Triskaidekafiles is a love letter to cheesy cinema from the 80s and 90s, with the occasional dip into other eras.  if you're a fan of MST3K, Elvira, Joe Bob Briggs, or just bad horror movies in general, Trisk is the place for you.

WAXWORK (1988)

WAXWORK (1988)

WRITER: Anthony Hickox

DIRECTOR: Anthony Hickox

Zach Galligan as Mark Loftmore
   Deborah Foreman as Sarah
   Michelle Johnson as China
   Dana Ashbrook as Tony
   Miles O'Keefe as Count Dracula
   Charles McCaughan as Inspector Roberts
   J. Kenneth Campbell as Marquis De Sade
   John Rhys Davies as Werewolf
   Patrick Macnee as Sir Wilfred
   David Warner as Lincoln

SYNOPSIS: A bunch of college kids have nothing better to do, so head off to the new waxwork in town, which speaks levels of their boredom.  While at the waxwork, one by one they get sucked into the other worlds represented by the displays, as part of an evil plot to ressurect the worst men of history.  And an alien.

2010 has landed, and while the future isn't here, Triskaidekafiles is back with another review.  This is a movie I've always had a soft spot for, despite being full of cheese.  Clear your appointment schedule, we're taking a visit to the Waxwork.

The movie gets started with a shot of a mansion on the proverbial dark and stormy night.  Seriously, there's lightning and everything!  Playing over that is some classic swing music that we've all heard before.

And Waxwork wastes no time in getting the body count rolling, as a man is tossed face first into his fireplace inside the mansion, all while someone swipes a collection of trinkets.  We'll get back to this stuff later.  But for now its credits time.

Yes! Melting title card! They're the best kind.

 With murder and credits out of the way, we're back to the mansion, but the sun is shining.  The fireplace is stacked with wood, and there aren't any bodies around, and everything seems normal.  We see two people sitting at opposite ends of the typical long table that Hollywood is required to have rich families have.  In between them is an almost comically huge floral arrangement that they can't even see each other through.

One of the people sitting at the table might be familiar to any fan of 80s movies, as it's Zach Galligan, star of the two Gremlins movies.  This was not an upward career move, here.

He and his mother lean around the flowers so they can have a semi-normal conversation, and she chastises him for playing cards and associating with the staff.  Such things are just not done!  Huff huff.  We get some insight into Mark, as he sees them as people too, and not just 'them' as his mother thinks of anyone not rich and important.

They go back to their breakfast behind the flowers, and we're given some exposition from the paper about a series of people having gone missing recently in town, and two more have just been added to the count.  I always think the people who go missing in movies like this are the smart ones.  They escaped before it started!

Mark's mom still treats him like a child, to crazy levels.  He's in college, but she refuses to let him have coffee in the morning, because it's bad for him.  He can have it when he's a big boy.  What a horrible, horrible woman to deny a grown man his coffee.

Oh, and Mark gets bonus hero points from me for reading comics.  Not enough heroes do that.

He heads out for school and meets his butler Jenkins, who hands him his school books and a cup of coffee, which he corrects himself and amends to say it's Mark's caffeine.  Something about that tickles me.  Mark doesn't care that it's coffee, he's all about the caffeine.  Jenkins also offers him his 'nicotine', and asks which car he'll take.  Mark opts to walk to school, since the fresh air is good for him.  While he's smoking.

Next we meet the two female leads, which are as stereotypical as it gets.  There's the curvy, popular, blonde girl who flirts with any guy, and her mousy, quiet friend in a simple, comfy sundress.  They talk about what all Hollywood girls do when alone with each other; boys.

The pair come across a brick house that the brunette, Sarah, has somehow never seen before.  Ok, pause, logic check time.  They're walking to school, or so we're supposed to believe.  They must have taken this route at least once in all the times they've gone to school.  How do you not see a house for months, at minimum?  What, was it built overnight?  Grown from a seedling?  Anyways, this is the new waxwork in town.

Willy Wonka called, he wants his cast offs back.

