Professor Henry Jarrod is a true artist whose wax sculptures are lifelike. He specializes in historical tableau's such a Marie Antoinette or Joan of Arc. His business partner, Matthew Burke, needs some of his investment returned to him and pushes Jarrod to have more lurid exposes like a chamber of horrors. When Jarrod refuses, Burke set the place alight destroying all of his beautiful work in the hope of claiming the insurance. Jarrod is believed to have died in the fire but he unexpectedly reappears some 18 months later when he opens a new exhibit. This time, his displays focus on the macabre but he has yet to reproduce his most cherished work, Marie Antoinette. When he meets his new assistant's beautiful friend, Sue Allen, he knows he's found the perfect model - only unbeknown to anyone, he has a very particular way of making his wax creations.Written by
This film was one of the first major pictures shot in 3D, and the director used some of the usual "tricks". In one scene, at the grand opening of the House of Wax, a sort of barker is enticing people to come in, and he actually breaks the "fourth wall", talking directly to the movie theatre audience. He is playing with a paddle-ball, hitting it toward the camera, as well as toward the people gathering around in front of the House of Wax. At one point, he is hitting the ball toward the movie audience. Looking directly at "us", he says, "Well, there's someone with a bag of popcorn. Close your mouth, it's the bag I'm aiming at, not your tonsils." See more »
When the character of Henry Jarrod first appears following the fire that disfigured him, he limps with one foot at an awkward angle but by the end of the picture when he's trying to elude the police he runs up the stairs with the agility of an athlete. See more »
Sgt. Jim Shane:
[looking at the wax figure of Joan Of Arc who resembles Cathy Gray]
That's a copy of her face alright, but she didn't look that way the night we saw her at Ma Flannigan's rooming house.
Lt. Tom Brennan:
Not so composed, huh.
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Released in Japan in the short-lived VHD format in 3-D. This disc has been widely copied to make bootleg tapes and DVDs. See more »
A sculptor of wax figures for a museum is horrified when his partner proposes setting fire to the unpopular museum in order to collect the insurance money. As the wax figures melt amid the blaze, the two men have a fight. The sculptor is knocked out in the scuffle and left to "perish" among the flames. He resurfaces many years later for the launch of his own wax museum. The opening coincides with the sudden disappearance of some dead bodies from the city morgue. His assistant begins to suspect his boss of foul play, especially after the deranged wizard of wax begins eyeing his assistant's lovely girlfriend as a model for a waxed figure of His assistant begins to suspect his boss of foul play, especially after the deranged wizard of wax begins eyeing his assistant's lovely girlfriend's friend as a model for a waxed figure of Joan of Arc! Great movie! Excellent performance by Vincent Price, some effectively creepy scenes and a good plot make this a must-see! Also, see the updated remake; "Waxworks 1&2". Those are very similar to this film.
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