Waxwork (1988)


Written & Directed by: Renee Daalder


Zach Galligan .... Mark
Deborah Foreman .... Sarah
Michelle Johnson .... China
Dana Ashbrook .... Tony
Miles O'Keefe .... Count Dracula
Patrick MacNee .... Sir Wilfred
David Warner .... Waxwork Man

Release Dates: Theatrical: June 17, 1988; Avoriaz International Fantasy Film Festival: January, 1989

*Images courtesy at: www.waxwork-movie-fan-site.cjb.net






A waxwork museum is coming to town as a mysterious Waxwork Man (David Warner) invites some teens that walk by for a special midnight showing.
They are all fascinated by what they spot but suddenly they are sucked into another dimension on these displays and are experiencing the real life horror causing them their lives and turning them into wax figures as well.
A couple of the survivors Mark (Zach Galligan) and Sarah (Deborah Foreman) try to go back to see on what happened to their friends and finding some clues in the museum which can be very risky as Sarah seems to go into a trance as he must find some way on saving her before she is the next wax victim.


There's an impressive beginning to this film in which we spot the Waxwork Man forcing someone's head into a fireplace in which this really makes you wonder as to why he's doing such an evil deed here.
Then we spot many slapstick situations with Mark and his group of friends hanging out at places like the bleachers while spotting some corny moments with football players practising. There's other type of situations here too as you wonder when the horror will come into this picture.
There's also a moment with two girls in front near a mansion and then suddenly appearing is the Waxwork Man inviting them to a midnight showing of his museum and then when they turn around he vanishes as this was supposed to look spooky but this moment fails since it was pretty cheesy and corny too.
Then things get rolling when they enter the mansion and being greeted by a dwarf as this adds a fairly nice touch but yet there's still the odd slapstick moments with this scene too.
There's perfect shots and reactions with the people while spotting these statues as well as neat effects on someone going through some sort of another dimension which boggles you as to what the hell happened here spotting him in the dark creepy woods and spotting a cabin giving it a good old fashioned horror feel and suspecting that something bad is going to happen here. Plus spotting a man in the cabin warning him that he will turn into a werewolf as well as a great camera shot speeding towards this person and then a good shot on the werewolf which only looked half creepy and slightly cheesy too with this beast attacking. Yet it's alot of fun to watch all of this.
We also spot another moment with a character named China entering a place where there's some sort of a feast hosted by Count Dracula in which we spot her meal which looked pretty bloody and done in good taste for this scene along with good camera shots on others feasting with bloodied looks on their mouths as this for sure leaves a nice impression that this moment is a vampire type scenario in which it looked perfectly gothic here.
There's another great scene when China tries to escape from Count Dracula and she spots a room with a man and a leg feasted off and him alive telling her what to do in which looked like a moment that inspired the makers of Hostile to do similar situations like this one. There's great struggling situations with China trying to survive this madness and making an object like a crucifix to defend herself showing powerful situations here.
We spot a situation later on in the story with the lead character Mark in a police headquarters trying to talk to a fellow named Inspector Roberts on the situation and him acting ignorant and closed minded throughout all of this as this was well done and looked believeably frusterating. Plus when they go to the mansion we have Mark telling him what to expect and of course there's a bit of a change which seems to work in a horror film so nothing is revealed for the witness. Done in good taste too. There's also a good moment when Roberts goes in to take a close look at a wax figure which was the victim of China to cut something from her face as this is a real attention grabber to find out what he will reveal here.
There;s good shots between Mark and Sarah talking seriously about the situations of the museum in an attic while looking for clues. Plus a good shot on Sarah looking at a book that glows which catches your attention too.
While the story rolls along there's a cool situation with Mark in one of Waxwork Man's dimensions as it's a black and white scene and he is in a graveyard with great shots on zombie's rising from the grave and trying to attack him along with him cutting a hand off of one of them and this hand tries to attack him. Both of these moments seem to pay off a tribute to Night of the Living Dead and Evil Dead 2 as this was done in a terrific fashion indeed.
It's neat to see him go through one dimension towards another and then discovering on how to survive the horrors which seemed to borrow a bit off of A Nightmare On Elm Street which works cleverly here and fun to watch too.
There's great shots on the Waxwork Man summoning up his waxwork figure's to life with neat glowing type effects and good shots on these figures coming to life. Plus great energy on everyone battling against them as this showed perfect timing too.
There's a strong situation between Mark doing a sword fight against Count Dracula and their discussions with one another while doing this which seems on target here and interesting to watch too.
A great shot on the Waxwork Man falling down into his own pool of wax as well as a nice shot on Mark talking to Sarah while backing up near this pool as this often tells you that he will rise up to try and attack which is very common in a horror flick. Yes those unintelligent moves in a horror film.
Bottom line is that the film starts out cheesy but yet turns out to be a great flick to watch paying a tribute to all sorts of those old fashioned horror films we all have enjoyed. Good special effects while watching this and a good solid film in general. Full of slapstick but the horror looks powerful at times which is just as entertaining.

