Justin Bieber has been going through meltdown since last year and his wax figure at Madame Tussauds New York, in a case of art imitating life, is going to be melted down as well. Apparently the Bieber replica was done back in the day when the Canadian singer was younger, cuter and less inclined to break the law.
I am beginning to love Netflix. If they keep bringing up old classics like Child’s Play and Waxwork, I may ask the channel to marry me. I was overly delighted to see that they had included Waxwork, the 1988 comedy horror and I sat down to revisit a film that I remember loving so much when I first saw it on videotape!
I was a little surprised and saddened by the young-looking cast and I couldn’t help but keep thinking that Zach Galligan needed Phoebe Cates on his arm during his adventures in the wax museum. I did find though that my old delight in seeing David Warner and Patrick Macnee in the cast had not dissipated and that I still enjoyed the hokey film and its daft plot.
A group of high school kids find a wax museum has been deposited in their neighbourhood and they get an invite to a midnight showing. When they show up, they start to disappear into the exhibits.
Pretty straight forward really. Of course there is the subplot of David Warner having sold his soul to the devil and he needs to take X amount of souls to regenerate the world’s most evil denizens, who will then destroy the world. Oh and the other subplot of the groups young virginal lady being obsessed and possessed by the Marquis De Sade and the group slut being entranced by Dracula and Patrick Mcnee being an old-time demon slayer of sorts.
Of course the film doesn’t take itself seriously and neither should the viewer. It’s all in good fun and the deliberate cheesy mechanizations make it all the more fun. The tiny malefic dwarf doorman and the ludicrously tall (and strong) butler; the angry cop and his, less angry, but dumber partner; the rich kid and all of the characters are really little more than 2 diminutional caricatures and that’s okay.
The film, as I mentioned before, does not take itself seriously. It is strictly Saturday Matinee popcorn fare. Meant to be laughed at as much as with. It was also made while Zach Gallagan as “still-hot” from his success in the 1984 film Gremlins and he hadn’t started making the sequel Gremlins 2 just yet. Despite all the above mentioned things that I’ve said about the film, 2D characters, silly plot, and not mentioned but still there, the poor acting; I do love this film.
It hasn’t aged too well. The FX are sadly dated and the museum’s burning scene, if I remember correctly, didn’t look real back in 1988 and it looks worse now. But as the film really is just “good fun” and the audience gets to see good old John Steed (From the Avengers and what wouldn’t I have given if the filmmakers had included the delectable Diana Rigg, aka Emma Peel along with Steed.) in a motorised wheelchair and David Warner getting to be a real meanie.
Because it was so dated, it’s actually put me off of watching Child’s Play. Another 1988 favourite that, I seem to remember, had me alternately laughing and shrinking back from the scary doll who had Brad Dourif’s soul in it. It also had the added bonus of starring Catherine Hicks, who I had a major thing for, back in the day.
With the news that Hollywood are planning on re-making Child’s Play, and “Please God, let them use Dourif again as the soul of Chucky, I’d better watch the original, no matter how badly it’s dated.
I am surprised that the Dream Machine hasn’t remade Waxwork. They’ve redone quite a lot of older horror films and some, “not-so-old” ones. If they re-did it, Zach Gallagan could play the new Wax Museum curator or perhaps he could don the wheelchair and play his own uncle!
If you’ve never seen the film before, I urge you to do so now. Put your “hokey” hat on and pop some popcorn and maybe run down to the shop and get one of those big boxes of Milk Duds, the ones that used to be sold in cinemas in the 1980’s and have some delicious and ridiculous fun watching a classic comedy horror that hasn’t aged well.
Still good fun and a good laugh!
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