Expedition to the Dr Phibes Rises Again desert locations

While on a visit to Malaga over Christmas, I took a 2-hr drive north to Almeria to check out the Fort Bravo cinema studios where films such as Valdez is Coming, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Patton and The Hunting Party were shot. Just 10-minutes away, however, there’s also a location that was used to stand in for the Egyptian desert in 1972’s Dr Phibes Rises Again.

Was I excited about finally tracking this down after all these years? Hell yeah! It was the best Christmas present ever, and I found them in the Rambla del Buho – right next to each other (X: 552275 Y: 4100774).

Dr Phibes Rises Again in TabernasThe first is the small hill where Vincent Price’s Phibes and Valli Kemp’s Vulnavia dine on the local fish and quaff champagne in a tent. It appears in a comic scene in which Phibes almost chokes on a fish bone. Despite the ‘Keep Off’ signs, I couldn’t help but take a climb to the exact spot where the tent was pitched (can you spot me in the pic below?).

Dr Phibes Rises Again in Tabernas

The second, featuring a very noticeable rock fomation, marks the entrance to the ancient temple hidden in the mountain where Phibes discovers the River of Life.

Dr Phibes Rises Again in TabernasThe film shows Phibes and Vulnavia heading towards the promotory. Unfortunately, the advancing years has seen some major rock and sand shifts, which made climbing it a little risky – and I couldn’t quite get to the exact position. But hey! It was still cool to be here.

Dr Phibes Rises Again in Tabernas

This location also appears in Indian Jones and the Last Crusade in which Harrison Ford, riding on horseback, picks up a rock to render a tank useless.

Dr Phibes Rises Again in Tabernas

Dr Phibes Rises Again in Tabernas

Dr Phibes Rises Again in Tabernas

Another scene that took place in this area involved John Thaw’s Shavers climbing towards the entrance just before his grisly death at the claws of an eagle. This was a bit hard to track down exactly, but I’m sort of close in the above pic).

But you see what it looks like in these now and then shots coutesy of the Western Locations Spain website (www.moon-city-garbage.agency), which was a great help in starting out on my expedition.

Dr Phibes Rises Again in Tabernas

Dr Phibes Rises Again in Tabernas

Finally, the Biederbeck campsite (which Phibes spies on) is also located in the region, between the main highway heading to Tabernas and just before Mini Oasis Hollywood. However, in my excitement at finding the Phibes mountain, I completely forgot to visit it.

Dr Phibes Rises Again in Tabernas

Dr Phibes Rises Again in TabernasBut I did score an informative book called Almeria in Film which has so many great locations that pop up in classics like Valley of the Gwangi that I’m now planning on returning soon in order to fill in the gaps – and also to find out where the sand dune shots were filmed (which feature in the scenes in which Gerald Sim’s Hackett encounters the Clockwork men).

almeria in film

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Have a Vin-tastic festive time and Happy New Year!

The Vincent Price Legacy UK wishes you all a great time over the holidays and here’s to a Vin-tastic 2018!

As I am off to seek the elixir of life over Christmas, I leave you with this Ph-estive message from a dear friend… Try singing it in Vincent’s voice, it’s a hoot.

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Witchfinder General Film Locations Tour 2018

Registration has now closed for the Witchfinder General Film Locations Tour taking place 21-22 April 2018.

All those who applied will be contacted by email with updates. Apologies for those who missed out on joining us in our mini-vans, but if you have your own transport and want to sort out your own accommodation, you are more than welcome to join us for what should be a fantastic weekend.

Please watch this space, and our Facebook Group for updates.

If you have any enquires contact Peter at: tours@thesoundofvincentprice.com

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Vincent Price’s Pumpkin Pie makes for a perfect Thanksgiving treat!

While we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving here in the UK, I shall be getting into the spirit today cooking up this tasty Pumpkin Pie recipe from Mary and Vincent Price’s Come into the Kitchen Cook Book, which was first published in 1969, and got a glorious reprint last year.

