|Index||4 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The title of this Thriller is pretty much a dead giveaway as to what
the story will be about. Pierre Jacqueline's Waxworks Museum has
traveled across the pond from Europe harboring a legacy of death in
it's path. Special liaison officer Andre Bertroux (Martin Kosleck),
acting as a private citizen, has tracked Jacqueline's enterprise to the
States in hopes of uncovering the truth behind a series of gruesome
deaths attributable to characters enshrined in his grisly exhibit.
The story is a forerunner to one of the more memorable Twilight Zone episodes that aired just about a year later featuring Martin Balsam in 'The New Exhibit'. The obvious comparison involves the wax figures that come to life to commit mayhem on unsuspecting targets. Of the two stories, the Thriller entry is more obvious in it's exposition, as we see the characters who come alive to murder their intended victims.
However there's another interesting facet of these old time popular shows that bears mentioning. If you watch The Twilight Zone episodes in series order, you'll notice that one of the props used in 'The New Exhibit', a packing crate marked 'This End Up', was used again in the very next episode titled 'Of Late I Think of Cliffordville'. In the same vein, Thriller apparently re-used props from previous stories, perhaps as a way to keep expenses to a minimum. You'll notice in this story that the morgue set is the same one used in Thriller #2.11 - 'Dialogues With Death'.
As obvious as the set up is for this one, there's still a pretty cool twist at the end involving proprietor Jacquelin's pretty niece and museum assistant Annette (Antoinette Bower). Enough is left to the viewer's imagination as to what really transpired over the course of the story to make this one a thriller of a Thriller.
Robert Bloch's most terrifying entry, "Waxworks" is the eerie setting for a series of murders seemingly perpetrated by the wax figures of famous killers throughout history. At least that is the belief of Colonel Andre Bertroux (Martin Kosleck), formerly of the French Surete, who has followed its bloody trail of death all over Europe since the end of WW2. The chilling proprietor is Pierre Jacquelin (Oscar Homolka), assisted by his attractive daughter Annette (Antoinette Bower, previously in "The Return of Andrew Bentley"), who, strangely enough, are not under suspicion by the Colonel. The story received a complete makeover in 1970 as the second of four Bloch stories in the British anthology film "The House That Dripped Blood." In this Amicus feature directed by longtime genre fan Peter Duffell, the focus is not on the waxworks proprietor played by Wolfe Morris, but on the lonely existence of the never-married patron played by Peter Cushing (actually, a far more faithful adaptation of the original short story). Like episode 41 "The Weird Tailor," another sterling THRILLER that wound up remade as the second story in 1972's "Asylum," time constraints meant that neither remake could hold a candle to the small screen versions, although both features were certainly among the best anthologies to come from Amicus. The sterling cast in episode 53 includes Alan Baxter, previously seen as another lawman in "The Watcher," Booth Colman, previously seen as a suspicious hotel desk clerk in "Man in the Cage," playing the investigating lieutenant, a scene-stealing turn from J. Pat O'Malley as the morgue attendant, and also the young Ron Ely, future Tarzan of the TV airwaves, as the amorous detective who gets more than he bargained for. Blink and you might miss the silent bit from Harry Wilson (from the title role in 1958's "Frankenstein's Daughter"), later seen in another silent part in "The Innocent Bystanders," standing in as the very first wax figure murderer, complete with upraised knife. Martin Kosleck, of course, was an old genre veteran from the 1940's, who gained a measure of everlasting stardom playing one of the most despicable, cold-blooded villains in cinema history in the 1962 cult classic "The Flesh Eaters," an exquisitely made example of imaginative filmmakers overcoming the limitations of a low budget production. To the end of his life, Kosleck's phone number remained listed in the Los Angeles directory.
This is one of the better episodes. It brings back a Robert Bloch script. It would seem wherever this particular wax museum shows up, people die. They die in the way that the characters of murderers killed their victims. Of course, the police aren't having any of this. Soon members of their precinct are dying violent deaths. There is a beautiful young French woman in the middle of it all. Are these things coming to life or is there another explanation? The sets are dark and mysterious. As is the case with just about every effort like this, the bad guys have the upper hand from the get go. A nicely crafted Thriller. Oscar Homolka is quite riveting as he always was.
Oscar Homolka plays Pierre Jaquelin, owner of a wax museum that was near the scene of the recent murder of a young woman, whose final drawing turns out to be a wax figure. Antoinette Bower plays Annette Jacquelin, who assists the police in their investigation, and who becomes the center of attention for three different men who come to sudden ends, though it turns out the real truth is more sinister than anyone realizes... Good episode covers quite familiar ground(like "House Of Wax" for instance), but is still mostly effective. Later filmed in a superior version in multi-segment film "The House That Dripped Blood", with Peter Cushing.
|Ratings||External reviews||Plot keywords|
|Main details||Your user reviews||Your vote history|