In The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971) and its sequel, Dr. Phibes Rises Again (1972), horror great Vincent Price starred as vaudevillian organist and super-genius Dr. Anton Phibes, architect of incredibly ingenious murders. Set in 1920s London and Egypt, their outstanding Art Deco production design, absurd humor, and soaring romance made them hits, beloved by generations of horror fans.
The Abominable Dr. Phibes’ admirers include directors Tim Burton, Frank Darabont, and Ken Russell. Comedian Kumail Nanjiani built a scene around it in his The Big Sick (2017). Quentin Tarantino recently programmed it five times in less than two months at Hollywood’s New Beverly Cinema. Andrew Muschietti, director of It (2017), has said that The Abominable Dr. Phibes ranks among the scariest films of his childhood. Stephen King quipped on Facebook that the phrase “doctor recommended” on commercials makes him think of Dr. Phibes. The Telegraph ranked it among the fifty best horror films of all time and The Museum of Modern Art screened it in February, 2018.
Now, Phibesologist Justin Humphreys expands his extensive previous writings on the series to tell the full story of these unique cinematic masterpieces. The Dr. Phibes Companion includes:
- An expanded version of “The Kind of Fiend Who Wins,” the definitive history of The Abominable Dr. Phibes.
- A new essay on the making of Dr. Phibes Rises Again.
- A new foreword by Dr. Phibes’ creator, William Goldstein.
- Interviews with many of the series’ creators, including director Robert Fuest, screenwriters William Goldstein and James Whiton, art director Brian Eatwell, sound designer Peter Lennard, including previously unpublished conversations with organist Nicholas Kynaston (“War March of the Priests”), composer John Gale, screenwriter Lem Dobbs, and others.
- Never-Before-Seen production artwork by director Robert Fuest from Fuest’s personal shooting script.
- Previously unpublished behind-the-scenes photographs.
- Photographs of The Abominable Dr. Phibes’ world premiere from screenwriter James Whiton’s files.
- Dozens of illustrations from the Phibes films.
- A thorough history of the “unphilmed” Phibes sequels.
- And much, much more.
Read on, relax, and enjoy. The organ plays till midnight. . .
Praise for Justin Humphreys’ essay “The Kind of Fiend Who Wins: The Making of The Abominable Dr. Phibes”:
"Wow. . . Wow. . . and WOW!!! What a fine piece of work. You have done Dr. Phibes proud, Justin! Your article matches the top level scientific journals in its attention to detail - without sacrificing the flow of the narrative."
- William Goldstein, creator of Dr. Phibes.
“Your magazine-- or, more aptly, book-- on Dr. Phibes is quite remarkable. I've rarely seen such a definitive study of a movie anthologized and written with such passion and painstaking detail. . . I did see Phibes again about a month ago and it is one of those films that always yields some new delightful pleasures upon viewing again.”
- Stanley Weiser, screenwriter: Wall Street, W.
This book could have been subtitled “everything you ever
wanted to know about Dr. Phibes“ because it is an in-depth analysis of all
aspects of the two films from the early 1970s that started Vincent Price in one
of his most challenging and memorable roles. To say the films were quirky would
be an understatement but their clever mix of horror, gore and camp have allowed
them to grow in stature and popularity over time. Author Humphreys has done an
outstanding job of researching every aspect of the movies and, most critically
crucially, has included interviews with cast and crew, including director
Robert Fuest . Highly recommended.
- Cinema Retro
Justin Humphreys is a writer, curator, consultant, and film historian. His previous books for BearManor are Names You Never Remember, With Faces You Never Forget and Interviews Too Shocking to Print! For Bonhams Auctions and private clients, he has extensively handled, cataloged, and appraised classic Hollywood memorabilia from, among others, the estates of Maureen O’Hara, Charlton Heston, Tod Browning, George Pal, Harper Goff, and The Abominable Dr. Phibes’ production designer, Brian Eatwell. In 2017, Humphreys cataloged the original Robby the Robot prop for Bonhams, which set a World Record as the most expensive movie prop to ever sell at auction.