Great Halloween Movies: ‘Waxwork’

Halloween is my favorite holiday out of the year. The way most children feel about the holidays is the way I’ve always felt about Halloween. One of the many things I have loved about this holiday is that for the whole month of October different channels would have horror movie marathons. AMC had “Monster Fest”, Turner Classic Movies showed the classics of the horror genre, and as a child this is how I was introduced to many of my favorite movies today. These horror marathons truly impacted and influenced my love for movies.

I thought that until Halloween, as a sort of countdown, I could post blogs about some of my favorite horror movies. I know it’s not quite October yet, but as far as I’m concerned it’s never too early to start talking about Halloween.

The first movie out of this “Halloween Movie” series is Waxwork.

 Waxwork is about a group of friends who go to a private midnight showing of the new wax museum in their town. The minute they step inside they can tell there is something… different about this place. The wax figures are eerily lifelike. Each different tableau in the wax museum depicts a scene from famous horror movies. The Wolfman, Dracula, The Mummy, Phantom of the Opera, Frankenstein, The Invisible Man, and even includes an exhibit of the infamous Marquis De Sade. There’s a catch, though. Do not cross the red rope. If you do, you’re no longer in a wax museum. You’re in the world of the tableau where anything can happen, especially death.

One by one the different characters walk into these scenes and become part of their own horror story. Later we discover that ever since this wax museum has come to town, people have gone missing...

For me, what makes Waxwork great is that it’s an homage to the classic horror movies with just enough 80s horror thrown in. If you’re a fan of classic horror then you will definitely love Waxwork because it contains the eerie atmosphere and gothic vibe that made older horror movies get under your skin. Yet, it also has just enough cheese, such as bad wigs and mustaches and over the top characters, to make it fun and perfect for a Friday night.

To be quite frank, I’m surprised that this movie doesn’t have more of a following. It’s such a great concept and is well executed. It is formulaic, but it works for the film and doesn’t feel stale. I’ll break it down in the Awesome-Meter so you all can understand why this movie is amazing.

Awesome Point #1: It takes place in a wax museum and confirms all of our worst fears about wax museums.

Awesome Point #2: David Warner, AKA Ed Dillinger to the nerds (TRON) and Keith Jennings to the horror fanatics (The Omen), is the bad guy.

Awesome Point #3: It has zombies AND the cannibalistic plant from Little Shop of Horrors, on top of every other awesome villain ever.

Awesome Point #4: John Rhys-Davies, AKA Sala and friggin’ Gimli, is in it as the Wolfman.

Awesome Point #5: Patrick Macnee, Steed from The Avengers, fights evil in a customized battle wheelchair.

Awesome Point #6: Sections of the movie are in black in white.

Awesome Point #7: The blood in the movie is that awesome orange-red blood that’s almost neon.

The only thing that would make this movie more awesome is if Neil Patrick Harris were in it.

In all seriousness, Waxwork is worth watching because it holds its own while paying tribute to all of the great horror movie icons that paved the road for the horror movie genre. You can tell writer/director Anthony Hickox has a lot of respect for the genre and I give him a lot of credit for that. I have to say my favorite sections are the Dracula and Marquis De Sade tableaus. They’re scary, gothic, and a wee bit erotic. Wow, I just rhymed. They hold true and execute the elements that made their original counterparts such gems. Also, the movie doesn’t rely on excessive nudity to make it entertaining which I really appreciate. It’s all about the atmosphere.

It also gets major kudos because during The Mummy section, they played music from the ballet “Swan Lake”. If you get why that’s awesome, let me know and I’ll give you a cookie.

It has atmosphere, humor, and is just enough updated for the time to throw in some gory scares. It’s everything I wish current horror movies were like.

30 days until Halloween.

The trailer for Waxwork:

Follow Gizzy on Twitter @PetraGiselle.

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