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Abominable Dr. Phibes, The, Dr. Hargreaves (Alex Scott)

Site Rating: 84%
(ratings: 7)
Writeup Rating: 85%
(ratings: 4)
Film: Abominable Dr. Phibes, The (1971)
Deceased Character: Dr. Hargreaves (Alex Scott)
Archetype: Goody (Minor)
Killed by: Dr. Anton Phibes (Vincent Price)
Killed with: Shrinking mask

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'Death Trap' icon 'Ironic' icon 'Unique' icon 'Crushed' icon 'Revenge' icon
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Written by Mr. Mouseburger 24th Mar 2006

Kindly submitted by Mr. Briggs Inc.

Dr. Phibes (q.v.) is fresh from the killing of Dr Dunwoody (q.v.) and Professor Thornton: two of the doctors that many years ago fatally botched his wife's surgery, which left Phibes bitter and vengeful. His next victim is Dr Hargreaves, and he attends a costume party disguised behind an eagle facemask.

At the party, he successfully locates Dr. Hargreaves, who turns out to be rather dull, but reveals he is psychiatric doctor, or rather "a headshrinker".

This is what we at the MDDB like to call a Blatant Clue, and Phibes duly presents the doctor with a frog mask; a symbol of one of the ten plagues of Egypt. Hargreaves didn’t realise that this party was a masquerade ball, and so not wanting to appear the odd one out, he takes the mask and puts it on. With the help of Phibes, who closes the mechanism at the back, the audience is treated to a close up of the mechanism slowly tightening on the back of the mask.

This is the sort of head size i was expecting in the film Frogs

However, this death trap is unbeknownst to Hargreaves, and he is laughing with the other party goers, who are wearing even more ridiculous masks than him. Moments pass and Hargreaves begins to feel a discomfort surrounding his head and neck, but he dismisses it as nothing important, until it is too late. Phibes in the meantime is watching Hargreaves intently from behind his eagle mask.

Hargreaves is now fully aware that something is definitely awry, and in desperation he clutches and pulls at the mask trying to remove it before the mechanism finishes its dreadful task.

He is unsuccessful in pulling off this papier mache work of art and so the device finally puts an end to Hargreaves, who collapses down a flight of stairs and onto the floor, blood seeping from his crushed skull out the neck of the mask in a small pool on his suit.

Hargreaves finally croaks!

5 categories : Death Trap, Ironic, Unique, Crushed, Revenge

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Other Death Reviews for Abominable Dr. Phibes, The (1971)

Dr. Dunwoody (Edward Burnham)
Dr. Hargreaves (Alex Scott)
Dr. Hedgepath (David Hutcheson)
Dr. Kitaj (Peter Gilmore)
Dr. Longstreet (Terry Thomas)
Dr. Whitcombe (Maurice Kaufmann)
Nurse Allen (Nancy Travers)
Dr. Anton Phibes (Vincent Price)
Vulnavia (Virginia North)

Last Updated: 2nd Jun 2008
Number of views for this review since 30th May 2008: 6936
This review has 6 comments. Reply to the comments
Comment 1 by 'Mr. Briggs Inc.' (reply to this comment)
At The Darktown Strutters ball! A true Kubrick moment by a non-Kubrick party, cheerful music playing while a gruesome event happens, one of my true favorite cinematic devices, one of my favorite deaths in itself as well! Question, this may not be the topic to put this under since a frog MASK is not exactly a plague, but wouldn't some of the other deaths still count as "prophecy" as it is a chain of events straight out of the pages of The Bible such as Beasts (for whitcombe), Hail (for Hedgepath), and locusts (for Nurse Allen) Even considering that Bats as opposed to "Flies" were used on Dunwoody. One more thing, Thornton wouldn't be q.v. as it was only mentioned that he was killed before the film started, not the best death scene even if it was one of the more "plague-oriented" deaths in the movie, killed by hornets leaving his boils on his body.
Comment 2 by 'Mr Mouseburger' (reply to this comment)
Yes, i know what you are saying with regards to propechy, but to my mind, these are the actions of a man making his murders fit a prophecy, rather than the deaths being prophetic.

If at the begining of the film someone had told a doctor he would be killed by bats or something then i would tick prophecy.

I must say i have quite enjoyed reading these deaths though, along with the variety of devices used - cheers for thesegrinning smiley

Oh, as for thornton, i was being a bit hasty, i added a "(q.v.)" in thinking i would be writing up his death a little later, i will amend that.

Comment 3 by 'Mr. Briggs Inc.' (reply to this comment)
Thank you very much for clearing that up. I may submit Vulnavia's death soon as well as I sit here with the hope that my Dr. No submissions will be coming up soon!
Comment 4 by 'old bluffer' (reply to this comment)
The costumes are indeed hilarious, bravo Mouse for some good grabs!
You forgot the classic "Headshrinker" line though, so I have amended the writeup and added "Ironic" as a category.

By the way, the miniaturised motor that managed to keep on turning the screw on the mask with enough force to crush a human skull was another great example of Phibes' superior mechanical skills! winking smiley
Comment 5 by 'Mr. Briggs Inc.' (reply to this comment)
I realize that Mouse rewrote most of the review when he added pics, but did you have to take my name off? :crying:
Comment 6 by 'old bluffer' (reply to this comment)
Probably a mistake, I've added your name back in.