Waxwork is a cult horror/comedy from director Anthony Hickox, who is perhaps best known for directing Hellraiser III. But is this cult curiosity worthy of your time? Well, as ever, read on to find out…
High school friends Mark, China, Sarah, Gemma, James and Tony visit a waxwork museum which has recently opened in their town. Invited to a special midnight viewing by the museum’s mysterious owner, the group arrive and are led through various displays containing characters from famous horror stories. However, the gang soon find themselves in a fight to survive as the exhibits come alive and start pulling them into the gruesome scenes they portray.
So, the film is a more modern take on the old “House of Wax” story, with an added supernatural element. And it works really well. The structure allows the film to string together some loving homages to classic films, such as Night of The Living Dead. And this is where the films fun lies. An experienced horror aficionado will find themselves revelling in the nods & winks presented.
Waxwork is a well put together little film. Obviously made on a low budget, the film makes a virtue of it’s premise by using each vignette to present a different style. From the black and white of the zombie sequence, to the Hammeresque feel of the vampires, it really works well. Yes, there are a few obvious pointers to the films lack of budget. A prime example being that the “waxwork” figures are just actors stood as still as they can manage.
The film does benefit greatly, however, from a fine cast of actors. Zach Galligan is the lead star here, fresh of of the success of Gremlins a couple of years prior. Add in able support from Return Of The Living Dead alumni Dana Ashbrook, and veteran Brits David Warner, Patrick Macnee, and John Rhys Davies, and you have some fine thespians for your enjoyment. As expected, the veterans in the cast spend much of their time hamming it up to enjoyable levels.
The film itself is very assuredly made, with barely a wasted frame in it’s 97 minute run time. The camera moves are superb, and really help create each sequences own individual feel. And there is a reasonable amount of gore present. Not so much as to make this a gorehounds delight, but enough to slake their thirst.
Lionsgate have done a very good job here, with a fine selection of extra features:
- AUDIO COMMENTARY with Anthony Hickox & Zach Galligan.
- THEATRICAL TRAILER.
- STILL GALLERY.
- FEATURETTES: “The Waxwork Chronicles” (Parts 1-6), The Making of Waxwork.
Now, that doesn’t seem like a lot, but the “Waxwork Chronicles” is pretty in depth across it’s 6 parts, and offers excellent value.
Presentation wise, the film looks pretty damned good. Like many low budget films, the image is grainy, but never distractingly so. Audio is a fine DTS 2.0 mix.
Waxwork: The Verdict.
Overall, this is an excellent presentation of a fine little film. I heartily recommended it to anyone wanting a fun way to get some thrills & chills.#
4.5/5 Fiends. Bloody well worth it.
Buy Waxwork on Blu-Ray: Amazon.co.uk
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