Super Mates 77: House of Franklin-Stein Part 4

It’s the final trip to the House of Franklin-Stein for 2017, and the first part of a Fire and Water Crossover! Chris and Cindy celebrate with their first film coverage starring horror legend Vincent Price, The Abominable Dr. Phibes!

They wrap up the Halloween season by discussing Batman #460, “When Slays the Savage Skull” by Doug Moench and Don Newton!

Follow the crossover to Film and Water: Turn it Off with Tracy, where Rob and Darling Tracy will also watch and discuss Dr. Phibes!

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This podcast is a proud member of the FIRE AND WATER PODCAST NETWORK

Clip credits:

The Abominable Dr. Phibes directed by Robert Fuest; music by Basil Kirchin

Opening wedding march by Marc Shaiman from Addams Family Values

Music from Batman: The Animated Series, “Two-Face”, Parts 1 & 2 by Shirley Walker

“Thriller” by Michael Jackson, featuring Vincent Price

26 responses to “Super Mates 77: House of Franklin-Stein Part 4

  1. I’m a big fan of Phibes. As a kid, watching it on a UHF channel, I thought it was straight horror. As I grow older, I look at it as dark comedy. I mean, when the inspector asks if the unicorn is a left-handed turn so he can unscrew the dead body from the wall, you are in farce. So I am glad you covered this.

    I always wonder if Joe Cotten ever thought ‘I was in Citizen Kane, the Magnificent Ambersons, Shadow of a Doubt, The Third Man, Gaslight … I’m going to ask myself, how did I get here??’ as he talked to Phibes in that last scene. I am a huge Cotten fan so glad he is part of this nonsense.

    I also have to say that if I was a trained surgeon, I would feel better about operating and removing a key than I would trying to pick a lock for the first time. Heck, I would feel more confident doing the surgery than picking a lock! I always wondered if he was unable to do the surgery if Cotten would have thrown himself on top of his son, acting as a shield and saving him.

    I hope next year you do Theater of Blood. I told my parents it would help me learn Shakespeare!

    1. Thank you, Dr. Anj. I’ll be sure to tell Cindy you weighed in with your medical opinion, and she’s wrong. 😉

      We might do Theater of Blood. That’s a fun one. Still thinking about The Haunted Palace. You get Price, Lon Chaney AND a Lovecraft adaptation, so it’s all kinds of good stuff.

      If anyone else has suggestions for movies they’d like to see us cover, please let us know.

  2. Hey guys, great way to end this year’s HOF celebration.

    I can’t really argue with any of Logic Lass’s problems with TADP, but none of that bothered me as I watched it. I saw it once about 25 years ago, not sure why it took me so long to see it again, I really like this movie. It’s trying to recreate the weird monster/horror characters you saw in Pre-Code movies like MAD LOVE or MASK OF FU MANCHU but in lurid color. The cops, yes, are completely hopeless, but I took all of that as the comedy aspect to the movie. Phibes has a GIANT mansion in the middle of the country! Just drive there and arrest him!

    I have never read the Batman comic in question, though I’m pretty sure I was buying the book regularly at the time. Considering the 10 billion Batman comics published since then, it is amazing this bad guy has not returned. Nice pairing.

    I know these HOF episodes are a lot of work, and I appreciate the extra effort to make these extra special. I’m sorry to see them go for another year!

    And, yeah, where do I go to lay next to Caroline Munro for all eternity?

    1. Thanks Rob. I can’t lie and say it wasn’t a bit of a struggle this year, because life and work got in the way of podcast plans, but yet here we are.

      I think Cindy was a bit harsh on the film myself, but it keeps things lively. Logic Lass hasn’t shown up for a Legion meeting in some time, so it was fun to argue with her. Most of these types of films don’t hold up to a lot of scrutiny. Good point on the pre-code villains. Phibes definitely has that vibe.

      Imagine if you could lay between Caroline Munro and Ingrid Pitt for all eternity…the mind boggles!

      Chris

  3. Striking Batman cover! Scrolling down to it, the top half looked like an X-ray or false-color scan of Batman that turned his cowl pink! I suppose there were still stores in 1983 that would display comics with only the topmost parts of the cover visible.

    I first encountered Dr. Phibes on TV, turning over from some other Late Nite Movie to the channel with the Even Later Nite Movie and caught the end: Vincent Price entombing himself under a golden sun decoration as “Over the Rainbow” started up — just enough to let me know that whatever I’d been watching instead, I’d chosen badly.

    Why did Phibes give the doctor a chance to save his son? Psychological conflict in Phibes, himself. Oonce he picked The Plagues as a theme, the (pen)ultimate punishment was the death of the first born. But the boy was an innocent. Shove responsibility onto the surgeon, or chance, or God to decide if it was just.

