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Waxwork More at IMDbPro »

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Finally, A Good movie with Zack Galligan besides Gremlins!

Author: Mack Lambert from Buffalo, NY
3 January 2002

While I find this not as good as the sequel, this film has a place in my heart! While Zack Galligan, Michelle Johnson, David Warner, and Patrick Macnee head up the cast, it's the wax creation segments that are the star of the film. No major stone is left unturned. It's Alive, American Werewolf in London, Hammer films, The Thing, Jack the Ripper, The Invisible Man, Argento's Phantom of the Opera, Night of the Living Dead (yes!), and even, Deranged (movie based on Ed Gein) are tributed in the film. With numerous references, this is a predecessor to films like The Dead Hate The Living.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Terrific fun all through!

Author: The Yeti from mt Everest
12 October 2001

Okay, I like my horror flicks, no, I love my horror flicks. This one plain and simply kicks-ass. It has Dracula, the mummy, the werewolf and zombies all rolled into one and more! It's funny and the acting is good. David Warner is a superb baddie and Zach Galligan is a great hero. But the most fun comes from the action packed ending. A huge battle royal with the waxworks themselves vs Patrick MacNees OAP club! If I could watch a horror film over and over again then this would be it! Oh yeah and Demons and Idle Hands and Maniac Cop and..........

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Just okay ... But not a classic 80s cult teen film

4/10
Author: oprlvr33 from United States
19 July 2015

Admittedly I barely got through the latter half of this, before temptation dared me to sit it out to the end. Darned it. Definitely not Galligan's, Johnson's, Foreman's or even Warner's better work. But I blame that on the bad scripting, the horrible directing, the rather lazy production technique. And Lord knows, I have long respected and admired David Warner's work. Gifted villain is he, especially opposite his classic Jack the Ripper icon, opposite Malcolm McDowell in 'Time after time'. And certainly, one of the finer, solid English talents of our century. Thankfully his talent wasn't entirely wasted in this. He was allotted some grandeur evil moments; similar to the setup of Vincent Price's classic 'House of Wax'. Most inevitably, a few of the latter scenes curiously depicted those classic scenes,like the vat room and the staircase.

This film certainly started out decently, but some of the pacing was a tad slow. By the time the kids actually step inside the 'wax museum', and then walk around the exhibits, much just turns goofy or mindless from thereon. Eventually action becomes rather boorish. The special effects are mediocre if that, most of the period actors can barely act a wink, and the editing is just awful. Several of the slasher-gore action shots get goofy or make zero sense (or out of sequence), and the ending 'battle' scene between the 'monsters' and the good guys is laughable.

Perhaps this was intended to be a teen suspense comedy-drama. And it almost held the same quality humor as the Evil-dead series. However, with the awkward pacing, much of the intended visual effects fell either flat or victim to bad editing.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Before there was Cabin in the Woods, there was Waxwork! It was OK.

