1. Rewriting without credit a simple parade-of-deaths film initially called The Curse of Dr Pibe, Fuest delivered The Abominable Dr Phibes (1971), in which a disfigured vaudeville organist-theologist kills off, in gruesome manners derived from the Plagues of Egypt (“Aaargh, locusts!”), the doctors who failed to save his wife’s life. Aside from the relentless black humour of the premise, Fuest and Price worked hard on an unusual blend of sophistication and sickness, playing up the art deco sets and befuddled succession of mostly doomed British character actors. The film was a big enough hit to re-enthuse Price and AIP and led to an even more stylish and acid-dipped follow-up, Dr Phibes Rises Again (1972), which did well, but not well enough to ensure further instalments. The Final Programme, with Jon Finch as Moorcock’s futuristic dandy Jerry Cornelius and an absurdist take on the end of the world, is a remarkable achievement, though the author did not care for it and audiences did not initially take to its odd qualities. After directing an entertaining American horror movie, The Devil’s Rain (1975) – with Ernest Borgnine and William Shatner – Fuest mostly worked in television in the US and UK, inevitably directing episodes of The New Avengers but also odd projects such as Revenge of the Stepford Wives; an hour-long version of Poe’s The Gold-Bug; and children’s programs in the US and the UK. (via Robert Fuest obituary | Film | The Guardian)

  2. jerry cornelius vincent price The Avengers
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