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‘Phibes’ Director Robert Fuest Has Died

The horror director Robert Fuest is dead at the age of 84.

In film, he was best-known for the 1971 camp classic The Abominable Dr Phibes, a comedy-horror that starred Vincent Price as a mad scientist who executes biblical-style revenge on the doctors he blames for the death of his wife. A sequel, Dr Phibes Rises Again (1972), ended with Price, having dispatched arch-enemy Robert Quarry, giving a rendition of “Somewhere over the Rainbow” — a touch that nicely illustrates Fuest’s macabre sense of humour.

In the early sixties, he was a production designer for the British TV spy series The Avengers, and he later directed several episodes. He returned as occasional director for the follow-up series, The New Avengers, in the late seventies.

His horror films And Soon the Darkness (1970) and The Devil’s Rain (1975) are less well-known, but they’ve nevertheless attracted a cult following over time.

Outside the horror genre, Robert Fuest directed the 1970 adaptation of Wuthering Heights, starring Timothy Dalton, and C.A.T.S. Eyes (1985-1987), a TV drama series about an all-female detective agency. His credits as a production designer included Out of This World (1973), Armchair Theatre (1959-1965) and The Final Programme (1973), which he also directed.

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About David L Rattigan

David L Rattigan is a British-Canadian freelance writer with interests ranging from religion, film, and language. His published writing includes Leaving Fundamentalism (Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2008, ed. G Elijah Dann), and articles for Third Way magazine and The Guardian’s Comment is Free website. He shares his love of Hammer horror at

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