 In the time it takes for them to turn away from the waxwork and comment on it and turn back, a strange man (How else does one describe David Warner?) has suddenly appeared on the other side of the white picket fence, wearing the most uncoordinated, blindingly bright costume.  He asks if he startled them.  Well gee, you suddenly appeared out of thin air when the only door you could have come out of is fifty feet away.  So yeah, there might be startling here.

The shallow girl, China, flirts with the owner, showing her taste is highly questionable, or that she may be colour blind.  They're about to head back to class, but not before Warner offers a private showing for them and some friends.  He warns them not to bring more than six, because the place might be too full.  A bit of an odd request, but for a private showing I can understand wanting to keep the preview crowd small.  Although they're not clear on if he means six total, or the two girls and six friends.

He says he'll see them at midnight, and the girls are walking away, but turn at the sound of the musical sting, and he's disappeared as fast as he got there.  Clearly, Bruce Wayne has gone more than a little eccentric after retiring from being Batman, and opened up a waxwork.  He now spends his time appearing and disappearing at a whim to his clientelle.  And he's traded in his cape for a purple longcoat.

At least the girls poke fun at his disappearing act.

Say hello to our leads. The Breakfast Club they ain't.

 Mark arrives late for class, and is as polite and contrite to the professor as one can be as the teacher chides him for his tardiness, and gives him a 20 page homework assignment as punishment.  He settles in for class with the girls and another friend.  Let the learning begin!

As if that wasn't bad enough, Mark learns China's been seeing another guy, and makes a bit of a scene in the class.  All that gets him is another report assignment clocking in at 40 pages.  All by tomorrow.  I hope you've got enough caffeine, Mark.

They gather at the bleachers as the football team practices, and discuss their plans for the night.  I am honestly surprised that a group of college kids would seriously consider going to a waxwork, even back in the 80s.  The town must be really boring for that to sound like fun times.  Even Mark is in, essays be damned.  Or essays be written by a maid.

Later that night, the cannon fodder brigade arrive at the waxwork, and they start waffling about actually going in.  Oh come on, what's the worst that could happen?  These people are genuinely spooked by a waxwork?

The door opens by itself, and they all freak out until the see it was actually opened by a dwarf, the Anti-Lurch.  Honestly, I don't know which would freak me out more.

While they wait in the sitting room, Mini Me asks if anyone would like some drinks, and another servant enters with a tray before anyone can answer.  I can't tell if he's really tall, or just looks that way next to the dwarf.  I think he's supposed to be tall.  The travel sized butler reprimands the taller one before he was called upon.  The scene is just drop down funny as the small guy screeches loudly in his high pitched voice, and swats at the relative giant until he blubbers.

The main doors creak open on their own, for reals this time! and reveal the waxwork.  The gang pile in and are greeted by a series of horrific scenes.  Definitely not your typical waxwork.  No stuffy old celebrities standing around and posing here.  I've always wondered if the wax figures in this are actual figures they had made, or just actors standing very still.  I lean more towards the latter, since that would probably be cheaper, and gives them a realer, creepier feel to them, as well as making sense for the movie.

Fill 'er up! ...I feel dirty.

 They split up and explore the scenes of carnage, until one of the cannon fodder squad decides to light a cigarette and practically tosses his lighter into one of the displays.  Tony figures no one will care if he just grabs it and steps over the velvet rope that would tell most people otherwise.  No sooner has he crossed the threshold, and he passes through a blue swirly thing until he finds himself standing outdoors in a forest.

Tony's clothes have changed, his hair is a different colour and style, and he's definitely not where he was.  He naturally thinks someone slipped him something.  Ahh, college.  Drugging your friends for shits and giggles.

All that Tony can see aside from trees is a cabin not far from where he is, so he goes and knocks on the door.  The occupant doesn't seem to friendly, but that doesn't deter Tony from going in and finding John Rhys Davies.

It's too late for me, but there's still time! Get out of this movie while you can!