6/10
Author: ironhorse_iv from United States
25 January 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Directed and written by Anthony Hickox, the movie has everything that a horror movie fan might love. Often cited as the first self-referential horror movie. Its showcase in a waxwork museum own by a mysterious, Mr. Lincoln (David Warner) and his midget & lurch like minions. These aren't your typical Vincent Price's 1953's House of Wax figures exhibit though, each one depicts a different story of death and murder by evil creatures. Nearly all the classic monsters are in this movie, ranging from the werewolf (John Rhys-Davies), Count Dracula (Miles O'Keeffe) to etc. stock characters. Some of them worth mentioning are: Frankenstein's monster, the mummy, Phantom of the Opera, and zombies. There are some homage to other movies characters in the film such as the pod from Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), the killer plant from The Little Shop of Horrors (1960) & the demon baby from It's Alive (1974). They even added the villainous real life historic figure Marquis de Sade (J. Kenneth Campbell) to the mixed. Warner & Campbell give the best performances from all the villains. It's too bad, the actors acting like solid wax models couldn't act still, as they were blinking, and slightly moving. They are not supposed to look alive, until the victim looking at the exhibit, overstep the borders of the exhibit. If they do, they're transform into the world of the display. If you die in their world, you die in real life. The movie is full of the 1980's horror clichés cheese archetypes, as a group of most unlikeable spoil rich university yippee students enter the evil museum. I found Mark Loftmore (Zack Galligan) as a great lead, but he was such a jerk. Mark's need for caffeine is introduced early in the first film, then it's promptly dropped and never goes anywhere. Plus, how on earth is he getting his facts about killings, before there isn't any clues of the crimes? It's like his character just jump over the script. The way, Zack acts is so wooded. Then there is Sarah Brightman (Deborah Foreman), the 'good' virgin girl who all for sadomasochism pain humiliation. It's really bugs me that she is a stupid damsel in distress type of a character, who not only doesn't want to rescue, but beg the bad guy to continue to torture her because she got an orgasm. She is like the wet dream of wife beaters everywhere. No strong feminism here. Even China Webster (Michelle Johnson) the archetype whore character, who seems like she is against vampires at first, gives up and surrendering herself to Dracula. Why, because women will fall in love with dangerous abusing men as long as they are handsome! What crap message is that!? The acting from these two are mediocre, at best. The only good thing about them are both women are just beautiful. Tony (Dana Ashbrook) come off a drug- addict idiot who you knew, is going to get killed off, first. So, no surprised there. Since Writer/director Anthony Hickox wrote the screenplay in only 3 days, the plot doesn't make much sense. The movie tries to explain more, through wheel chair bound Uncle, Sir Wilfred (Patrick Macnee), a former hunter of the supernatural, but it just set up more questions than answers. Then there is the bit about the wax sculptures being from the most evil men from the past, and they need victims to come back alive. Excuse me, this doesn't make any sense. Nearly none of those horror characters were alive, besides Jack the Ripper & Marquis de Sade. Somehow, I think the movie was trying to put Adolf Hitler in the film; seeing how much they mention fascism in the film. The movie made no more mention about Mark's attic and the glowing book of the Marquis de Sade in a trunk. What was that about? The ending is kinda weird, as the most evil creatures that ever live is against a group of old people getting their butt kick. I thought these were the most evil creatures that ever live? Also, what are the victim now bad guys? I can understand those who turn into monsters, but I can't see the old hunter teaming up with the werewolf that he just try to kill earlier in the film. This film is OK with its combination of horror and comedy. The movie has this weird hate/love relationship with smoking cigarettes that you will probably catch on. There is a Phantom of the Opera joke, that was supposed to be meant for Jason Vorhees from the Friday the 13th films about people making movies about anything these days, but they (the producers) couldn't get the rights for the character. The dialogue is full of cheesy one liners. You will get over the top gorn, spraying blood, mutilated flesh, and people getting rip apart. In some versions, the film was cut by the MPAA due to gore in the vampire sequence. It's badly edited, so just find the original copy. The set designs are really good & well captured. I love the black & white look of the zombie sequence. Amazingly accurate & professional looking, considering the films low budget. The score by Roger Bellon changes depending on which monster or era were in & is done in the classical scores of the famous Universal horror movie scores of the 30's/40's. The music choices are pretty hip. Look out for other horror movies references like the missing posters that looks like the posters from 1987's Lost Boys or the painting from 1989's Lobster Man from Mars. There is a sequel, 1992's Waxwork II: Lost in Time worth checking out, but it's not as good as this movie. Still, despite its flaws, Waxwork is a wonderful horror film that scares as much as it entertains. Waxworks is a film made with heart & it shows. It's a horror film for horror fans, by horror fans.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

pretty cool

Author: callanvass
22 December 2003

pretty cool little flick is quite entertaining decently made and well acted and i liked the whole concept of this it had tons of gore

naked babes hot chicks what more could a horror fan ask for ????? **** out of 5

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

An excellent update of 'House of Wax'

Author: Chris Gaskin from Derby, England
18 December 2002

I was quite impressed with this movie, which I have just watched for the first time. It pays tribute to a lot of the old Universal and Hammer movies from the 1930's to the 1970's. It is very similar to House of Wax, which starred Vincent Price.

A group of students are invited to a 'showing' at the local wax museum, little knowing the owner wants them killed for his display. Each display contains monsters from the classic horror films, including the Wolf Man, the Mummy, Dracula and other vampires, the Phantom of the Opera, Jack the Ripper and some zombies and walking dead. This movie also includes a dwarf to complete the picture. When the owner has all his victims, fighting starts between all sorts of monsters and ghouls and local OAP's! This is probably the best part of the movie. The museum burns down at the end, but the two main characters survive.

The movie has a good cast, which includes Zach Galligan from the Gremlins movies and a trio of well known British stars: David Warner (Time Bandits, Titanic), Patrick Macnee (The Avengers, A View To A Kill) and John Rhys-Davies (Raiders Of The Lost Ark). Warner plays a great part as the owner of the wax museum.

If you are a fan of the old Universal and Hammer horror movies, you will enjoy this.

Rating: 3 stars out of 5.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

A disappointment but not too much of one...

6/10
Author: horrormb from Plaistow, NH
18 February 1999

I expected more from the cast and the great plot. While watching this, though, that feeling of uneasiness didn't settle over me like it does for many movies. It was great but the main character really should've been thought out more since it was who it was. Character development was overlooked, yet again, and that brought down the level.

On the upside, though, the movie was good since it had a good supporting cast and the scenes were creepy in their own way. Not TOO creepy, though... I liked the idea towards the end, though it seemed a bit odd. It was probably more aimed towards a higher body count. The methods were cool, however, so I had to give this film a 6.

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Nowhere near as fun as it sounds

5/10
Author: jadavix from Australia
3 November 2017

"Waxwork" is a horror movie that sounds much better than it is.

I mean, how could it miss? It manages to combine zombies, mummies, the Marquis de Sade, Jon Irenicus, vampires, and according to Wikipedia, a bunch of other things I didn't notice and don't remember seeing, such as a talking venus fly trap.

That's the problem.

Maybe they just tried to jam too much stuff into one movie. It doesn't help that the central premise of a wax museum which teleports people into horror movies (or something?) doesn't make sense.

