Thursday, May 01, 2008

Overlooked Movies: Waxwork

"Everyone liked Tony. In fact, I'd heard that the special effects guys on the film were having such a good time working with him on the effects they did all kinds of overtime for free, just to make things looked great because they liked him so much." ~Actor Christopher Bradley on Waxwork's director/writer Anthony Hickox.


Wealthy slacker college student Mark, his new girlfriend Sarah, and their friends are invited to a special showing at a mysterious wax museum which displays 18 of the most evil men of all time. After his ex-girlfriend and another friend disapear, Mark becomes suspicous. What he doesn't know is that they have been made a part of the exhibit, by first living out the scene and then being murdered in it.

Taglines:
Stop On By And Give Afterlife A Try.
More Fun Than a Barrel of Mummies
you can step inside the hall of horrors - but dare you pay the price?

Fun trivia:
Writer/director Anthony Hickox wrote the screenplay in only 3 days.


Effects artist Bob Keen whose work can be seen in films like Alien, Highlander and Return of the Jedi spent 18 hours a day for eight weeks working on the monsters in the film.

18 wax horror exhibits are seen, including:
Count Dracula
The Phantom of the Opera
a green-faced goblin creature
The Marquis De Sade
a Werewolf
a Mummy
a Voodoo Priest
Zombies (A Night of the Living Dead parody cleverly re-titled Nutty Zombies from Hell) This segment of the movie is in black and white of course...
an Urban Legend Killer (Axe-murderer)
the Invisible Man
Frankenstein's monster
a giant Venus flytrap (who shouts feed me just as Audrey II in Little Shop of Horrors)
a demonic baby
an alien creature
a "cobra-man" circus freak
Jack the Ripper
Mr. Hyde
and a mad doctor


In the original shooting script many of the scenes were described in more violent detail, but it they were toned down for shooting. There were also a few famous film monsters that were supposed to be in the film; Jason Vorhees from Friday the 13th, five children from Village of the Damned, the Golem and the Thing. Of course, these characters were likely left out for legal reasons.

During the scene in the basement of the vampire's mansion, crew on the sets said that it was "The bloodiest thing ever put to the screen". Much of the gore in the scene was cut by the MPAA.


This flick has a great cast of B actors; Zach Galligan as our hero trying to look tough in shades and cigarettes, the Valley Girl herself Deborah Foreman, Patrick Macnee, David Warner, Miles O'Keefe as Dracula (There's Miles and Miles O Keefe in this film MST3K fans will get this reference), and John Rhys-Davies as The Wolfman.

At the end of the credits, you see-- Dedicated to Hammer, Argento, Romero, Dante, Landis, Spielberg, Wells, Carpenter, Mom and Dad, and many more…

This film was nominated for four Saturn Awards in 1989: Best Costumes, Best Make-Up, Best Director and Best Horror Film.


Fun Quotes:
Mark Loftmore: [reading the first bit of the essay he had his maid write for him on 'Dictators'] 'The Trouble with Dictators'. I think dictators are the bad people. They have the shouting voices, and the small moustaches.

Dracula: Steak tartar? Ah, yes. Steak tartar.

China: Can't a girl get laid around here without being burned at the stake?
Mark Loftmore: [with an unlit cigarette in his mouth] Anybody got a match?
China: I do what I want when I want. Dig it or fuck off.

6 comments:

MothandRust said...

Wow, thanks for the head's up! It's amazing how many horrors slip through the cracks.

Ben Varkentine said...

You forgot my favorite bit--when Deborah Foreman is being whipped; Zach Galligan stops it, and...

Swinebread said...

That movie freaked me out!

Randal Graves said...

I remember seeing this on Cinemax back in the old days. Probably been that long, too. Time for a rental!

Becca said...

Moth-
Glad to share! Saw this way too many times in the 80's.

Ben-
And my lifelong obsession with the Marquis DeSade was born :) How many people can say one of their fetishes was born of the movie Waxwork? Sad Confession....

Swinebread-
I could see that. It seems to be a pretty polarizing movie, people seem to either love it or hate it.

Randal-
Gosh I think that's where I saw this the first time too. Ahh cable in the 80's rocked!

coolnegative said...

waxworks 1 and 2 are more like adventure than horror. great fun movies! if you like them, try house 2 the second story. talk about an 80's rainy afternoon movie!