 The man in the cabinet recognises Tony, but not as Tony.  He recognises Tony as "Jack", someone from whatever world, or time, or story he's fallen into.

Tony goes to get some wood, and is still positive he's been drugged, or hypnotised, or tricked, or something.  Ahh, denial.

Davies totally chews some scenery while turning into a werewolf.  You don't see much of the actual transformation, but watching him struggle to hold on to his humanity is great camp.

Tony returns and finds the werewolf there instead of Professor Arturo, and rather than sitting down for a spot of tea, the puppy chases the poor guy around.  He tries to placate the wolf with a bone, but instead the wolf bites the hand trying to feed it.

A group of hunters show up just past the nick of time, and load up on the silver bullets.  The Lone Ranger they ain't.

They confront the wolf while Tony bleeds, and struggle with getting the gun loaded.  Tonto tries to distract the wolf by hitting it with a chair, and the wolf just literally brushes it off.  Totally not even affected.  Next time, try a real chair.  Hollywood breakaways never work.

Since that only serves to annoy the wolf, he grabs his attacker's head, and tears him in two like he was a phone book.  It ain't pretty.

Get away from him you bitch!

 Tonto's sacrifice gave his partner time to get the gun loaded, and he shoots the werewolf.  Play dead!  Tony has begun to transform himself, and hasn't got the time to finish his change, as the hunter reloads and shoots him dead too.

Once Tony's dead, the camera pans away and back to the waxwork, revealing Tony as nothing more than frozen as another wax figurine on display now.  Mark passes by and doesn't recognise his dead friend because he's a tool.  Ok, maybe it's because his friend is now half werewolf and unrecognisable.

China comes across a display that catches her eye; a man with a cape crouched upon some stairs, and she wonders what he's doing.  I think he's looking for his contact lens.  That's always such a pain.

The velvet rope falls to the ground of its own accord, and China accepts the invitation, and steps into the display.

She suddenly finds herself in a banquet hall wearing a fancy white gown, and is generally confused at what happened.  Yeah, I get pretty confused too every time I find myself in strange banquet halls wearing expensive dresses.

China might have actually had a chance, but the man at the head of the table, the man she saw crouched in the display, casts his mental roofies at her, and she has a seat at the dinner table.

Ahh, steak tartar. Just like mom never used to make!

She gets served a dish of raw meat, with a thick red sauce poured over it, because subtlety is not Dracula's strong suit.  Alarm bells should be going off, but she's still under his mental thrall.  Of course, she also mistakes it for steak tartar, and even eats the entire plate.

With dinner concluded, China is sent to her room without supper, and she's kept company by Dracula's son, despite Dracula making it very clear he wants China for his own.

The vampboy bares his fangs, and China finally gets a clue.  She makes a break for it, and all vampboy gets is a mouthful of marble statue.

She runs and runs and runs until she stumbles into a white, tiled room, where a man named Charles is kept captive.  The man is the fiance of the woman's body China is inhabiting in this world, story, movie, pocket dimension, magical time fold, or whatever it is.

I almost want to ask what would have happened if Mark or Tony had wandered into this display.  Would they be playing the fiance's role, or recast as a male?

China turns on the lights and see that Charles' leg has been stripped down to the bone.  I'd question his survivability, but screw it.  We've got people being sucked into waxwork displays where they act out a scene and get stuck.  I can let that slide.  And I really hope that's what they were eating for dinner, because that would just be so morbidly perfect.

I love the vampires picking at his leg and nibbling away at pieces.  They never show anything, well, they show the leg itself, all bloody and bony, but never any actual removal of pieces.  It's just such a horrific thing to think he's laying there as these things are tearing bits and pieces off like cotton candy.  And the screams are just terrifying.

Once vampboy has had his snack of legbits, he gives chase again with China.  At one point he actually falls right across Charles, and lends on the exposed leg.  He lands on the bare bone, muscle, and tissue.  Let that sink in, we'll continue once the cringing is done.

