Dr. Phibes Rises Again! (1972)

dr phibes rises again poster 1972 movie vincent price
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Strong follow-up

Seems less horrific, forgets the original movie almost entirely

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Dr. Phibes Rises Again!

Studio:  Anglo-EMI Film Distributors Ltd.

Genre(s):  Horror

Release Date(s):  July 1972

MPAA Rating:  PG


Hey, Dr. Phibes is rising again!

Dr. Phibes (Vincent Price) has escaped the grave and now is seeking to restore life to his beloved Victoria (Caroline Munro).  With the help of his assistant Vulnavia (Valli Kemp), Phibes seeks the hidden River of Life…but the key to its location has been uncovered by another scientist who has extended his life named Darrus Biederbeck (Robert Quarry).  Biederbeck needs the River of Life to continue his eternal life and to give life to his loved Diana (Fiona Lewis).  Now, Phibes must locate the River of Life before Biederbeck and he’s willing to kill anyone who gets in his way.


I’ve had more fun since I died.

Directed by Robert Fuest, Dr. Phibes Rises Again! is the follow-up to the hit film The Abominable Dr. Phibes from 1971.  The film was well received by critics who found it comparable to the first film and like the first film, the movie has become a cult hit.

I had never seen either of Price’s Phibes movies, but I finally got to see them…back-to-back.  Watching both movies together, I agree that The Abominable Dr. Phibes and Dr. Phibes Rises Again! are pretty comparable films.

The story for Dr. Phibes Rises Again! is probably slightly weaker than the first film.  While the first film was a revenge tale, this seems almost to forget that.  The movie goes in a different direction and becomes almost a race-against-time heist type movie:  Phibes versus Biederbeck for the River of Life!


Reach out and kill someone!

Vincent Price continues to be the main reason to tune in to these type of horror films.  He really gives the viewers fun by appearing to really enjoy them himself.  Robert Quarry is ok as Phibes’ foil Darrus Biederbeck, and I do like the inclusion of an immortal…It is a fun twist to the mad doctor style of the movie.  I could due without the cop duo of Inspecter Trout (Peter Jeffrey) and Inspector Waverly (John Cater), but I would love to know more about Phibes’ mysterious assistant Vulnavia played by Valli Kemp who replaced Virginia North (the acid shower she had at the end of The Abominable Dr. Phibes apparently changed her into a different actress).  There is also a small role by Hammer horror great Peter Cushing.


Scorpions don’t make good accessories.

Visually, the movie continues to look great.  There is a weird funkiness to both Phibes films which contrasts with the 1920s setting.  I love Phibes robot band and assistants (plus creations like the robot snakes).  The movie has a lot of elements which are still used today in horror films like Saw which seems to borrow from Phibes’ desire for weird deaths (like the fun scorpion death).

Dr. Phibes Rises Again! is a fun movie and chooses to be different than the original movie…there is advantages and disadvantages to this.  I’m glad that the movie attempted something new, but it would have been fun to have a really horrific film (I’m imagining someone like a Dario Argento doing it now).  Phibes was meant to have more life after the movie but three sequels with the proposed titles of Dr. Phibes in the Holy Land, The Brides of Phibes, Phibes Resurrectus, and The Seven Fates of Dr. Phibes were unfortunately never made.

Related Links:

The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

Leave A Response