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The Wax Mask (1997)
"M.D.C. - Maschera di cera" (original title)

 -  Horror  -  4 April 1997 (Italy)
5.7
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Ratings: 5.7/10 from 1,214 users  
Reviews: 16 user | 8 critic

Paris, 1900: a couple are horribly murdered by a masked man with a metal claw who rips their hearts out. The sole survivor and witness to the massacre is a young girl. Twelve years later in... See full summary »

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Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Hossein ...
Boris Volkoff
...
Sonia Lafont
Riccardo Serventi Longhi ...
Andrea Conversi
Gabriella Giorgelli ...
Aunt Francesca
Umberto Balli ...
Alex
Valery Valmond ...
Giorgina
Gianni Franco ...
Inspector Palazzi
Antonello Murru ...
Museum Caretaker
Daniel Auber ...
Luca (as Daniele Auber)
Romano Iannelli ...
Pathologist
Rosa Pianeta ...
Anna's Mother
Sonia Topazio ...
Nurse
Massimo Vanni ...
Victor
Aldo Massasso ...
Inspector Lanvin
Sabrina Pellegrino ...
Elena
Edit

Storyline

Paris, 1900: a couple are horribly murdered by a masked man with a metal claw who rips their hearts out. The sole survivor and witness to the massacre is a young girl. Twelve years later in Rome a new wax museum is opened, whose main attractions are lifelike recreations of gruesome murder scenes. A young man bets that he will spend the night in the museum but is found dead the morning after. Soon, people start disappearing from the streets of Rome and the wax museum halls begin filling with new figures... Written by Giancarlo Cairella <vertigo@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

4 April 1997 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

The Wax Mask  »

Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

ITL 219,896,000 (Italy) (4 April 1997)

Gross:

ITL 579,919,000 (Italy) (18 April 1997)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Originally intended by Dario Argento as a Comeback for colleague (though not friend) Lucio Fulci. Unfortunately, only a few weeks before filming was about to begin, Fulci died and on short notice, the directing job was handed over to special effects expert Sergio Stivaletti. See more »

Goofs

At 1:04:12, Volkoff put a pin through the picture of Sonia he just clipped. Seven seconds later, as Alex watch him secretly through the door, he does exactly the same action with the pin. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Dario Argento: An Eye for Horror (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

La donna è mobile
(uncredited)
from "Rigoletto"
Libretto by Francesco Maria Piave
Music by Giuseppe Verdi
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Top recommendation!! Sergio Stivaletti single-handedly proved here that Gothic Horror still lives!
19 February 2004 | by (the Draconian Swamp of Unholy Souls) – See all my reviews

I rarely ever see this film mentioned anywhere and I think it's a darn shame. Sure, it isn't that original or ground braking since the plot is more or less similar to ‘House of Wax' `starring Vincent Price, but the whole fable is transferred to a wonderful gothic setting which fits the story real well. A terrific portrayal of Paris at the beginning of the 20th century is what makes this movie so compelling and beautiful. The basic plot is based on a fable by Gaston `Phantom of the Opera' Leroux but – and more importantly - the screenplay is a combining of the immense horror powers of both Dario Argento AND Lucio Fulci… For those who know their way around the Italian horror industry, I don't have to confirm that this guarantees a true shock-fest! The blending of these two wicked masterminds results in both breath-taking suspense and violent, gory massacres. The film is a non-stop series of terrifying and nightmarish events but these happenings are constantly being mixed with gruesome, detailed make-up art and visual effects. The absolute highlight of this is the slow motion transformation of an innocent girl into a wax statue…Horrifying, tense and brutal all in one. The name of director Sergio Stivaletti might not ring a bell, but that doesn't mean he's a first-timer in the field. He made his name as special effects and make-up guru and he repeatedly worked with Dario Argento, Lamberto Bava and several other Italian horror-meisters. `Maschera di Cera' is his debut (and so far the only effort) as a director. Unfortunately, the high quality level of this film can't be kept up till the end, the grand Terminatoresque finale is abysmal and almost destroys the tense atmosphere that was build during the entire movie. Also, the dubbing is God-awful… At some times, you'd really beg for the characters to shut up and replace the lines with a little more of the magnificent Gothic music that is used. You have got to love the music in this film! Last but not least, The Wax Mask introduces a couple of ravishing female beauties. Romina Mandella and especially Valery Valmond both are stunning goddesses. This last one seemed to have disappeared off the face of the earth after shooting this film…I'm considering emigrating towards Italy to go search for her.

PS: Maschera di Cera was released shortly after Fulci sadly passed away. Therefore this film opens with the words `Dedicated to Lucio Fulci', which I think is brilliant. Honor this man, he was a genius…


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Based on a Gaston Leroux story? jrpelt
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