China actually manages to grab a knife and stab the vampboy in the gut.  It doesn't do any good, but at least she got a shot in.  All it serves to do is to give him something else to stab into Charles' leg.

She grabs another knife, and removes the one from Charles' leg, and uses them to make an impromptu crucifix, and touches it to vampboy's head.  It explodes in true Scanners fashion.  And I'm not even going to get into the details on whether or not that would work, especially since the knives ended up looking more like an X than a T half the time.  Whatever.

The vampire brides attack next, and China makes a stake from a handy chair.  She quickly dispatches the brides, and their wounds gush so much blood that it would make Takashi Miike proud.

Vampires; changing the wine world, whether we like it, or not.

 In a great moment of hilarity, one of the brides is shoved back against a wine rack, and the bottles somehow pierce through her entire body and come out the other end.  Logic check time!  The bottles must be very long.  The vampire's flesh must be the consistency of tapioca pudding for a blunt object to actually be forced through the skin and muscle, and organs.  I'll even grant that they all missed bone.  And somehow, the wine bottles pop their corks, and start spewing wine.  Oh, and there's no wood or silver, so how does that kill her, exactly?  Or does it just give China time to make a run for it?

It defies all logic, and I love it all the same.

The white room is now bathed in so much blood it's pretty much red, and China herself is covered in blood and wine that her dress has been dyed pink.  That was a whole lot of blood they were tossing around, and that is a good thing.

China tries to escape, but runs smack into Dracula, who puts the whammy on her again when she foolishly looks right into his eyes.  Sigh, but they ARE such dreamy eyes...

She comes closer, and presents her neck.  Dracula pushes her down on the stairs and begins to feed.  Good thing she's under mental control because I can't see how laying down on stone steps could be anything resembling comfortable.  With China drained of her blood, it fades back to the waxwork, and we now know what Dracula was crouched over, waiting for China to become his victim.

Mark's getting concerned, and is calling for his friends as he wanders the waxwork alone.  At least he finds Sarah, who is far too interested in the Marquis De Sade display.  The quiet shy girl as a darker side, it would seem.

Sarah's left alone with the display, and the rope falls to the ground again, beckoning her to come forward.  She would have been doomed if Mark hadn't come back around when he couldn't find anyone.

Mark gets the brain for a minute, and decides they better get out of there.  The dwarf lies through his little teeth, and says their friends already left.

We jump to China's new boytoy trying to find her, and China's mom sends the poor schmuck to the waxwork.  The owner interupts Jonathan once he's snuck inside.  He's about to leave, but the owner gives him a look around.

They're looking at a display commemorating the Phantom of the Opera, and Warner explains that is the actual mask worn by the Phantom.  Jonathan recognises it from a Phantom movie, and the owner just looks dumbfounded, and says, "They made a movie?"  It's maybe a little goofy, but I do like the intimation that these are actual historical figures, and not just movies being recreated.

The owner offers Jonathan a closer look, and shoves him straight into the world of the display.  Sadly, we don't get to see what happens, and instead just see the guy added to the display, lying dead on a stone slab.

Warner walks away, shaking his head in disbelief and says, "They'll make a movie out of anything these days."  At least the movie has its tongue planted firmly in cheek.

After Mark sees Sarah home, we cut to the maid having a fit over the 60 pages of reports she's doing.  It's a fun bit of humour to slip in, and a nice bit of a running gag.  The paper is just as awful as you might expect.

Mark wants to try and find his missing friends, but no one has seen them.  He even returns to the waxwork, but no one is there and its closed up tight.  Mark postulates they've been kidnapped, or maybe boiled in wax.  Which I can only assume is a nod to the old House of Wax movie.

Everyone just brushes Mark's concerns aside, and figure China hit up another party, or her and Tony are off boinking somewhere.  Because it isn't like there's been a string of disappearances lately.

At least once he gets to the cops, they mention all the other missing people.

Mark continues to think, and takes Inspector Roberts to the waxwork.  He assures the cop that a weird tiny guy will open the door, but instead we see Warner, dressed normally.  Heck, he's using white and earth tones, even.

