Every time we build a better mouse trap, Phibes builds a better mouse.
With the success of “The Abominable Dr. Phibes” how can you not have a sequel? This time Dr. Phibes (Vincent Price) is seeking the Scrolls of Life so he can resurrect his dead wife. He has been in suspended animation for three years awaiting the proper conjunction of the planets and the moon.
When he awakes he finds his home in a shambles and the sacred scrolls have been stolen. He needs the scrolls to find the Pharaoh’s Tomb in Egypt where the river of life is. The river only flows every two thousand years. Once he finds out who stole the scrolls he steals them back and goes to Egypt with poor dead Victoria in tow. Once again his assistant Vulnavia (Valli Kemp) is with him. (Although it’s a different Vulnavia) On his trail is Inspector Trout (Peter Jeffrey). A little more bumbling this time but still on the case.
Darrus Biederbeck (Robert Quarry) is also looking for the river of life. He had stolen the papyrus in the first place. Darrus is a man who is centuries old. He has been kept young through the use of an elixir. No mention is made of how he came to be centuries old. That’s one of the holes in the plot. Of course now that Biederbeck is also looking for the river Phibes will have to dispatch him and the members of his expedition. And of course each one deserves their own unique fate.
Some people like the first Phibes movie the best and some like the second. And some have a really strong opinion about their opinion. Either way both movies have imaginative death scenes. Although it seemed to me the ones in the second movie were a little more gruesome. The scorpion chair and the screw torture just to name a couple. Also the plot in the first movie flows better. If I have to pick a favorite. I guess I’d choose the first one. But “Dr. Phibes Rises Again” is still decent. Not as cohesive as the first but it was still entertaining. And I certainly wouldn’t call it the worst sequel I’d ever seen. After all we’re still talking Vincent Price.