterned after the ten deadly plagues. Phibes saves his worst for last: trapping chief surgeon Dr. Vesalius in his lair, Phibes forces the hapless medico into a race against time to save the life of his own son. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Twice Told Tales
This three part horror story is taken from the writings of Nathaniel Hawthorne. Vincent Price stars in all three tales starting with Dr. Heidegger's Experiment". Heidegger (Sebastian Cabot) attempts to restore the youth of four elderly friends. In a ghastly and ghoulish scene, a bride in her wedding gown returns to life after being dead for forty years. Although her spirit is alive, her body is ravaged by forty years of grave rot. "Rappaccini's Daughter" finds Price as a demented, overprotective father inoculating his daughter with poison so she may never leave her garden of poisonous plants. Part three, "The House of the Seven Gables" has Beverly Garland, Richard Denning, and Jacqueline de Wit accompanying Price, who retains his horror hero status that alternates between villain and victim. The characters portrayed by Price are a natural continuation of the Edgar Allen Poe stories produced by Roger Cormam. Sidney Sallow directed this feature in which the cinematic apple falls far from the literary tree. ~ Dan Pavlides, Rovi
A corrupt opportunist commits brutal crimes in the name of God and country in this atmospheric period horror tale. In 17th century England, as a people's uprising threatens Lord Cromwell's rule, superstition still rules the land, and the Royalists use this to their advantage by inaugurating a reign of terror in the name of wiping out alleged witches and agents of the dark arts. Matthew Hopkins (Vincent Price) has been appointed "witchfinder" by Puritan Royalists, and with the help of his thuggish assistant Stearne (Robert Russell), Hopkins travels from town to town, brutally interrogating those accused of witchcraft and using fire, drowning, and torture to extract "confessions" from the accused. Of course, Hopkins' opinions can be swayed with money and other considerations, and when Father Lowes (Rupert Davies), a priest whose sympathies do not lie with the Royalists, is arrested and tortured by Hopkins and Stearne, his devoted niece Sarah (Hilary Dwyer) is able to stay his punishment by sleeping with Hopkins. Sarah, however, is engaged to marry Marshall (Ian Ogilvy), a soldier in Cromwell's army, and once Marshall learns that the woman he loves has been seduced by Hopkins -- and raped by Stearne -- he becomes determined to expose the witchfinder and punish him for his misdeeds. Witchfinder General was released in the United States by American International Pictures, who in addition to arranging for Vincent Price to play Matthew Hopkins, changed the North American title to The Conqueror Worm, after a poem by Edgar Allan Poe which was read over the credits by Price, though the story bears no real relation to Poe's work. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
Theater of Blood
The darkly comic and sometimes quite gory Theatre of Blood is a vehicle tailor-made for its star Vincent Price, brilliantly capitalizing on his reputation as a master of period horror drawn from "literary" sources. Price portrays Shakespearean actor Edward Lionheart, who becomes enraged after losing a prominent acting award and decides to seek revenge on the critics responsible. Fittingly, he using the works of the Bard as a guide, basing his killings on violent scenes from Shakespearean plays. Price takes full advantage of his meaty role, ominously reciting classic Elizabethan monologues while rigging particularly nasty torture devices. This hilarious turn is assisted by a colorful supporting cast, including Robert Morley, Richard Coote, and Michael Hordern as critics and Diana Rigg as Lionheart's devoted daughter and partner in crime. The end result is a wonderfully evil lark that, in its own way, proves surprisingly faithful to the often bloody spirit of Shakespeare; certainly the full implications of Shylock's demand for a "pound of flesh" have rarely been made quite as explicit. ~ Judd Blaise, Rovi
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