THE BRIDE OF DR. PHIBES.
William Goldstein and James Whiton propose THE BRIDE OF DR. PHIBES
to AIP as a sequel to THE ABOMINABLE DR. PHIBES. This is readily
available (see the "files" section of
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/houseofphibes/ ), so I won't
belabor the plot details. For one reason or another, Louis Heyward
tapped his old friend Robert Blees to script something entirely
His first idea (the stuff of one-page conjecture; never scripted)
was tentatively titled PHIBES II and would've had Phibes pitting
wits against Count Yorga. Blees ousted this in favor of the Egyptian
scenario soon to become DR. PHIBES RISES AGAIN, with Robert Fuest
stepping in to do a rewrite.
197?: DR. PHIBES IN THE HOLY LAND.
This is the only complete script I'm missing, though a copy may
exist in the Library of Congress' Vincent Price Collection. It was
kicked around at AIP, Vincent liked it and tried to ignite interest,
but ultimately nada. What was it about? Who wrote it? You know as
much as I do.
197?: THE SON OF DR. PHIBES
from Robert Fuest. Unknown how far along this got in scripting.
Phibes would've been joined by his son (to be played by a young
Vincent Price look-alike) to wage war on environmental polluters.
The modus operandi would involve natural-geologic phenomenon...tidal
waves, earthquakes, etc.
1977: PHIBES RESURRECTUS.
This is more or less the same thing as THE BRIDE OF DR. PHIBES,
though with minor alterations. Goldstein and Whiton sold it to Roger
Corman's New World Pictures; Corman in turn planned to cast my dear
pal Forrest J Ackerman ("The Poor Man's Vincent Price") as the
mechanical Phibes doppelganger that fools Inspector Trout during the
stadium sequence (Wembley in the BRIDE version; simply "soccer
It differs from its predecessor mainly in the opening sequence;
instead of reawakening in his coffin, Phibes is first seen in a hot
air balloon (bearing the motto: "NON OMNIS MORIAR") over "the white
cliffs of Dover". This he lands in a cemetery, thence proceeding
into the tomb of dear Victoria Regina.
Most interesting of all, however, is the "list of proposed players".
To wit, Vincent Price was not going to be Phibes!!!
LADY PEUNE.....Coral Browne
Correlate those to the BRIDE draft, if you have it. Why Price would
be forsaken is beyond me...economics couldn't have been the reason
if the budget was open to Orson Welles. More likely the notion that
Vincent could no longer carry a picture. One should also remember
that David Carradine was a then-familiar face at New World (DEATH
RACE 2000, CANNONBALL).
Webmaster's Note: This is
SO ill advised on so any levels! First off, many in this 'proposed'
cast are friends and colleagues of VP. Coral Browne was
married to him, for God's sake! Why would you go to the
trouble to produce this film without involving the man who made the
originals work so well to begin with?! I am stunned!
1981: DR. PHIBES
(tentative title, it appears). Goldstein and Whiton again. This
would've been great!!! I have the 13-page treatment/sales
pitch; unknown whether it got beyond this point. Phibes is revived
in 1981 and sets sail for New York aboard his 98-foot yacht. The
city's diseased squalor is contrasted with Phibes' seafaring Art
Deco idyll, replete with Clockwork Wizards, Vulnavia and of course
the dearly departed Victoria.
Ensconced in a resplendent penthouse apartment, Phibes plans to
resurrect his bride and build a new life in America. His activities
rouse the interest of the Wormwood Institute, an elite "think tank
of glorious eggheads" led by the 80 year old Hector Seneca Cicero
Wormwood. Each of the six Institute members, we learn, leads a
"strange private life".
Astrophysicist Bulwark Stanton, the most devious of the group, is
obsessed with little girls and keeps a mechanical effigy of one at
home. Lester is threatening to disprove Einstein's theory of general
relativity at the tender age of 12; he's champing at the bit to
match wits with Phibes. The Smith Brothers, experts in economics and
nuclear weaponry, are identical twin transvestites. Wormwood himself
wet nurses directly from the tap, laboring under the illusion that
such is the key to eternal life.
When the old man smashes Victoria's glass coffin, she dries out and
decomposes. Phibes is enraged and vows revenge. He kills off each of
the Institute members according to their greatest love; the germ
warfare expert Mr. Nim enjoys chocolate, and is summarily
transformed into a chocolate statue, etc. Phibes concurrently
conducts an urgent search for the essential salts to restore
1984: PHIBES RESURRECTED
(not RESURRECTUS) from Goldstein and Whiton again. This time under
the supervision of producer Richard Rubenstein and director George
Romero at Laurel. Identical to the 1977 draft in every respect but
the title. No cast list is attached.
198?: THE SEVEN FATES OF DR. PHIBES.
A treatment by Paul Clemens and Ron Magid; quite excellent. I'm
almost tempted to say the best Phibes scenario of all, filmed or
not. Vincent Price read and heartily approved it, but it appears not
to have moved to actual scripting stages. Again, it's readily
available from the source named above, so I won't go into plot
minutiae. A few years earlier, Clemens co-wrote a treatment titled
HOUSEBOUND, which he then sent to Steven Spielberg for
consideration. After the release of POLTERGEIST Clemens filed a
lawsuit claming various points of similarity between his treatment
and Spielberg's blockbuster (a carnivorous tree was one). In the
wake of this, Clemens' potential as a screenwriter was all but
nipped in the bud.
Webmaster's Note: I might
also add that Spielberg 'appropriated' large measures of Richard
Matheson's 'Twilight Zone' episode "Little Girl Lost" when devising
Also the attempt by Louis Heyward to interest NBC in a Phibes TV
series. It would've recast the doctor as a benevolent crimefighter
who uses his makeup and technological wizardry to ensnare perps.
Goldstein wrote the pilot.
Phibes as a benevolent crimefighter? Glad this one fizzled!
Also, according to Ed Sikov in his book Mr. Strangelove: A
Biography of Peter Sellers (Hyperion, 2002), "[Sellers]
soon agreed to another round of Clouseau. One early idea for
the fourth Pink Panther was that Peter would take four roles:
in addition to Clouseau he'd play (or replay) James Bond, as well as
playing Dr. Phibes and the fiendish Fu Manchu."