Nothing in it connected with me on any level. I wasn't entertained.

There are some asides that are quite boring and add nothing to the movie, like when a kid goes and gets a cop to investigate the wax museum. I confess I stopped paying attention there.

I tried to get back into it but it just wasn't interesting.

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The Cabin in the Woods of its day

6/10
Author: Leofwine_draca from United Kingdom
2 December 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A nice throwback to the classic horrors of the '30s and '40s, this has just about every monster in it that you can think of : Dracula, the Phantom of the Opera, the Werewolf, the Invisible Man, a pod person, zombies from a NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD-esque film, every bad creature you can think of from the '30s through till the '60s. Unfortunately, with all these monsters, there is little space for plot, and despite a few clever plot devices, the actual story has to be the weakest thing in this film.

That, and the decision to have the cast populated by bland American teenagers, well apart from Zach Galligan that is. Yes, we get another gang of bimbos and hunks who get murdered one by one without even realising what's going on. Only the two leads are any good, the rest of the cast fade quicker than a painting left in the bright sunshine. Galligan plays a surprisingly unlikeable creep who turns out to be a hero, while Foreman herself gets seduced by the dark side, even indulging in an unhealthy whipping session with the Marquis de Sade.

Still, to make up for these shortcomings, WAXWORK gives us an exploitation cast to die for. First up is David Warner, cast in the suspicious role of the waxwork hotel proprietor. Warner is pretty low key throughout the film, until the ending where he gets his own head torn off. Many other cult actors appear in bit parts, from John Rhys Davies as a werewolf to Patrick Macnee, crippled in a wheelchair and yet still a purveyor of good. The other fun actors include Miles O'Keefe as a blond, long-haired Dracula.

Aside from the many knowing references which horror fans will delight in, there are a number of horror sequences which play like mini films. These are well-paced and feature some quite graphic violence and gore; surprising that it wasn't banned really. One teenager gets attacked and bitten by a werewolf, a girl gets seduced by Dracula (and finds her boyfriend chained up in the bathroom, with rats devouring his bloody leg), a detective is attacked by an unstoppable mummy (which even gets a spear shoved through it, like in Hammer's THE MUMMY), plus some masochistic moments in the Marquis de Sade episode. Okay, so the plot is pretty weak and just strings these sequences together, and the ending, which involves a huge brawl in the museum's main hall, is pretty uninspired, but you just can't help but enjoy the bloody fun and get into the spirit of the thing. A sequel, LOST IN TIME, followed.

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Finally watched this 1988 horror comedy!

7/10
Author: Aaron1375 from Alabama
16 October 2016

I have to say I rather enjoyed this film; however, that being said I actually enjoyed the sequel to this one more. It may be because I actually saw the sequel first or more likely that film featured Bruce Campbell and he was absolutely hilarious in it! Still, this one was good too, just not quite as good. I felt some of the scenes felt a bit too rushed, while others went on a bit too long. It is by no means an anthology film, but it does feature different sectors as it were. Took me forever to finally sit down and watch the whole thing, like a number of other films, it was one of those that I caught a piece here and there, but never sat down and watched the entire film and as I said, it was pretty good. There were numerous stars in it and it has David Warner who kind of reminds me of a John Carradine type actor in that he is a good actor and he appeared in good movies, but once in a while he would appear in a totally horrific film. This is not the case for this one, as this film has some good points, but it still is not a big Hollywood release either. He makes a fine villain for this one. Zak Galligan of Gremlins fame is the lead, and he is okay in it, but he kind of played almost two characters in this one. Not sure why he never appeared in more stuff, he was usually pretty decent in most of the films I saw him in and he was better in the sequel to this one. John Rhys Davis is also in this film, but not for a very prolonged period.

The story has a waxwork open in a very peculiar place in the middle of a neighborhood. As two girls pass it, the owner appears and invites them to a special late night viewing, but he wishes for there to be no more than six people. Well, they go, but this place has a deadly secret as two of the group ends up inside the displays as one seems transported to another world! One of them ends up in a forested area where a deadly werewolf lurks while the female ends up in a vampire's castle. Zak Galligan's character goes to the police when his friends end up not showing up and the police officer does not believe him at first, but there is something about the waxwork that bugs him so he returns only to find himself walking into a display and ending up in a mummy's tomb! The waxwork has a deadly secret and it must be uncovered or it may mean doom for the earth!

So pretty good and it had some rather good gore effects. I enjoyed the vampire setting the best as it was rather good and bloody. I also liked the fact that the police officer in this one actually did not dismiss the possibility that something was wrong with the waxwork. It did a lot of things good, but I still feel the sequel was a bit more superior as it added a few more crazy touches, though this one did a nice job of displaying a lot of classic monsters. I was not to wild about the whole whipping area as there was nothing really that horrific in that area. You had monsters in most and it was kind of a shame we didn't get to see more as there was one featuring pods and another featuring a killer looking baby that may have been a bit more interesting to see play out. Still, overall, it was a nice visit to the waxwork.

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