Archive for The Phantom of the Opera

Old Testament Horror

Posted in Classic Horror, Evil, Nature Gone Wild, Science Fiction, Scream Queens, Slashers, TV Vixens with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 20, 2016 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

The Abominable Dr. Phibes

The horribly disfigured Dr. Anton Phibes was three things before that car crash back in 1921. (He was racing to the hospital to be by his wife’s side who died to death on the operating table before Phibes could get there.) 1. He was an expert in theology, the study of God and religious gunk. 2. He was an expert in music, and even built a robo-band in his secret hideaway to accompany his piped organ. 3. He was a master of revenge, setting ingenious traps inspired by the Old Testament’s ten plagues of Egypt on the doctors who failed to keep his gorgeous wife from freshness expiring. It’s clear who Jigsaw’s mentor is.

The Abominable Dr. Phibes

Even though he was presumed dead, Phibes somehow managed to survive and has plotted his plot every since. He can’t talk as he drank a fiery gasoline cocktail that fried his larynx. But he can stick a plug into his neck that runs into an speaker to converse through his damaged yapper. Clearly, Tom Waits has a mentor.

The Abominable Dr. Phibes

Phibes also has a hottie assistant named Vulnavia who is mute, the best kind of assistant to have. They conspire to track down the physicians and exact vengeance in the corresponding ten plagues, which includes – but is not limited to – bats, frogs, locusts and…dripping acid. I’m not up on bible stuff, but if Moses used acid on the Pharaoh, that would totally kick scripture.

The Abominable Dr. Phibes

One by one the doctors are luridly discharged from life, while Phibes celebrates by blow-torching wax head likenesses of his victims. His robo-band – Dr. Phibes’ Clockwork Wizards (cool name; I’d buy their album) – provides a nice big band jazz-y soundtrack. But all of this is forming clues as apparent to Scotland Yard’s Inspector Trout. (Insert your own joke here.)

The Abominable Dr. Phibes

Phibes, though, is saving the best death for Dr. Vesalius, the head physician who preceded over Victoria’s failed surgery. Capturing Vesalius’ son, Phibes straps the boy to a surgical table in the basement of his mega-mansion, with a coiled tube full of skin-melting acid making it’s way towards the boy’s unhappy face. Vesalius is called to the trap and has six minutes to surgically extract a key from the unconscious boy’s torso, which will unlock the locks holding him to the table. (You may recall this similar scene employed in 2004’s Saw.)

The Abominable Dr. Phibes

While Vesalius is operating and sweating like an Old testament pig, Phibes, through his robo-throat, confesses what this is all about. His ultimate goal is to seal himself in a coffin that holds his wife’s preserved body in a shiny pajama robe, and descend under the floor of his mega-mansion while Vulnavia destroys the Clockwork Wizards. (She need not bother; music critics already did that, calling their music “stiff and lifeless.” Ouch.)

The Abominable Dr. Phibes

The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971) is great black horror comedy, raising the bar on revenge and giving an homage nod to The Phantom of the Opera (1925). Better yet, I hear the unspeaking Vulnavia is single – mute button included.

Sewer Phantom

Posted in Classic Horror, Scream Queens with tags , , , , , , , on January 22, 2014 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

The Phantom of the Opera

The eternally classic Phantom of the Opera (1925) is adapted from the book Le Fantôme de l’Opéra, which I never even looked at because I can’t read French. I assumed I could. My bad.

The Phantom of the Opera

So this opera lovin’ dude has a f’d up face, so he wears a mask and lives in what seems like a million feet below the Paris Opera House where Christine, his muse, sings songs in a really high voice. (You don’t get to hear it as this is a silent movie. Just use your imagination.)

The Phantom of the Opera

The Phantom threatens mega unhappy times if the theater/theatre owners do not let his song bird perform instead of that singing diva c-word, Carlotta. He makes good on the threat by dropping a massive chandelier (fancy name for fluorescent lighting) on the audience during a sold-out show. Dude! 

The Phantom of the Opera

The Phantom, who has been secretly coaching Christine, finally gets the nerve to ask her out, and takes her to his nicely appointed crib in the sewers. (French sewage – loaded with recycled wine, butter and stink cheese.)

The Phantom of the Opera

He tells her not to fixate on his mask and that if she touches it, will totally wreck their relationship. She touches it. Snap! That turned out to be one of horror’s all time kick ass shock moments as the Phantom looks like a mummy with too much eye shadow and lipstick.

Inevitably, the cops show up and beat the arts outta him. Too bad – the Phantom showed serious sequel potential.