|My money's on the latter.|
Words cannot capture how weird this movie is. I'm not even talking about the plot outlined above, although god knows that's bonkers enough. I'm talking about the fact that Dr. Phibes spends the first five minutes of this movie polishing his clockwork orchestra, which plays no other role in the film. The fact that his murder-by-locusts for some reason requires Phibes to boil a gigantic pot of brussel sprouts down to Brussel Sprout Concentrate (he uses it as bait for the locusts, but the fruit flies in my kitchen aren't nearly so picky). I'm talking about the fact that for some reason Phibes' mouth is on his neck and he has to talk through a special neck telephone. It usually irritates me when people refer to this or that artist or artwork as "on drugs", as though talent and imagination can't bend the brain. In this case, though... I'm gonna give it a pass. Maybe the screenwriter was just high on life, but he was certainly high on something.
The Abominable Dr. Phibes gets a _/5. It's un-ratable. It's impossible to tell whether this movie is good or bad, let alone to tell whether it's meant to be horror or comedy; it doesn't succeed as either, and yet as the sole entry in a genre of its own, it's enjoyable enough. The production values and film stock quality are bargain basement, but the performances are excellent -- largely because the actors play it completely straight, with nary a tongue in a cheek. I hesitate to go so far as to recommend this movie, but I promise you you've never seen anything like it.
|Careful with that axe Eugene|