Saturday, March 19, 2011

Dr. Phibes Rises Again (1972)

Dr. Phibes Rises Again! (1972) was the second Dr. Phibes movie, a sequel to The Abominable Dr. Phibes. It was directed by Robert Fuest, and starred Vincent Price as Dr. Anton Phibes.

The moon rises at a predestined angle and awakens the sleeping Dr. Phibes in 1928, three years after the events of the previous movie. To his dismay, he finds that his house has been demolished and his papyrus scrolls stolen, the scrolls he needs to find the Pharaoh's Tomb in Egypt, where the River of Life flows. After identifying the source of the papyrus theft, he packs and leaves for Egypt with his assistant Vulnavia - whose face displays no effects from the acid shower she received at the end of the previous film (although the character is now played by a different actress, Valli Kemp). His primary goal is the awakening of his dead wife, Victoria. The thieves of Phibes' scrolls suffer an attrition problem as Inspectors Trout and Waverly chase Phibes across the world. The party is led by Beiderbeck (Robert Quarry, best known for playing Count Yorga). Although he looks young, he is several hundred years old and wants to find the River of Life in order to stay alive and be with his lover Diana (Fiona Lewis) forever. This time Phibes' murders all have an Egyptian theme to them; for example, one character is sand-blasted to death. Other deaths include someone being stung to death by scorpions, being eaten by an eagle (in the original script impaled by a gold eagle in the same way a doctor in The Abominable Dr. Phibes was impaled by a golden unicorn), and a golden snake piercing someone's skull. At the climax, Beiderbeck sacrifices his life in order to save Diana. The film ends with Phibes riding a raft down the River of Life with Victoria, while singing "Over the Rainbow" (which is strange, as this film is set in 1928 but "Over The Rainbow" wasn't written until 1938). It is left ambiguous whether Victoria is resurrected or not, although a picture inside the DVD shows her in the raft with her eyes open and smiling at the camera

90 MIN

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