In Waxwork a waxwork museum appears overnight in an American small town and sinister showman David Warner invites a group of typical teens to a midnight party. However, as expected, the place is home to nasty secrets, and the blundering kids find themselves transported via the exhibits into the presence of "the 18 most evil men in history". What this means is that the film gets to trot out gory vignettes featuring such horror staples as Count Dracula (played inaptly with designer stubble and a Clint croak by ex-Tarzan Miles O'Keefe), the Marquis de Sade, an anonymous... werewolf with floppy bunny ears (John Rhys-Davies in human form) and the Mummy. Nerdy hero Zach Galligan appeals to wheelchair-bound monster fighter Patrick MacNee for help. Waxwork is strictly a film buff's movie--with Warner and MacNee turning in knowingly camp performances, and references to everything from Crimes of Passion to Little Shop of Horrors cluttering up its very straggly story line. It's not without ragged charms, though the tone veers between comic and sick (the de Sade scene, although inexplicit, features some lurid dialogue) more or less at random. The effects are likewise variable, and in any case rather fudged by direction, which frequently fails to point up the gags properly. It winds up with a scrappy Blazing Saddles-style fight between the forces of Good and a whole pack of monsters, and the budget runs out before the climactic burning-down-the-waxworks scene. The episodic approach echoes the old Amicus omnibus horrors (Dr Terror's House of Horrors, The House that Dripped Blood etc.), and various cameos allow director Anthony Hickox to parody/emulate the styles of Hammer films, Night of the Living Dead and Roger Corman's Edgar Allan Poe adaptations. On the DVD: It's a nice-looking and sounding print, but fullscreen format. The only extras are filmographies taken from the IMDB and the trailer.--Kim Newman [show more]
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Horror written and directed by Anthony Hickox. The film follows friends Mark (Zach Galligan), China (Michelle Johnson), Sarah (Deborah Foreman), Gemma (Clare Carey), James (Eric Brown) and Tony (Dana Ashbrook) as they visit a waxwork museum which has recently opened in their town. Invited to a special midnight viewing by the museum's mysterious owner, the group arrive and are led through various displays containing characters from famous horror stories. However, the gang soon find themselves in a fight to survive as the exhibits come alive and start pulling them into the gruesome scenes they portray.