Saturday, March 25, 2006

Entrails Unwinding In The Evening


"How," my dear readers ask themselves, "does Dicky Entrails amuse himself in the evenings?" (Apart, obviously, from those moments when he's engaged in rather dubious speculation involving a partially-clad Michael Gove MP. Well, a viewing of the classic film, The Abominable Dr Phibes should set you on the right track.
First, slip on a fetching, shiny black number such as: (Left!)


Then give the organ a go with some gusto and glide into a dance routine with the lovely Vulnavia to the strains of music provided by my orchestra of life-size clockwork automata. Who, by the way, is the beautiful, silent violin-playing accomplice? Phibes' daughter? His greatest automata? Some kind of malevolent evil spirit? Who knows. Expecting a coherent explanation from this film is like expecting a Government Minister to say, "Oh yes, the loan, Of course I knew about it. Mr Patel said that he wanted a peerage..."
Anyway, back to plot - sorry that's not quite the right word - back to the plot hole of the Abominable Dr Phibes. Actually can we settle for the plot being crochet: a lot of holes held together by twisted wool? Any way, after we've got formalities over with, and maybe a glass of champagne ingested via the back of the neck, (This does make sense if you've seen the film. As much as the film does.) then it's time for the creepy chat with the spookily preserved momentoes of the dead loved one.
And then, finally, it's time to settle down to the main course. A spot of psychopathic serial killing in highly elaborate, inordinately grisly and hugely enjoyable ways.
Death by dozy fruit bat on a wire. Death by Bee. Death by contracting frog mask at fancy dress ball. Death by having too many cuddly rodents in pilot's cabin of a light aircraft. Death consequent to vigourously hand-cranking a home projector while watching a movie of a lady dancing with a snake. And all to medical men.
Crow: Anyway, medical men die every day.
Inspector Trout: I'm aware of that sir.
Crow: Good. They're composed of the same flesh and blood as you and I.
Inspector Trout: I'm aware of that too sir. I happen to have seen rather a lot of their flesh and blood in the past few days.

Inspector Whateverfreshwaterfishyoulike is hot on Phibes' (That's Phibes, not Phib-es) trail, but not quick enough to prevent:
"A brass unicorn has been catapulted across a London street and impaled an eminent surgeon. Words fail me, gentlemen."
Oh, and all in truly scrumptious sets by 'Avengers' director Ronert Fuest which delightfully combine Art Deco and then contemporary Art Trippeau in a cocktail of colours which would turn Laurence Llewellyn-Bowen a touch of jade. The film looks - and is - madder than Micheal Jackson, though rather safer around pre-teen boys.
It's not quite the finale, grand though that is, with the sets being gratuitously trashed, but my personal favourite is death by highly concentrated syrup of Brussel Sprouts (selected with loving care by Vincent Price) and locust, leading to a sight worse than those which I sometimes awoke to in my drinking days:

An evening with 'The Abominable Dr Phibes is a Dicky Entrails dream. In fact, sharing it all with you has pointed me in the direction of "Dr Phibes Rises Again". If only Dicky were able to look those last two words without a wistful glance towards his nether regions...

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