Stay for Tea

9 Reasons Dr. Phibes Makes a Great Valentine

(Originally published on Cinema Midnight, two Valentines ago)


If you are planning on spending some time this Valentine’s Day watching a movie, whether in the comfort of your own company, or with a sweetheart or friend, I’d like to recommend The Abominable Dr. Phibes for your evening’s selection. In this cult horror classic directed by Robert Fruest, screen legend Vincent Price is the eponymous Dr. Phibes, a reclusive genius who can build incredible musical automatons, play a mean organ, waltz till the cows come home, and still manage to exact his carefully cultivated plan of vengeance, all while wearing great capes.


Exsanguination never looked so good

Assisted by his stylish, silent accomplice Vulnavia (Virginia North), Phibes carries out murderous revenge, styled (if a little loosely) after the Ten Plagues of Egypt, on the various medical professionals he believes botched his wife’s medical treatment and caused her untimely death.

At first, I was going to talk about the film in a straight forward, plot recap and analysis sort of way. But as I was rewatching the movie for my favorite moments to screencap, I realized that at its heart, The Abominable Dr. Phibes isn’t just a farcical horror movie but a love story and Phibes its not-quite-dashing romantic hero. To that end I’ve put together a list of nine reasons I think he would actually make a pretty good Valentine’s date.

9. Even with his busy schedule, he still pauses to appreciate the little things in life
Revenge is serious work. Phibes had been planning his scheme for a long while, from gathering the necessary resources and building specialized equipment, to making sure that he is at the right place at the right time. Amid it all, he still manages to carve out time for some simple pleasures, such as admiring daisies in a field and waltzing with Vulnavia.


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Delights from British Pathé


Cursed again! It’s the weekend and I’ve come down with a cold. Between naps and snacks, I spent the better part of my afternoon yesterday immersed in the treasure trove that is the video archive of British Pathé.

Established in the early 20th century by Charles Pathé, the newsreel studio educated and entertained moviegoing audiences from 1910 until 1970. With a selection of nearly 90,000 archived clips that have been digitized and made available on YouTube, there is plenty to see, from global news reports and commentary on current events, to quirky slice of life reportages about butchers, bakers and candlestick makers, to glamorous editorials on the latest fashions. Occasionally, a clip from the archive goes viral and gets widely shared on Facebook, but if you’ve got the time and inclination, there is so much more to dig through. I’ve only stuck my toe in and already had to narrow things down for this post, so there will most certainly be more to come of my favorite highlights. This week: mostly clips from the 50s and 60s. Next time we’ll delve into reels from the 1920s-40s, and I might have a couple of theme posts as well.

(Bit of a warning, when you go digging in the archive yourself, particularly in the clips from the 1950s and older, brace yourself for occasional self-satisfied sexist jokes and jarring racist commentary in some of the travel and world culture reels.)

But for now, let’s start with the most important category there is: cute animals (and the people who look after them). Among the clips I’ve picked for you, we’ve got a baby polar bear, a pair of miniature dachshund pups named Samson and Delilah, and an assortment of creatures at an airport animal hostel. Whether baby animal or baby human, they just can’t help but get food all over their faces!

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Caprese Bread Pudding and Two Cocktails

I’ve been a derelict and delinquent blogger. I probably could never make a career of it, being a dedicated content creator who actually updates at least once a week. Not with a full time job, writer’s block, and lots of other things to be distracted by. Good thing I never wanted to be one of those lifestyle bloggers who develop themselves into a personal brand. That would potentially require having to go to things like networking events and all that. Yuck. Anyway, I’ve gone far longer between updates. For now, here are three recent recipes of mine: a savory bread pudding and two cocktails.

On the Plate: Caprese Bread Pudding. 

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