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Lots of stuff is still broken, but at least reviews can now be looked up and read.
Dr Phibes Rises Again! (Blu-ray) (1972)

Dr Phibes Rises Again! (Blu-ray) (1972)

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Released 30-Apr-2014

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Horror Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1972
Running Time 89:28
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Robert Fuest

Shock Entertainment
Starring Vincent Price
Robert Quarry
Valli Kemp
Fiona Lewis
Peter Jeffery
John Cater
Hugh Griffith
Peter Cushing
Beryl Reid
John Thaw
Case Standard Blu-ray
RPI ? Music John Gale

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Linear PCM 48/16 2.0 (1536Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes

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Plot Synopsis

     For three years after the events detailed in The Abominable Dr. Phibes, Phibes (Vincent Price), doctor, scientist, inventor, murderer and organist, remained in a state of suspended animation beside the body of his dead wife Victoria. But now, with a conjunction of the moon and the planets, he has arisen and, aided by his beautiful mute assistant Vulnavia (Valli Kemp), he has taken the body of his beloved wife to Egypt where, in a hidden Pharaonic tomb, Phibes intends to resurrect Victoria and plans for the two to experience an eternal life together. However, another team lead by Darrus Biederbeck (Robert Quarry) and his companion Diana Trowbridge (Fiona Lewis) are also searching for the hidden tomb. As Biederbeck and Phibes, each with their own special reasons, seek the secret of the tomb people are murdered in bizarre ways. Also arriving in Egypt on Phibes’ trail are Detective Inspector Trout (Peter Jeffery) and his blundering superior Waverly (John Cater) who add to the confusion.

     Dr. Phibes Rises Again!, produced the year after the successful The Abominable Dr. Phibes, does suffer from the dreaded sequel syndrome as it is no-where near as much fun as its predecessor. Some critics have suggested that this is because The Abominable Dr. Phibes was different and unexpected, something Dr. Phibes Rises Again! could not match. But for me it goes deeper than that. The Abominable Dr. Phibes retained an air of mystery because little was explained and dialogue and exposition were minimal, with no dialogue at all in that film for the first 10 minutes while Phibes does not speak at all until 32 minutes have passed. In contrast Dr. Phibes Rises Again! is dialogue and exposition heavy, including an opening voiceover narration recapping the events of the previous film while Price as Phibes is constantly telling us what he is up to and why, leaving little room for mystery. Part of the reason for this over-exposition is that AIP cut the film by 10 minutes before release, so Price had to record additional dialogue to cover the plot gaps. The music by John Gale (who did not score the first film) is also much more obvious and sounds rather 70’s and dated in some places.

     There are however many things to enjoy in Dr. Phibes Rises Again!. The film looks gorgeous, with detailed set decoration and deep, luscious colours, such as the staterooms on the liner or Phibes’ Egyptian lair, while Vulnavia’s costumes are stunning. Vincent Price is always good to watch and it is fun watching a number of cameos by well-known English actors, including Terry-Thomas (who was a victim in the first film but appears here in a different role), Beryl Reid, John Thaw and Peter Cushing (who was originally cast in the role taken by Joseph Cotton in the first film), while Hugh Griffith, who was a Rabbi in the first film, has an extended part as a different character. Vulnavia, despite being killed in the first film, returns but because Virginia North was pregnant she was replaced by Valli Kemp.

     Dr. Phibes Rises Again! is a campy, beautifully looking Gothic horror film that is good in parts but lacks the focus and sheer fun of its predecessor. The make-up effects are pretty good and the film is not gory or over the top, receiving a PG rating although to my mind some of the murders, especially the one using scorpions, are more brutal than anything in The Abominable Dr. Phibes which received an M rating. And, of course, horror icon Vincent Price is always worth watching.

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Transfer Quality


     Dr. Phibes Rises Again! is presented in the original 1.85:1 theatrical aspect ratio, in 1080p using the MPEG-4 AVC code.

     The film looks spectacular with beautifully rich colours, especially the reds, and impressive fine detail such as the creases on Price’s face. Phibes’ reconstructed art deco ballroom inside the tomb is also wonderfully realised. Blacks and shadow detail are solid, grain is not a problem, brightness and contrast are consistent, skin tones natural.

     There are some tiny marks on the print but none are distracting. There is also minor motion blur against broken surfaces.

     There are no subtitles.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


     The audio is an English LPCM 2.0 mono.

     Dialogue is always clear and easy to understand while effects, such as sand sifting, stone doors closing or car engines have some depth. The score by John Gale did seem shrill on occasion in the mix.

     Obviously, there is no surround or subwoofer use.

     I did not notice any hiss or distortion except for some of the organ score.

     Lip synchronisation was generally fine except for some early scenes involving Quarry.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


Theatrical Trailer (2:08)

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     In the US the Region A Blu-ray of Dr. Phibes Rises Again! seems to be available only as part of the multi-disc The Vincent Price Collection II. Extras on that release are only a trailer and stills gallery. The UK Region B release, however, has a commentary by author Tim Lucas and a range of other featurettes. This UK Blu-ray can either be bought as a stand alone or in a double bill with The Abominable Dr. Phibes, making this release the preferred option.


     Vincent Price, hidden tombs, the resurrection of the dead, organ music, a beautiful mute assistant and inventive murders. Dr. Phibes is back, and although this second film is not as good as its predecessor, Dr. Phibes Rises Again! is a beautifully looking camp Gothic horror that has its moments.

     The film looks stunning in HD, the audio is the original mono. A trailer is the only extra and we miss out on the extras available in the UK.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Tuesday, January 12, 2016
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S580, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

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