Come Into the Kitchen Cook Book coverVINCENT PRICE’S PUMPKIN PIE
1 9-inch unbaked pie shell
1½ cups canned or mashed cooked pumpkin
3 eggs, well beaten
1½ cups heavy cream
¾ cups granulated sugar
½ tsp salt
1 tsp ground mace
½ tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp ground ginger

Instructions
• Make the pie shell with a high scalloped edge, refrigerate for several hours.
• Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
• In a large bowl (with a pouring lip if you have one) combine the pumpkin with the eggs, then the cream, sugar, salt and spices. Blend well and pour into the chilled pie shell.
• Bake for 15 mins, then reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for 50-65 minutes more, or until knife inserted in center of the pie comes out with only a few flecks clinging to it.
• Chill before serving.

Makes about 8 servings.

Come Into the Kitchen Cook BookVincent Price's Pumpkin Pie

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Checking out the Dr Phibes crypt at Highgate Cemetery

Last weekend I took a much-belated return visit to London’s Highgate cemetery to hunt down the locations used in THE ABOMINABLE DR PHIBES. Here’s what I found….

Dr Phibes at Highgate Cemetery

Believing Phibes still alive after the bizarre deaths of four doctors, Inspector Trout (Peter Jeffrey) and Dr Vesalius (Joseph Cotton) head to Highgate’s West Cemetery to check out the Phibes mausoleum.

We first see them entering the famed Egyptian gateway inside the East Cemetery, where John Franklyn’s graveyard attendant has some choice words about worms.

The next shot is taken from St Michael’s Church overlooking the Circle of Lebanon above the catacombs. Here we see Vesalius and Trout heading towards the Egyptian Avenue entrance with the graveyard attendant. Logically, they should be coming the other way – but it does makes for a better shot.

Dr Phibes at Highgate CemeteryDr Phibes at Highgate CemeteryVesalius and Trout are then led by the graveyard attendant down a path beside the Egyptian Avenue, before heading down into the Avenue itself (although we don’t actually see that).

Dr Phibes at Highgate CemeteryDr Phibes at Highgate CemeteryDr Phibes at Highgate CemeteryDr Phibes at Highgate CemeteryFollowing a brief sequence in which the ‘fashionable’ Vulnavia presents Phibes with some flowers, we return to Highgate for a brief shot of the graveyard attendant letting Vesalius and Trout into the Phibes crypt.

Dr Phibes at Highgate CemeteryNow this was bugger to locate as a prop entrance masks the actual tomb that was used. However, I did notice that the crypt of singer Mabel Batten, which also has poet/author Radclyffe Hall interred there, has the same curved architrave that you can see on the tomb beside the Phibes crypt (check it out in the top left hand corner of the picture above), so it could very well be the one on its immediate left. Unfortunately, I didn’t photograph that particular tomb – so I will just have to return to Highgate very soon.

Dr Phibes at Highgate Cemetery

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The Art of Horror: An Illustrated History | Vincent Price’s legacy lives on in this colourful tome

The Art of Horror: An Illustrated HistoryFrom the team behind The Art of Horror and edited by writer/editor Stephen Jones, comes this vividly colourful companion book which takes a visual journey through the entire history of the horror film, from the early 1900s to today’s latest scare fests, celebrating one of the most crucial promotional elements: the movie poster.

The Art of Horror: An Illustrated HistoryBeginning with a foreword from director/screenwriter John Landis, who elaborates on why ‘the image of the poster must not just inform, but also entice’, each chapter charts the evolution of horror movies through the posters that were designed with the sole purpose to grab the film-goers attention and get those all-important ‘bums on seats’.

The Art of Horror: An Illustrated HistoryFrom The Sinister Silents to The 2000s Maniacs, these chapters are written by a host of esteemed guest contributors, including Sir Christopher Grayling, Jonathan Rigby, Kim Newman, Anne Billson and Ramsey Campbell, and are packed with over 600 images including posters, lobby cards, ads, promotional items, tie-in books (my favourite) and magazines; plus original artwork, including Graham Humphreys, who was responsible for Arrow’s iconic Vincent Price covers, as well as our 2015 Legacy poster and the Black Cat: Vincent Price Ale label (above); and US artist Jeff Carlson, who did this atmospheric private commission below.