The owner lays down a pretty convincing story, actually.  The waxwork isn't open yet, so the kids couldn't have come into the place unless they broke in.  It all paints Mark's story in a pretty questionable light.  A late night visit to an unopened waxwork?  Where they meet a strange, squeaky dwarf?  They never even met Warner.  Anything Mark says will sound pretty bizarre, to the point of being seriously in doubt.

Warner still gives the inspector a look around, and he shows a particular interest in an Egyptian mummy display.  He's about an inch away from being pushed through the blue swirly thing when he remembers some doughnuts in need of interrogation, and says he has to go.

"Hurry! We have to get out of here! This is a high school, not a college!"

 Mark goes back to school and drags Sarah out of history class with the lamest sickness excuse ever.  The teacher doesn't even care, and he just rolls his eyes and lets them go.  Is this the only class they teach here?  It sure seems like it.

Inspector Roberts is back in his office, going through the missing persons files, and he starts to recognise the faces from the displays he saw in the waxwork.  Hooray, competent police work!

He returns to the scene, and climbs into the tableau of China's demise.  He pulls out a knife and digs into her cheek, removing a chunk of flesh, and then another chunk of muscle which he bags up to analyse.  Since this is all Hollywood fakery, but the movie is about a waxwork, I'm not sure how real this is supposed to look.  Is it suppoed to be a wax figure he's digging into, with a terrifyingly real inside under the wax skin, or is it real flesh and bone he's poking at?  Or maybe it's somewhere in between.  It's real underneath, but the outside flesh has been turned into wax.

And it's very hard not to make any China doll jokes.

Mark and Sarah go poking around in his attic, and his grandfather's things.  It's not really clear why, they just do.

Sarah finds a book about the Marquis in with all the stuff, and she starts getting all hot and bothered again.  Not to mention she gets all windblown as an inexplicable breeze blows through to muss up her hair.

Mark stops her just shy of groping herself, to show Sarah an old newspaper clipping of his grandfather's murder.  That would be the start of the film for those of us watching at home.  The only clue in the murder, and theft of 36 artifacts, is that a man who worked for Mark's grandfather went missing.  And thanks to a handy photo, we see that Mr. Lincoln is none other than David Warner.  The plot thickens.

I always love when people in movies see photos from 'years ago' and gasp in surprise that he hasn't aged at all.  The magic of movies.

Meanwhile, at the Hall of, the waxwork, the inspector is still poking around, and he steps right into the Egyptian display.  He helps an elderly man push the stone slab off the top of a sarcoughagus containing a mummy and...well, you know how this goes.

They try to escape, but the door close, of course.  The mummy stomps around until it steps right on the head of a local guide trying to be reverent.  It crushes the head until it blows.  The sound of the crunching is just great.

The old guy tries to distract the mummy while the cop looks for a gun.  The old man stabs the mummy with a handy spear, which does all of jack and squat, aside from giving the mummy something to impale the old man on while it's still sticking out of his chest.

Of course, the gun does just about as much good as the spear, and the mummy tosses Roberts and the old man's daughter into the sarcoughagus and seals it up.

"Hello, I'm Patrick Macnee! You might remember me from such shows as The Avengers, and NightMan!"

 Sarah and Mark head to an old friend of Mark's grandfather, Sir Wilfred, played by moderately well known British actor, Patrick Macnee.

While Sarah pops in a DVD to catch Sir Wilfred up on the movie so far, Inspector Roberts' partner is tired of waiting in the car, and goes to check things out.  The tall butler executionals him by snapping his neck like a twig.  Warner is pissed because they could have used him as another body, and all the yelling makes the servant cry like a little girl.

Wilfred explains to the kids that Mark's grandfather had gathered up 18 trinkets belonging to 18 of the most evil men who had ever lived, like Walt Disney, Hitler, and the Marquis De Sade.  And that's significant because, and I'll give credit that this is actually pretty clever, the number 18 is made up of three sixes.  6 6 6.  The number of the beast.

