In France, an insane surgeon's obsession with an actress from England leads him to replace her pianist husband's hands that got mangled in an accident with the hands of a late knife murderer which still have the urge to throw knives.
In London, sculptor Ivan Igor struggles in vain to prevent his partner Worth from burning his wax museum...and his 'children.' Years later, Igor starts a new museum in New York, but his maimed hands confine him to directing lesser artists. People begin disappearing (including a corpse from the morgue); Igor takes a sinister interest in Charlotte Duncan, fiancée of his assistant Ralph, but arouses the suspicions of Charlotte's roommate, wisecracking reporter Florence. Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Although the title had been changed to "Mystery of the Wax Museum", the leaders on the original release prints still gave the title as "Wax Museum". See more »
If you look closely at Ivan Igors burned hands you can tell that he's wearing gloves. See more »
[to her boss]
I'm gonna make you eat dirt, you soap bubble, I'm gonna make you beg for somebody to help you let go. You may mean the world to your mother but you're a...
[walks away without finishing her sentence]
See more »
This film is full of unexpected twists and turns as should be any good mystery. When bodies begin disappearing, a desperate reporter finally hopes to get the break she needs to keep her job by attempting to unravel the mystery. She soon finds herself investigating a new wax museum which just happens to have a woman figurine of Joan of Arc which greatly resembles one of the missing bodies named Joan Gale. From there things continue to unravel and conclude in surprisingly horrific fashion for the time and era.
The Horror is there in terms of the mysterious burnt figure we see snatching the bodies as well as many other strange figures often seen only in menacing shadow.
The acting is superb. Lionel Atwill is outstanding in the role of Ivan Igor-the owner of the new wax museum who is trying to recapture his past loss. Fay Wray is stunningly beautiful in her short role as Charlotte who finds herself in a whole lot of unexpected trouble. Glenda Farrell also adds considerable energy as the female reporter--a character which unfortunately became much too common and stereotypical in this period of film. Nonetheless Farrell is quite competent in the role and definitely adds her own stamp to it.
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