The Art of Horror: An Illustrated HistoryGorgeously designed over 256 pages, this must-have tome celebrates not only the actors and filmmakers, but also the amazing artists who were responsible for ‘scaring the pants off successive generations of movie-goers’. Amongst those featured are Basil Gogos (who drew all of the best Vincent Price portraits for Famous Monsters of Filmland, including the one from Madhouse, below), Marcario Gomez Quibus, Reynold Brown, Robert Tanenbaum and Renato Casaro.

The Art of Horror: An Illustrated HistoryWhile Vincent Price features heavily (Jonathan Rigby’s column on the Merchant of Menace really put a smile on my face), there’s so much more for classic horror movie fans to enjoy… and there’s also quite a few surprises, especially the inclusion of posters from Far East countries like Taiwan and Thailand (which so deserve greater appreciation).

And once you have swooned over the artwork through the decades, it will leave you with one lasting thought – that no amount of clever photo-shopping (the mainstay of movie posters today) will ever replace the vibrant truth of pencil and paint.

Available from Applause Books and Amazon UK

And speaking of Graham Humphreys, just take a look at this wonderful original early piece from the artist, which he has donated to the Vincent Price Legacy UK. Thanks Graham. We love it!

Vincent Price in The Raven

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Vincent and Mary Price’s Steak Au Poivre | Probably the best steak recipe ever!

A Treasury of Great RecipesHaving tried four of the 10 steak recipes in Vincent and Mary Price’s A Treasury of Great Recipes, the one I keep coming back to is Steak Au Poivre (Black Pepper Steak). OMG! I’m salivating just at the mention of it.

‘If you think, as I do, that black pepper and rare beef make beautiful music together, then you will like this steak recipe too. We learned it in Chicago from friends who had brought it back from France in this stockyard city must be especially alert to new ways of preparing beef. This one is a winner.’ VINCENT PRICE

Steak Au Poivre: A Treasury of Great RecipesSteak Au Poivre (Black Pepper Steak)

INGREDIENTS
sirloin steak
dry white wine
brandy (optional)
butter
cooking oil
watercress

METHOD
1 Wipe with a damp cloth: a 1 1/4-inch sirloin steak (3 pounds). Dry carefully.

2 Coarsely crush: 2 tablespoons peppercorns. (Use a mortar and pestle or a potato masher.)

3 Pound crushed pepper into both sides of the steak, smacking it in with flat side of a cleaver or the potato masher. Steak should be quite thickly covered. Let stand for 2 hours.

4 In a heavy skillet heat: 1 tablespoon butter and 1 teaspoon cooking oil. (This mixture can get hotter without burning strain it if you want the loose bits of than butter alone.)

5 Over high heat sear steak quickly on peppercorns both sides. Cook 5 minutes on each side.

6 Remove steak to a hot platter.

7 Stir into pan: 2/3 cup dry white wine and 1 tablespoon brandy (optional). Boil wine rapidly for 2 minutes, scraping up brown meat drippings at bottom of pan.

8 Remove from heat and swirl in: 2 tablespoons butter.

PRESENTATION
Strain the sauce over the steak (or don’t strain it if you want the loose bits of pepper too) and garnish with watercress.

VERDICT
My go-to steak recipe at the moment. It’s simply, hugely flavoursome (the aroma of the searing black pepper is quite something) and truly honours the produce – with my choice cut being fillet. You also get quite alot of sauce out of this, which you can keep refrigerated for 2 days.

Steak Au Poivre (Black Pepper Steak)

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Hôtel de la Poste’s Steak Chevillot | Four steps to steak heaven

Steak Chevillot: A Treasury of Great RecipesIn my quest to try out all the steak recipes in Vincent and Mary Price’s A Treasury of Great Recipes, here’s a look at Hôtel’s de la Poste’s Steak Chevillot.

