Yet another 80s horror movie involving black magic, Waxwork is really more of a schlock fest involving old horror movie throwbacks, which makes it perfect fodder for this here blog.
When a group of teens led by Zach Galligan of Gremlins fame, gets invited to a midnight viewing of new wax museum in town, they soon find themselves being transported into various parallel universes. As each person transports into the reality of the different wax displays, we are treated to small little stories of different types of monsters.
The monsters are mostly classical type monsters like the Wolf Man, Count Dracula, the Mummy, Marquis De Sade, and the “Nutty” zombies which are really referencing Night of the Living Dead, or any zombie movie for that matter. We also see references of other monsters/creatures in the exhibits and in the final battle at the end of the movie. We see clear indications of The Invisible Man, the plant from Little Shop of Horrors, Phantom of the Opera, and a bunch of others that are less clear what movie they’re from. I’d say one of the redeeming qualities of the movie is trying to get all the different horror references.
Despite the movie being mostly campy there are some fairly gory scenes. In the first parallel universe scene involving the werewolf we see the Wolf Man essentially tear a dude’s head in half right down the middle. In addition, in the vampire/Dracula sequence there is some head exploding, along with another guy strapped to a table and the flesh removed from one leg so that the bloody bone is visible.
In addition, the villain and owner of the waxwork house, Lincoln, is well played by David Warner, whom always makes the perfect nonchalant bad guy. Not to mention that his two side kicks, a small Asian midget and very tall bumbling butler, add a great deal to the comic relief of the movie, which without would make it quite the snoozer.
Overall, I’d say the movie is entertaining if you are looking for a cheesy campy teen horror romp with a shmorgishborg of different horror movie monsters and story lines. However, if you are looking for something similar to House of Wax, either the original or remake, you will likely be disappointed. It’s best to go into this film with low expectations and not take it too seriously.