Tonight on MeTV- we continue our celebration of Vincent Price’s birth month with one of his most memorable roles of the 1970s-as a man thought to be dead who is not only alive, but on a mission- to get revenge on the physicians who failed to save his wife’s life by killing them off one by one! There are equal measures of dark hilarity and horror in the campy classic from 1971- “The Abominable Dr. Phibes”!
The police are called in on a strange murder case- of a surgeon, who has died in his London bedroom under mysterious circumstances. This death reminds one officer of a recent similar incident, another doctor’s demise caused by equally odd circumstances- could these deaths be related?
We get some insight into the answer- as we see a mysterious figure- seen playing the organ in an underground lair, aided by a silent but beautiful partner- who sets out on the prowl, obviously up to no good! We see firsthand proof of this, as he visits a fancy-dress ball, and uses an unusual mask to claim his next victim!
The police, led by Inspector Trout, learn that the victims were all surgeons who had worked as a team under one Dr. Vesalius- on a case in which they tried, in vain, to save the life of Victoria Phibes, wife of concert organist Anton Phibes- who himself died in a car crash rushing to the hospital when she was being operated on. But- if Phibes is dead- who might be killing off the doctors involved? Vesalius reveals that there were four other doctors and a nurse who also were involved in the failed operation- and Trout thinks they too may be in danger!
Trout does some research on an amulet discovered at the scene of one of the murders- and finds it has a connection to the biblical Ten Plagues of the Pharaohs. It would seem that the murderer is theming each of his killings to one of the plagues-and Trout has the uneasy suspicion that Anton Phibes may not be dead! A visit to the Phibes burial tomb provides even more possible proof- and the race is on to protect the remaining medical personnel, and Vesalius himself- from the biblical curses being visited upon them in vengeance!
This film, which we have edited for time and some content, is a real favorite of many fans of Mr. Price- both for his creepy victim-by-victim assaults, and for the dark sense of humor throughout the film. A warning- there may be a few moments that are too horrific for some viewers. We’ll introduce you to many of the cast members, including the distinguished actor Joseph Cotten, Peter Jeffrey, famed British comedy actor Terry-Thomas, and Virginia North, as well as a famous genre actress who does not move at all in this movie! We’ll give some trivia about the production, plus a song, a vintage visit to Dr. Phibes’ waiting room, a sinister soft drink commercial, and more!
“The Abominable Dr. Phibes” airs tonight at 8 pm eastern/pacific, 7 central time. Live-Tweeting happens every week on Twitter during the broadcast- MeTV invites you to join in, and to use the hashtag #svengoolie. Chicago area viewers can get an encore of another of Vincent Price’s chilling classics “House of Wax” this morning on our main local station CW26 at 11 am.
Tune in tonight to see the Doctor- and be aware- you will have another appointment with him next week!