‘At the heart of one of the richest wine-growing regions of Burgundy is the medieval city of Beaune. Here, every autumn after the grape harvest, a famous wine auction is held in the courtyard of the ancient hospital for the poor. The Hospices de Beaune has been housing the poor for more than 500 years on the proceeds of the great vineyards which it owns. It also owns a fine painting by Roger van der Weyden, among other treasures, and this handsome Gothic building remains one of the unfor- getable pleasures of our visit to Beaune. The other is the Hôtel de la Poste. I would trade you every chromium plated motel in the United States for one such French inn. This one stands on the Street of the Cask-Makers after all, wine Beaune’s chief industry It’s present owner and chef, Marc Chevillot, is the grandson of the founder the hotel. Like his grandfather and his father before him, young Chevillot is a wine dealer as well as a gifted chef. He started as a kitchen apprentice in his father’s kitchen, and later was employed by the incom parable Fernand Point at La Pyramide. When you sit down to a meal at the Hôtel de la Poste, what you get is a distillation of a long tradition of fine wines food, and the realization that great cooking doesn’t just come about overnight. Out of respect for our amateur standing, however, M. gave us some recipes which are excellent without being at all difficult to follow – one of which is Steak Chevillot ’ VINCENT PRICE

STEAK CHEVILLOT

INGREDIENTS
Butter
fillets of beef
shallots
red Burgundy
flour
marrow bones (optional)

‘The French prefer their steaks small and sautéed in a rather than large and broiled as we usually prepare them here. For four people or fewer this steak, Chef Chevillot prepares and we find it a perfect chafing dish recipe’ VINCENT PRICE

STEAK
In skillet heat: 1 tablespoon butter and in it cook over high heat 4 fillets of beef, each 1 ½ inches thick, for about 4 minutes on each side, or until browned and done to taste. Remove fillets to warm serving platter and keep warm. Drain fat from skillet and return skillet to moderate heat.

SAUCE
1) Add: ½ tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon minced shallots and cook for 30 seconds.

2) Add: ½ cup Burgundy and cook until wine is reduced to about half its quantity.

3) Stir in: 1 teaspoon flour and mixed to a smooth paste with 1 teaspoon butter and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.

4) Swirl in: 1 tablespoon butter and when butter is melted, add: 2 tablespoons Burgundy.

PRESENTATION
Spoon 2 tablespoons of the sauce over each fillet, and serve immediately. If desired, top each fillet with a slice of poached beef marrow.

MY VERDICT
Four easy steps to steak heaven. And here’s the result…

Steak Chevillot

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The Whitehall Club’s Steak Diane | The 1970s classic that needs no reinvention

The Whitehall Club, ChicagoMy latest adventure trying out the steak recipes in Vincent and Mary Price’s A Treasury of Great Recipes led me to a 1970s classic, Steak Diane, and this one comes from Chicago’s The Whitehall Club.

A Treasury of Great Recipes‘Chicago has been a long time living down the label pinned on it by Carl Sandburg-“Hog Butcher for the World.” The stockyards aren’t what they used to be, but meats and steaks are still superlative in this town, and a new dimension has been added gastronomically. There are now many wonderful restaurants here with fantastically varied cuisines, a few of them so popular that they have become private clubs in order to limit the crowds The best, I would say, is The Whitehall Club, one of the few American taurants ever mentioned in that Who’s Who of French gastron Guide Michelin. Elegantly paneled, and decorated with an antique wallpaper like the one used in Sacher’s in Vienna, the room manages to seem private and intimate even when it is jammed. The host-owners are the Keller brothers, Sidney and Will, men of many enterprises, but with none so close to their hearts as this excellent eating club. They and their staff not only love good food, they love sharing its secrets with other interested gastronomes Aside from some marvelous recipes, the Whitehall staff also gave me a few good cooking tips, which I happily pass on to you. Their chef’s big secret is to use shallots in everything requiring garlic or onion, except for salad. Don’t overdo any flavor use herbs and spices sparingly to let the flavor of the original food come through. And don’t overcook or again you will lose the flavor of the original Their recipe for good co Two cups care, one heaping teaspoonful of imagination and generous dashes of subtle Result? Some of the most delicious food we’ve ever eaten anywhere.’ VINCENT PRICE

Steak DianeSteak Diane

INGREDIENTS
sirloin steaks
butter
shallots
Worcestershire sauce
salt, pepper
parsley

‘Usually in Chicago you are brought enormous, thick steaks that all but come to the table wearing the blue ribbon of the steer that they were part of. So for a change it was pleasant to be served a steak that had been pounded thin and was cooked quickly at the table in a chafing dish. The Whitehall Club’s maitre d’hôtel did the steaks and their sauce so deftly and rapidly, I couldn’t wait to get home and try it myself. It really does go 1-2-3, and tastes marvelous.’ VINCENT PRICE

1 Put: 4 sirloin steaks, each about 6 ounces, between pieces of waxed paper and pound to a 1/3-inch thickness.

2 Heat in small saucepan: 2 tablespoons butter.

3 Add: 4 tablespoons finely chopped shallots and cook until shallots are lightly browned. Add: 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce and heat to bubbling. Keep the sauce hot.

