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Dr. Phibes Rises Again
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Genre:Classics
Year:1972
Rating:PG
Length:1 Hour 29 Minutes
Cast:Robert Fuest, Vincent Price, Robert Quarry, Valli Kemp

This over-gimmicky 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. While he may look like Vincent Price, Phibes in fact wears a rubber mask to disguise his own horribly disfigured countenance (the giveaway: Phibes 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--killing everyone who gets in his way. In the original Phibes 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, while he still utilizes an impressive array of death-dealing contraptions (one victim literally has his skin blown off his body by a high-powered electric fan), there seems to be no real reason for Phibes to go through all the trouble. Still, the film has a marvelous serial-like finale, with expedition leader Robert Quarry being forced to accommodate Phibes before Quarry's wife (Fiona Lewis) falls victim to another of the Doc's elaborate death traps. And how many Vincent Price films can you name that end with the star singing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow"? Hal Erickson

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