Mystery Of The Wax Museum

AUGUST 22, 2007


Seems like it was only Monday that I was watching the exact same goddamn movie... Hell, I even got to copy/paste all the above formatting!

Completing my reverse viewing of the entire American cinematic legacy that is House of Wax, Mystery Of The Wax Museum reveals that Price’s film reached almost Van Sant Pyscho levels of sameness at times (particularly the beginning and climax). However, the middle is pretty different, since the protagonists’ were overhauled in the 50s one (and since this movie was pre-code – there’s a junkie! Who is just a mere drunk in the remake). This time, the would-be Marie Antoinette is the victim (Fay Wray herself – whatever happened to her? That delicate, satin-draped frame…), and her friend, sassy Glenda Farrell, is not dead, but instead a reporter who suspects that the wax statues are real bodies.

It’s interesting watching the films in reverse order, since each subsequent re-telling upped the action and horror. So as it becomes less and less surprising for me as I watch the story unfold, I also get less action for my trouble. Someone PLEASE just tell me there’s no 1911 version with Lon Chaney or something.

Unlike Price’s version though, everyone is pretty much on the same playing field. Lionel Atwill is good, and since he starred in one of my favorite 30s films (Doctor X), he’s A-OK in my book (it’s a short book). Farrell is amusing as the wiseass broad who has about three actual lines and a couple hundred quips. Wray does her thing. Everyone else is typical of the era (over excited about every little thing – including a stranger’s suicide).

The set of the wax lab is pretty impressive for the time too – it’s huge! And I got a good laugh out of the giant dial that says “WAX TEMPERATURE”. Isn’t simply “Temperature” enough information? What if someone wanted to use it for their oven? It would be chaos!

Sorry for the short review. There’s really only so much I can say about wax in a 48 hour period.

What say you?


  1. That's the great, yet annoying, thing about most 50's and 60's horror films (especially Hammer Horror): the originality and quality isn't really at the forefront of the work... it's the execution (to use a fitting word). Not that the same formula isn't still in use today, but the budgets are bigger!

  2. Love the sight,I always had a love for the Nightmare on Elm street series!!!

    Great site by the way!!

    Lets exchange links!!!

  3. yeah lot better than the new house of wax!

    check out my blog and please comment on it!

  4. I hate to tell you this, BC, but:

    Waxworks (1924)

    Just kidding--it's a completely different film, apparently--but still probably an influence.

  5. "I hate to tell you this, BC, but:

    Waxworks (1924)"

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!! hahahaha

  6. Yes, the original house of wax is definately much better than the most version though as a film it is not that good. This check out reviews on more recent films visit:

  7. OK, BC. I know this is a Horror Movie blog and all, but just in case, I saw The Lookout last night on DVD. Great film! I recommend it on a night you decide to watch a movie that's not horrible. I mean, a horror. :-)

  8. Yeah I try to watch 2-3 nonhorror movies a week... i'll look into it. thanks!

  9. Well, I gotta admit I'm thrilled to find your blog. Some good stuff here for horror buffs. But... let's move on from the wax theme, eh? ;-)

  10. I liked this version, I didn't like Price's version for some reason, don't ask me why.

  11. what a great blog! (i will be back here!) i love horror movies! i loved the house of wax, the vincent price one, and looked for it for years, and finally found it. i was pleasantly surprised to find the original on there as well, which i also liked.


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