The Abominable Dr. Phibes – Vincent Price plays the titular Dr. Phibes in this tasty little revenge movie about a celebrated musician who decides to inflict his wrath upon the doctors who could not save his wife on the operating table. Due to a serious accident, Phibes can only speak through a bizarre stethoscope type machine he plugs into his neck. He also feeds himself through this hole. This of course means that an actor known largely for his voice, does not get to use it, and what comes out of his interpreting machine sounds much flatter than the sinister dialogue should imply. It’s a testament to Price’s genius that he still delivers such a memorable and campy performance. One need only observe his delighted handclap, applauding his own genius after one of his enemies is slain to consider this among his finest work. The movie plays out like a modern slasher film, most notably the Saw films. Characters are introduced when the plot requires another dead body, and they are disposed of in quite creative ways, inspired by biblical plagues. The finest being a lady’s face getting doused in a gooey brussel sprout concoction only to have hungry locusts attack her head and pick it clean. Great deaths aside, it’s worth viewing for the grandeur of the opening, with Dr. Phibes hammering away at his piano while his robot band plays along.
End of the line – Saw this one at TIFF a few years back. The gore and subsequent audience laughter provoked one man to storm out while yelling at us all for laughing. A religious cult believes the end of the world is near and begins ‘saving’ the less informed by dispatching them on the subway with their crucifix knives. This is a dark dark comedy, and has some tremendous gore in it. One scene in particular is probably pushing the envelope a little bit. This is a low budget Canadian film, (shot in lower Bay St. station!) so at times the lower end digital filming technology used is obvious, but there is no denying that it has some good jump scares and some unforgettable moments. By the end of the movie it’s hard to tell if this is a criticism of organized religion or not, but that doesn’t really take anything away from it’s enjoyment.
Jeepers Creepers 2 – So the first Jeeper’s Creeper’s was pretty scary until you found out that the bad guy isn’t a guy at all but rather an indestructible monster. Still, I thought this one might be fun. Nope. This was one of the worst I’ve seen in ages. Awful actors playing poorly written characters with all kinds of supposed racial tension added for no reason. By the way, if I was a director convicted of sexually abusing a young boy on a film set, I probably wouldn’t make a movie full of topless male teenagers tanning and urinating side by side, or have them hunted by a monster that represents a sexual predator of some kind. Really creepy and gross but not for the right reasons. This one gets a big zero.