Waxwork (1988)

As far as random Netflix horror picks on a lazy Saturday afternoon go, Waxwork really is a hidden gem. Sure, the ‘waxwork exhibition comes to life and starts kicking off’ angle had been done before and has been since, but Waxwork is such a well-presented, varied film that it could almost feature in our world-not-famous Portmanteau-a-go-go section.

The film revolves around a gang of college kids who get an invitation to a private showing of a new waxworks from its creepy proprietor (played by a very familiar David Warner that we most remember as Dr David Necessiter from The Man With Two Brains, a film that needs a good rewatching and soon!). They, rather unwisely, take him up on the offer and go to a midnight showing. Personally, I would have walked away as soon as the FUCKING MIDGET answered the door but that’s just me.

ARGH!  MIDGET!

ARGH! MIDGET!

They are soon picked off one at a time as the find themselves trapped inside the various worlds magically linked to the exhibits. It starts with Tony getting stuck in a cabin with a werewolf which a fun scene but let down slightly by the fact that only a small handful of movies have ever managed to do werewolves right. His would-be rescuers get one of the gorier scenes as one of them is torn in half by the wolf. Fun stuff.

Tony’s girlfriend, China, flips the otherside of the Twilight coin so to speak and ends up in a vampire castle in another gory but solid scene. The rest of the gang escape but some of them come back and end up in scenes featuring a mummy’s curse, the Marquis De Sade and some pretty good zombies.

Uh... fetch?

Uh… fetch?

Overall, the story hangs together well and still looks great with its bright palette and decent special effects reminding me of T8MC favourite Fright Night. Particularly enjoyable is the film’s final battle which pre-dates 2012’s fantastic Cabin in the Woods and does almost as good a job in its own charming way.

Well that's unpleasant.

Well that’s unpleasant.

So, overall Waxwork turned out to be a hugely enjoyable horror romp with good action and comedy and a some creative scenes of horror and gore. A new T8MC favourite? Maybe. Waxwork II: Lost in Time may be even better and apparently features Bruce Campbell, so expect us break our remit and take a look at that early ’90s sequel in the next week or so. We can’t wait!

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