Complete Dr. Phibes
(Limited Edition Set/Abominable
Dr. Phibes (1971) + Dr.
Phibes Rises Again
(1972)/Theatre Of Blood
(1973/Arrow U.K. Region B Import Blu-rays)
B-/B/B/B Sound: B/B-/B-/B- Extras: C+/B/B/B Films:
(limited to only 3,000 copies!!!) and Theatre
(also available in a special Steelbook version) Import Blu-rays are
now only available from our friends at Arrow U.K., all will only play
on Region B players and all can be ordered from the link below.
are four horror genre works in the classic tradition, including a new
film trying to emulate some classics of the past...
(2013) does what it can to combine alien body snatcher films with
slasher films and sometimes has some commendable moments, but lands
up having too many down moments and plotting issues despite a serious
try at this hybrid. The unknowns are not bad and at first, it looked
like this one might work, but sadly, it starts running into trouble
it cannot overcome at the halfway mark and not coming up with new
twists on what it was doing did not help. Still, it has a look that
works at times, but the gore effects are a little over the top too
often as if they could not decide what they wanted to make here.
Still, fans will find this much more interesting than most such
recent new releases in the genre so they should be the ons to check
this one out the most.
include a feature length Making Of program, two feature length audio
commentary tracks, vintage TV spot for its indie release, Photo
Behind The Scenes featurette, Theatrical Trailer, Alternative
Trailers, On The Set with Graham Skipper and a short called Toxin
that was a forerunner of this project.
up are three of Vincent Price's best films, all smart, clever, wacky
revenge films he did almost directly back to back. The
Complete Dr. Phibes
is a terrific new import (and Region B only) that brings together
both Robert Fuest-directed films: The
Abominable Dr. Phibes
(1971) and Dr.
Phibes Rises Again
(1972) where Price is the vengeful Dr. Anton Phibes, setting up wild,
outrageous deaths for those who have dared to cross him. Darkly
humorous, the films have him out to kill no less than nine doctors he
feels are responsible for her death, followed by a sequel where he
has a plan to bring her back from the dead!
for American international, these hold up very well and represent
some of Price's and Fuest's best work. The casts are also great with
Joseph Cotten, Terry-Thomas, Peter jeffrey, Virginia North, Hugh
Griffith, John Laurie and an uncredited Caroline Munro in the first
film (Joanna Lumley actually had a scene that was cut from the final
film) and the sequel has Peter Cushing, Robert Quarry, Fiona Lewis,
Gerald Sim, John Thaw, Milton Reid and a few survivors of the first
film. This is intelligent, stylized horror worthy of the best Hammer
films and between the two films, the makers did just about everything
they could to squeeze the possibilities out of the story. Nice to se
them look and sound so good holding up so well.
not a spin-off, Price continued the revenge idea with Douglas
(1973) where Price is an old actor who blames a group of serious
theater critics for not becoming a top Shakespearean actor, et al, so
he is joined by his daughter (Diana Rigg in a quiet, chilling turn)
to kill them all. Darker and even more intellectual than the Phibes
films, it also sports some amazing dark humor and may be the best
film about revenge on critics of any kind ever made. The amazingly
strong cast helps including Ian Hendry, Robert Morley, Harry Andrews,
Coral Browne, Jack Hawkins, Michael Horden, Arthur Lowe, Dennis
Price, Milo O'Shea, Eric Sykes, Diana Dors, Madeline Smith, Joan
Hickson and even Charles Gray, whose voice appears uncredited.
may not be as visual adept as Fuest, but he is able to more than hold
his own with a visually dense, effective thriller that is as
disturbing and as much an experience as the Phibes
films. United Artists handled this one in the U.S. and like American
International's film, MGM owns both catalogs, so they supplied the
materials for these releases, both of which are available in separate
are the extras for each...
audio commentaries, two on Abominable
(one by director Fuest, the other by the creator of Dr. Phibes,
William Goldstein, while Dr.
Phibes Rises Again
has a single track by film scholar, critic and author Tim Lucas. The
box comes with a 100-page collector's booklet featuring new writing
on the films by Julian Upton, Martin Jones, Justin Humphreys and
Jonny Trunk, the on-set recollections of Caroline Munro, plus
interviews with Tim Burton and AIP publicist Milton Moritz, all
illustrated with rare and original archive stills. The discs also
deliver three featurettes: Dr.
Phibes & The Gentlemen
as The League of Gentlemen (Jeremy Dyson, Mark Gatiss, Steve
Pemberton & Reece Shearsmith) fondly recall a pair of British
horror classics, Daughter
as Victoria Price discusses her real life father Vincent Price's
career and The
Doctor Will See You Now
featuring an interview with Vincent Price's biographer, David Del
Valle. We also get Original Theatrical Trailers for both films.
adds a Collector's Booklet featuring new writing on the film by film
critic Cleaver Patterson and a reproduction of original press book
material, illustrated with original archive stills, while the disc
adds a feature length audio commentary with The League of Gentlemen,
Jeremy Dyson, Mark Gatiss, Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith, the
Original Theatrical Trailer and four featurettes: A
Price's daughter Victoria Price discusses this film, A
an interview with David Del Valle, Staged
an interview with star Madeleine Smith and A
Harmony For Horror:
an interview with composer Michael J. Lewis.
to see all four releases be so extras-heavy.
for playback performance. The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition
image transfer on Human
is a new HD shoot and has some good shots, but others are flawed and
limited, sometimes by the visual effects, other times by the limits
of the digital shoot. It still looks better than most HD horror
shoots we have seen in the last few years, without that being an
1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image transfers on the two
films and the 1080p 1.66 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer
can show the age of the materials used at times, but these transfers
all come fresh from the MGM vaults using the original camera
materials and are far superior a transfer to all previous releases of
the film on DVD and lesser formats. All looking better than Human,
color range, a few demo shots, detail and depth will surprise those
used to lesser copies and fans will be stunned at their best. Each
has a different Director of Photography, but they all deliver very
Warwick lensed Abominable
and his other works include The
Jekyll & Sister Hyde
and The Who's movie The
Kids Are Alright,
the amazing Alex Thompson lensed Rises
and his previous work includes Alien
Branagh's 70mm Hamlet,
Ridley Scott's Legend,
and Cimino's Year
Of The Dragon
and documentary veteran Wolfgang Suschitzky (who lensed Blood
here) also shot Some
Kind Of Hero,
and the original Michael Caine Get
These films were built to last and it shows.
for sound, the DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix on Human
is well mixed and presented, making it the best film here sonically
as expected, but the soundfield is not lazy or limited like too many
films in the
genre currently are. All three import Price
Blu-rays have PCM 2.0 Mono sound that is superior to the lossy Dolby
sound DVDs before them and they have done as great job cleaning up,
fixing and transferring the original optical mono with better depth
and detail than you would expect.
can order all the Vincent Price
Blu-ray imports that includes many more limited edition exclusives
and editions with more extras than in any other edition of a given