The acting is not too badly done here in which lead actor Zach Galligan (Mark) seemed to know his craft in a decent fashion here in which he does well acting anxious on stuff especially when he tries to stress a situation later on in the story at the police station in which he brings it all out nicely here. Does a nice job by getting serious on explaining a situation towards somebody else and focusing on this a great deal. He also does a good energetic job by struggling against zombie's in a scene in which he shows a good forceful type of attitude while doing this. He also showed some great blocking during a sword fighting situation which shows off some nice adrenaline here.
Deborah Foreman (Sarah) hs the perfect sensitive type of looks and the great calmness to her atttiude as she breezes through nicely into her part of the film. She does well with her hypnotised type of expressions especially spotting a book focusing well onto this. Plus she does well reacting into a long stare and trance by focusing perfectly onto this too. There's even another great moment by acting scared which shows off great energy whenever she does this or acting soothing as if she's under a spell. Basically she studied her role nicely here.
Michelle Johnson (China) brings out her part pretty good too in which she does well in a scene by having a sneering type of anger which looked impressive along with some great wild eyed expressions here. She also does a nice job by changing this when she's in a scene at a vampire mansion by speaking softly and acting calmly showing a nice focus to all of this. Plus shows a perfect anxious and fearful reactions when the terror strikes her and knew on how to scream for her life and letting it all out. Also was great on her blocking while trying to fend off anyone who tires to attack her.Plus does a great job with her hissing behavior near the end of her performance showing a perfect versatality here.
Dana Ashbrook (Tony) knew his stuff perfectly as a tall lean Igor type of henchman in which he really rolls with the punches here with his physical blocking and acting deadly as well as brutal by what he does. At the same time knew on his comedic side too by whimpering and crying offering some decent slapstick humor to his personality. He really came across marvellously and was a well remembered supporting character in this flick as well as having a perfect creepiness to his looks which is a perfect plus here.

Miles O'Keefe (Count Dracula) lived to play this part in which he comes across as a perfect mysterious character here with his cold like charm and hissing whenever he speaks. He was smooth by what he did while hosting a dinner ceremony and studied this moment superbly. He also was great while going in for the attack going a perfect forceful attitude. He was also perfect with his blocking during a sword fighting sequence just letting it all out with his wicked speaking and dark witty attitude too. He seemed to be well trained while performing all of this.
Patrick MacNee (Sir Wilfred) had the most perfect presnece in his part as you could tell he was paying off his tribute to his other horror flicks he starred in offering a perfect humoress behavior and showing off alot of great spunk into what he had to do with his role and not letting an ounce of energy down throughout all of this. He also rolled with the punches while sterring his wheelchair around whenever he had to get into a powerful mode here. He also does a great job by choking out his words during the end of his performance too and doing it in great style.

David Warner (Waxwork Man) was superb with this part and knew it inside out by having a ghostly presence and speaking to his part and showed an expressionless attitude too while introducing himself showing alot of nice characteristics here. Does a nice job with his aggressions and forceful moments too. Plus he also does a nice job in a certain scene acting like someone who was deceivingly innocent here. Does certain moments nicely with his growly behavior as well as acting times vicious which looked impressive too. Plus does a great job while reacting to some gunshots making it look realistic too.

A werewolf tears someone in half starting in the middle.
A bloody looking meal is revealed.
A person's leg is skinned off to the bone.
A wax figure's flesh is torn off on the side of her face.
A zombie's hand is cut off.
Some bloody stabbings and gunshots.

There's some good peaceful clarinet playing for the necessary moments in the film along with the odd old fashioned harp and chime playing too especially in scene's that take place in the past. We also hear the odd high pitched keyboard playing which doesn't sound too badly done either along with the violin orchestral music too. Plus we have alot of adventureous trumpet playing especially during a battling sequence quarter way through the story. Also we hear some perfect pleasant woodwind sounds during an explosion of a mansion which also adds a perfect touch the the near end of the story here. All of this was put together by Roger Bellon.

During the closing credits we hear a golden oldie called "It's My Party" by Lesley Gore which seems to suit the story after what we spot in it and works in nicely especially the hyped vocalising in the song too.