Spring 2005 Film Music CD Reviews

Film Music Editor: Marc Bridle
Managing Editor: Ian Lace
Music Webmaster Len Mullenger

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The Abominable Dr. Phibes  
Music composed by Basil Kirchen
  Available on Perseverance Records (PRD 004)
Running Time: 39:41
Amazon US

One of my all time favourite movies (along with its sequel) gets a very welcome soundtrack release featuring a number of cues not used in the film.

If you’re familiar with Vincent Price’s tour-de-force performances in the wonderful Dr. Phibes films of the early 1970s then you will know what to expect from this soundtrack. Happily, Perseverance Records have made up for the lamentable The Deadly Spawn release and all is forgiven! Whether it be the contributions from the quirky, memorably named ‘Dr. Phibes’ Clockwork Wizards’ or the sombre, classically styled music that Phibes exacts his revenge to, there is much fun to be had here. Admittedly, this is inferior to John Gale’s score to the sequel and director Robert Fuest (who I had the great pleasure of chatting to many years ago about a script of mine he admired) is not particularly enthusiastic about Kirchen’s work on the movie, as indicated by the fascinating sleeve notes. Even so, for established fans there is a great deal to savour, not least an eleven minutes plus suite of music not used in the film.

For Phibes fans this is a must have. For those not yet acquainted with the amusing, diabolical dealings of the good doctor, let this be your starting point for discovering more about his abominable world.

Mark Hockley

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