    “The Haunted Palace” would be a good movie for more. In fact, after Universal and Hammer, the RAVEN* cycle is a field to explore.

    *
    Roger Corman
    A.I.P.
    Vincent Price
    Edgar Allan Poe
    N* (not applicable to all movies)

    It’s the N that allows you to go as far afield as “Haunted Palace”, and even the Jack Nicholson movie “The Terror”.

    1. Thanks for listening Jack!

      I remember watching “The Terror” on…MTV? I think it was MTV. They played it in the late 80s like it was some undiscovered little film that had been lost or something. Very odd.

      Good call on the “First Born” plague. Fits in with Phibes mental state that all of this was ordained by his wronging.

      Chris

  4. Excellent show! Well, I’m not at the comics bit yet, but I first want to say that I also saw the two Dr Phibes films as a kid and thought they were proper scarefests. I think I was predisposed to seeing Vincent Price’s character as a straight monster rather than a camp killer because I saw his photograph years previously in, I think, Denis Gifford’s Pictorial History of Horror Movies and was terrified. (If you don’t know the book, it’s from 1973 and worth seeking out, Gifford was a horror historian – and British comics writer – who really knew his stuff.)

    I don’t think you mentioned it, but Price was also a member of Orson Welles’ Mercury Theatre.

    Maybe you were a bit over-picky this time, Cindy? It was just a daft romp. Please don’t hit me.

    1. I didn’t mention it Martin, because I didn’t know Price was in the Mercury Theatre group! I’m not the Welles scholar that Rob is. Cool to know, and now Phibes can be seen as a reunion with Cotten!

      Unlike every other movie we’ve covered on HoF during all of our seasons, I think this is the first one that Cindy hadn’t seen previously. So that had something to do with her putting on her Logic Lass flight ring for this one, I think.

      I won’t let her hit you Martin. I’ll be the human shield for all our listeners! :-)

      Chris

    1. You Who fans think everyone sounds like David Tennant. :)

      Seriously, we should do some of the Amicus movies. The House That Dripped Blood has John Pertwee, and The Vault of Horror has Tom Baker!

      Of course Peter Cushing WAS “The Doctor” as well…

      Chris

      1. Good point! Anything with Pertwee has to be good! Pretty sure Lalla award (well known companion) was in a vampire horror flick too.

  5. Wow! Dr. Phibes sounds like a a bizarre little film. I’m not quite sure what to make of it. I generally enjoy British humor, but this one might be a little too macabre for me. I guess I’ll have to check it out for myself, when I have the chance.

    Thank you both for another spectacular season of the House of Franklin-stein.

  6. I caught up on these HOF episodes in a big marathon session. I’m still processing everything but I did want to share my scaredy-cat stories from when I was younger.

    I was such a scaredy-cat, that…

    1) My parents regularly had to calm me down after watching the animated intro to “I Dream of Jeannie”. The sight of her being sucked into her bottle always freaked me out. I’m not sure if it was the way she was sucked into her bottle or her eyes blinking that set me off.
    (As a sidenote, one of the first comics I can remember getting is Justice League of America #85, which reprints JLA #11 (http://dc.wikia.com/wiki/Justice_League_of_America_Vol_1_11). The cover always kind of reminded me of that IDoJ intro. Somehow, Mike Sekowsky’s art didn’t freak me out like that animated intro did.)

    2) I couldn’t watch “The Yellow Submarine” when it premiered on TV. The sight of the Blue Meanies invading PepperLand sent me crying from the room. I especially remember the Apple Bonkers and the Snapping-Turtle Turks upsetting me. Adding insult to injury, my brother saw how upset I was and thought it was funny. He told my parents that they shouldn’t change the channel. Little monster…

    3) I was afraid to watch that classic movie “King Kong vs. Godzilla”.

    4) My dad took me to see “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” in the theatre. I think I did pretty well for a while, and even dozed off once or twice. Then the Child Catcher showed up and I lost it. Too scary for me! My dad had to leave the theater early. He never let me forget about that one…

    So, you’re not the only person who was scared as a little kid but still has a fascination for monsters. I remember really enjoying the Neal Adams Man-Bat stories, but Marvel’s Morbius stories really unsettled me. I may not watch horror movies, but I still love monsters. My art school portfolio and sketchbooks had a couple of pretty decent creatures, and now I help my youngest with her cosplay creatures.

    From one scaredy-cat to another… you’re not alone.

    1. Thanks Sphinx. I appreciate the support. It’s nice to know I wasn’t alone in my wiener-ness back in the day. 😉

      Chitty Chitty Bang Bang has an underbelly of scary, much like Willy Wonka. Less intense, but still there. I know people who were traumatized by Wonka, but by the time I saw it, I really dug it. It’s one of my favorites.

      Chris

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