4 Heat in 12-inch skillet or chafing dish: 6 tablespoons butter. When it begins to brown, add steaks and cook for 3 minutes. Turn and cook for 2 to 3 minutes longer, or until done to taste. Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with salt and a generous amount of freshly ground pepper.

PRESENTATION
Spread the shallot sauce over the steaks and sprinkle with chopped parsley.

MY VERDICT
Again, this is a very simple dish and one you can master after a few tries, but it does require a good cut of beef, like a fillet. I tried it with rib eye and it came out chewy the first time. Also, you need to get the balance right with the Worcestershire and butter, as it can come out a tad vinegary. Oh, and the perfect song for this dish just has to be Fleetwood Mac’s Oh, Diane:

Steak Diane

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Steak Moutarde Flambé | A true classic from Copenhagen’s famed Belle Terrasse

Belle Terrasse TivoliA juicy steak is one of life’s greatest pleasures (unless you’re vegan – and there’s nothing wrong with being vegan). But it’s also a bugger to get right. My mother (bless her) always turned them into leather straps or stewed them to bland tastelessness, so I’m always looking for the perfect steak recipe: and one that honours the meat.

So my challenge is to explore all of the steak recipes in Vincent and Mary Price’s acclaimed tome, A Treasury of Great Recipes. There are 10, but I won’t be trying the three Tartar ones as they are far to rare for me. This recipe comes from the Belle Terrasse in Copenhagen’s Tivoli Gardens (alas now closed).

Belle Terrasse, Tivoli, CopenhagenSteak Moutarde Flambé
‘We are inclined to think that nowhere else in the world is there beef the equal of ours. But in Denmark the beef raised on their rich farm and grazing lands is superlative, their dairy products without peer. In this recipe, rich Danish beef is prepared with a mustard sauce that utilizes the thick, heavy cream-both sweet and sour-for which the country is famous. By flaming the beef with cognac, all of the juices and flavorings are sealed into the meat, and all the wonderful brownings in the pan are loosened to become part of the sauce. At Belle Terrasse these steaks were served with French fried potatoes and a cool, crisp salad. An unbeatable combination.’ VINCENT PRICE

Ingredients
beef fillet
butter
salt, pepper
rosemary
sage
cognac
Dijon mustard
mild mustard
sour cream
cream
rose paprika

1) In skillet heat: 1 tablespoon butter, saute over high heat: 4 fillets of beef, 1/2 inches thick, for 4 minutes. Turn and sprinkle with: salt, coarsely sage ground pepper, 1/4 teaspoon rosemary and 1/2 teaspoon crumbled sage leaves. Cook to desired degree of doneness (4 to 5 minutes per side for rare).

2) Pour off excess fat from pan and cream sprinkle fillets with: 1/4 cup cognac. Ignite the cognac and when the flame burns out, transfer fillets to a warm serving platter and keep warm.

3) To skillet add: 4 teaspoons Dijon mustard, 4 teaspoons mild brown or
herb-flavored mustard, and 1/4 teaspoon rose paprika. Combine: 2 tablespoons commercial sour cream and 1/2 cup cream and stir into mustard in skillet. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Pour the sauce over the fillets and serve.

Steak Moutarde Flambé

MY VERDICT
Simply delicious: and I think it’s the herbs that really lifts the dish; plus I love mustard so the sauce is a winner. I’ve also tried using just the sour cream, and replaced the cognac with the less expensive French Brandy, and works a treat. Oh, I just love the kitchen theatre ingniting the spirit. But watch out you don’t singe anything. There’s also that sense of satisfaction that you have just knocked up a restaurant-quality dish at a fraction of the price – but don’t scrimp on the beef. Get it organic and use the best cut: fillet.

Steak Moutarde FlambéSteak Moutarde FlambéSteak Moutarde Flambé

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