Dr. Phibes Rises Again

Dr. Phibes Rises Again (1972)
MGM Home Entertainment
Cast: Vincent PRice, Robert Quarry
Extras: Theatrical Trailer

Since I thoroughly enjoyed MGM Home Entertainment’s release of ’Die Monster Die!’ I decided to check out another one of their recent ’Midnight Movies’ titles, the Vincent Price vehicle ’Dr. Phibes Rises Again.’ Creepy as ever, Vincent Price once again takes in the screen, making this almost surreal villain his own, as he goes about executing his diabolical plan to resurrect his dead wife – this time with the magical power of the ancient Pharaohs.

The DVD contains an anamorphic widescreen transfer of the film in its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio. The print is in surprisingly good shape and hardly marred by any blemishes or speckles. However, the transfer shows noticeable grain, which results in an image that is not nearly as quiet as one would wish. Colors are strong and vibrant, however certain reels of the film show signs of slight discoloration, not entirely matching the look of the rest of the film. Blacks are deep and solid and shadows are nicely delineated with good definition. No edge-enhancement has been applied to the transfer, resulting in a picture that is free of ringing artifacts. However, the film appears a bit soft at times and edges seem to be blurring on occasion. Although generally well done, the compression shows some signs of pixelation, mostly due to the graininess of the image, which inevitably makes the picture content much harder to compress. While not a stellar transfer, the film is pleasing to watch on this DVD.

On the audio side, the disc comes with mono Dolby Digital language tracks in English, French and Spanish. Presented as 2.0 channel mono mixes. The audio tracks are adequate, although their limited frequency response creates a bit of a harsh presentation. Especially in moments where Dr. Phibes’ organ comes into play, the lack of a full-bodied low end is quite noticeable.

’Dr. Phibes Rises Again’ is a fun horror flick that resembles some of the Hammer classics in many ways. It has found a good home on this DVD, and while not as spectacular as I had hoped, it makes for a truly enjoyable viewing.