"The Incredible Hulk" Wax Museum (TV Episode 1981) Poster

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The Gambles
AaronCapenBanner22 November 2014
David Banner(Bill Bixby) goes to work as an assistant at the Gamble House Wax Museum. It is owned by Walter(played by Max Showalter) and Leigh(played by Christine Belford) Gamble, who are trying to re-open the place after a fire damaged it. Unfortunately, Leigh is suffering from drug-induced hallucinations that threaten her sanity, and may force them to sell the place to new owners, which may be exactly the intention...Meanwhile, after an accident brings out the Hulk, Mr. McGee(Jack Colvin) shows up looking for John Doe, and David's secret is also jeopardized by a wax replica of himself that Leigh made, which he cleverly disguises... Predictable but fun episode has good action and imagery. Similar in premise to earlier episode 'Haunted'.
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Fair but awfully thin 4th Season episode
Bjorn (ODDBear)10 April 2013
David finds work as an assistant at a Wax Museum where the owners are struggling to reopen the place after a fire had caused much damage.

Ultimately a very thin mystery and budget constrictions hinder this otherwise solid 4th Season episode in reaching above average status. It is, however, quite creepy on occasion with some nice visuals as Leigh's (Christine Belford) hallucinations manifest in inventive, somewhat horrific ways.

Once again the Hulk is fitted into the storyline as part of a person's imagination (here; a drug induced state via doctored pills); like in Season three's "Deathmask". It's a nice touch and thanks to a decent amount a gloomy atmosphere it works relatively well. But, as said, the mystery here is awfully thin and predictable and the viewer is always a few steps ahead. And once again there's very inconsistent acting from it's guest stars. While Belford gives a credible performance as a borderline mental case, Max Showalter as her cousin Walter is on autopilot all the way and practically ruins every scene he's in.

Budget constrictions (quite evident in many Season Four episodes) rule out any decent Hulk action and the stock footage (running down the alley and bricks flying) is fairly obvious here.

Overall; a fair episode. I'll give it a 6 'cause I'm a fan.
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A very different place for David to work...
Anton Cvetan (Noxtan1324)12 November 2011
Despite the overall rating for this episode, I thought it was a very good episode.

It had a solid script written by Carol Baxter (who guest starred in earlier episodes "Haunted" and "Prometheus, Part 2") and a stellar performance from Christine Belford (who guest starred in the earlier episode "Wildfire" and was featured in John Carpenter's/Stephen King's "Christine").

The cinematography and effects in some of Leigh Gamble's (Belford) POV shots are some of the most interesting shots in the whole series, at least I think so.

The reason I give it a 9/10 is because in some places it seems really drawn out and the Hulk-outs are pretty much self-induced. A very dramatic episode, but very minimal on the action. And I don't know if it's just me but there seems to be some undertones of the original "House of Wax" (1953), with Vincent Price, in this episode.
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Martin III30 November 2017
Warning: Spoilers
It's funny how just one or two moments, if sufficiently silly, can completely break the spell of an otherwise mesmerizing episode. David is helping prepare a wax museum for its grand reopening after a fire damaged it and killed the owner. The place is now run by the man's daughter Leigh, who is troubled by hallucinations and guilt over her father's death.

The plot moves along well, Leigh's hallucinations are quite creepy, and the villain is most disturbing. He's so convincingly human and likable, both in the script and in his portrayal by veteran actor Max Showalter, that the revelation that he is orchestrating Leigh's troubles hits like a punch to the gut. At the end we find that his motives don't fit his actions at all, but up until then he makes a chillingly insidious villain.

The first bit of silliness is when Leigh unveils her latest wax figure, of David. Not wanting his likeness on public display, David convinces her to dress it in pirate gear. A clever problem with a satisfying solution... but presumably due to budget restrictions, the "wax figure" is first represented by Bill Bixby standing still, then by a real wax figure with absolutely no resemblance to David.

This scene might be overlooked, but there's a sillier moment. The villain has Leigh hopped up on LSD, bashes David in the head right in front of her, then tells her she did it. With Leigh convulsing and flipping out at LSD-induced visions, he hands her a contract agreeing to the sale of the museum and says, "Here, sign this." Showalter doesn't even bother trying to make this seem less absurd than it is. This ep is captivating for a good while, but the villain's inconsistent motives and bizarrely haphazard plans ultimately make it hard to take seriously.
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The Incredible Hulk - Wax Museum
Scarecrow-8813 November 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Compelling episode has an unstable young woman, Leigh (Christine Belford), trying to come to terms with her wax sculpture father's death, her own skill helping to keep his dream of a museum alive, but freakish hallucinations are complicating matters. Bixby arrives in town for a temporary job as her assistant, but Leigh's uncle (Jack Colvin) believes an offer for their property could be a more desirable alternative. The bank pressing Leigh and her uncle due to how the wax museum hasn't opened, and the fire that killed Leigh's father, along with the ongoing hallucinations making things worse, could success be too far out of reach? Colvin as the seemingly worried and soft-spoken trustee and Leigh's support proves to be far more than he appears; this is a fun character to see unfold as someone who might not be what he makes himself out to be. Fascinating performance from Belford as the tormented soul in need of Bixby's help...when he checks out a medication given to her as a means to cope, he learns that this could be the very culprit *producing* the hallucinations, not helping to stop them!

Sometimes the Hulk is out of place in a plot, and I think that is the case in this episode where Bixby is more of a help than the creature within...although, the Hulk does get to halt an act of arson, hurl the wrongdoer through the air and scare him a bit, and rescue two people from behind burned alive. Mr. Magee once again shows up from Chicago on a lead that might direct him to the Hulk...and David Banner. Clever method behind concealing his identification when Leigh makes a face impression of David Banner in wax for a soldier in her museum is a highlight...Bixby is always good at expressing anxiety when confronted with exposure. The wax museum setting and unsettling hallucinations of sculptures coming to life to haunt Leigh cool highlights, as well.
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