He goes on to explain that Lincoln sold his soul to the devil, and that's why he hasn't aged.  He's working to tip the scales in Satan's favour by bringing these 18 people back.  It's an old voodoo belief that making a wax effigy of an evil being, containing one of its belongings, and feeding it a willing, innocent soul, will bring that person back to life.

But wait, weren't there 36 artifacts?  Correct!  The other 18 were collected from the places the people lived.  This makes the magic all the more powerful, with the displays being empowered by those pieces, and becoming like a pocket of time that brings the innocent soul back to the evil being to feed upon.

There's something crazy complex about all that, but I really love the plot idea.  It's pretty unique, and they actually bother to explain why its figures and scenes being reenacted and somehow coming to life.  Most movies would have just had it be their spirits, and not even bothered to give any sort of explanation for the displays.

Once all 18 figures have been ressurected, they will fully come to life, along with their victims as their new servants, to wreak havoc upon the world in the service of evil.  That's definitely one of the more interestingly original end of the world scenarios out there.  The only way to stop them is if they can put a stop to the sacrifices before they are complete, and not after, because the risk is too great.

The plan is a bit of the old arson, but it's most important that they get the displays that have yet to be completed, so even if the others survive, the circle can never be completed.

"Why can't we just burn it down from the outside?" asks Sarah.  Well, it's a brick building for starters.  You could always through stuff through the windows, but you'll never be sure what you torched.

Once they're inside, Sarah makes a beeline straight for the Marquis De Sade.  One track mind, that girl.

Sarah willingly walks right into the display, and Mark gets tossed into the other one by Teeny and Tally, the butler buddies.

The Marquis summons Sarah for his next round of fun and games with a whip, and Sarah is so entranced, or so wanting, of it all, that she's totally compliant and submissive.  I could write a paper on this girl's repression, I think.

She gets chained up, and her top is opened up just in time to go see what Mark is up to.  He's fallen into a black and white world, just in time for a zombie attack.  This has to be a Night of the Living Dead homage.

Which is something that bugs me about this movie.  If this is some time portal that drops him into the time of some badass evil guy, why is it a zombie flick in black and white all of a sudden?  Was the evil guy colour blind?  Is it the past, or a movie?  If its the past, why wasn't Dracula in black and white?  His time period way predates the zombie attack of the 50s.  Same goes for the Marquis.

Uh yeah, you better get that back to Ash before he notices it's missing.

 Mark gets accosted by a zombie hand, which he dispatches of pretty quick, and then he runs smack dab into the edges of this reality, and runs face first into the blue swirly things like they're an invisible wall.

He realises that he was forced into the display, and isn't a willing victim.  If Mark doesn't believe in the zombies, then they have no power over him.  Yeah, and maybe once you're dead, I can clap and bring you back to life.

Mark actually manages to escape once his belief in the place is shaken, but his freedom is short lived as the butler buddies chase him right into the Marquis display.  For some reason, his appearance doesn't change.  My only explanation is that the display already has its intended victim, and Mark is an unwelcome, nonbelieving addition.  And I wouldn't want to see him in Sarah's dress.  But it does make for a fun juxtaposition of a guy in typical 1980s garb and style, being accosted by a French soldier.

The Marquis is quite impressed with the amount of pain and whipping Sarah has taken, and I don't even want to think about if that's really her, or just the spell she's under.

Mark frees Sarah without anyone trying to stop him or even saying a word.  Probably because he doesn't believe and is outside their power, but it may just be because they're French.

Once Sarah is free, she clings to the Marquis' leg, not wanting to leave his *ahem* loving embrace.  Mark tries to reach out to her, get her to remember herself, and he decides to try and prove to her that they can't hurt them if they don't believe.  To prove this, he hands the gun he got from the guard over to the Marquis.  This is either a brilliant plan, or amazingly stupid.

Never bring a whip to a gun fight, Marquis.

