Ah yes, the suburbs, a place where I got to spend six solid months getting to know hot young girls, and none of them liked Mexicans. If only I had an inch of confidence back then, I’d have said what’s up to the girls softball team, those chicks were hot. Anyways, today we talk about a small film that came out in 1988, and features some very macabre things; it is none other than the film Waxwork. Long before House of Wax got a remake, and long before the slew of films in the horror genre were only straight to video, there were b-movies on the big screen that featured some gore, some horror, a little sex, and some laughable plot points that were taken a little more seriously than they should’ve been. That’s where start with Waxwork, a film that has some funny moments, some scary moments, and most often just laughable scenarios.
The film has a simple storyline; a wax museum comes to life at night with the curse of many of horror’s iconic pieces. For instance, a mummy shows up, Dracula shows up, and so much more. There are approximately 18 evil things that arise from the museum/mansion and they attack anyone who ventures inside after hours. Think “Night of the Museum” meets “Night of the Creeps” and you might start to see how this film is set up.
While the gore levels are interesting at times, the movie takes a more comedic approach to things opposed to focusing on the violence. Yes, there are violent moments in this film, and yes you get some pretty sick stuff, including a head explosion and blood bath sequence, but other than that, it’s a tame film with some interesting comedic elements.
The main plot involves creating the undead, or rather recreating scenarios with original characters and figures that come back to life when paired with an original artifact of the guy. So if a mummy's tomb is placed with a wax work, the mummy will return to life to kill! The goal of course is to take over the world! We find this out far too long into the film, so by that point you're just waiting for the Nickelodeon style twist or something, because it's getting relative boring.
The characters aren’t that memorable, standard teenage/young adult fare, and you end up watching what a grown up “Jumanji” might be like. I found the film to be tedious at times, and at others quite fascinating. I wanted to love this one, especially since the idea of all sorts of scary elements coming to life and burying people in wax, seems like good fodder for a scary movie. Instead, there is too much mixing between fantasy, science fiction, horror, and dare I say romance to keep with the unsettling idea of the undead. Waxwork is interesting, don’t get me wrong, but I found it less scary and more, I don’t know, comedic for my tastes. I recommend it, at least for a quick viewing, as there are some cool spots of horror that are shoe horned into less than scary moments.
They made a sequel to this film, one that I haven't seen in a long time, maybe I'll review that next time.