 Mark goads the Marquis, saying he's afraid to fight like a real man, can only hit little girls, until he fires.  Fortunately the bullet zips right through, or the movie would have had quite the different ending.  The Marquis then tries to whip Mark, but that goes through him as well.

The show of power shakes Sarah free of her trance, and Mark takes her out of the display and back into the real world.

Which isn't really that much of an improvement as they're grabbed by Lincoln and his butlers.  Mark thinks the waxwork's scheme has failed, but the owner has called in their two friends who ran off scared when they first came to visit.  Thus their status as members of the cannon fodder brigade is acknowledged.

The two fools succumb quickly to the displays Mark and Sarah escaped from, and the wax figures begin to all come to life.

Amidst all the figures coming to life, all the evil men, all their friends and victims we alien.  Um.  Since when were aliens real?  Since when was one of them one of the 18 most evil men in history?  When did Mark's grandfather collect an item of theirs?  Let alone a piece of their home?  And how evil could he have been if I've never heard of him?  And there's similar complaints to make about the zombies.  I can get behind the Marquis.  I can even get behind Dracula, and even a particularly evil werewolf.  But those two just stretch things too far for me.  The whole point of zombies is strength in numbers, no one zombie stands out.  If you wanted an evil zombie, you could've gone with Baron Samedi.  Look it up, kids!

Once more unto the breach my friends, as long as there are no stairs!

 Anyways, Sir Wilfred arrives in, no kidding, his battle ready armoured wheelchair.  He brought in a mob of people, armed with gas cans and weapons.  He and Mark's grandfather were involved in an occult group that have been waiting to find Lincoln, and now they've brought the fight to him.  Oh, and they'll stop the figures from escaping.  So, why didn't Wilfred mention this group before?  Wouldn't it have been better to all go as a group to torch the place, rather than say, "Oh, you two go ahead, we'll see how you do.  Two people should be able to get the job done, right?"

Things go crazy as almost every movie monster imaginable is coming to life and attacking, along with their victims, and the others all clash in a chaotic battle royale.  Vampires, werewolves, zombies, aliens, the Frankenstein monster and more, all colliding in one climactic battle of good versus evil.  I just love the craziness of so many things all being mixed together.

The mob seems to be having problems, which I don't quite get.  There's only 36 people, isn't there?  And they gotta be a little groggy.  It wouldn't be easy, but they seem really hard pressed to take them out.

It's times like this that people really need to turn the other cheek.

China the vampire shows up with a chunk missing in her cheek confronts Mark personally, but she gets staked from behind by Jenkins.  The butler did it!  He tries to soften the blow by telling Mark that she's been dead for a long, long time.  Yes, *sniff* a whole two days!

Sadly, Jenkins meets his own demise at the end of a blade wielded by Tally, and he's dispatched by Mark quickly in revenge.

Behold, one of the single awesomest things ever committed to film.

Dracula changes into a bat to try and escape and, in a scene of pure undiluted awesome, the bat gets caught barehanded by someone.  And shoves a gun in the bat's face.  And the bathead explodes in a gunshot.  All topped off with someone actually saying, "Go ahead, make my day."

Sarah grabs Mini Me and he gets executionaled by tossing him into the gullet of an Audrey II stand in.  It's a shame the movie started to shy away from actual evil men, and instead started throwing in random movie references that don't make much sense with their setup.  They could've done something to make the other things work.  I guess if I want to handwave it for them, the waxwork had more than 18 displays, and when those 18 evil, magical ones came to life, it brought everything else in the waxwork to life as well.

Since people have been spreading gasoline willy nilly all over the place, it's about time someone accidentally makes a spark, and that's just what happens.

Mark heads to the back room where the wax figures are made and prepared, waiting for the Marquis to have his inevitable revenge.  Good luck with that, rich boy.

The Marquis duly makes his appearance and quickly disarms Mark, which is good because the swordfighting looked awful.  But he gives the sword back, so he can have his fun.  He's clearly toying with Mark, as he's not really doing any work, and disarms him several more times.  It's downright laughable how bad Mark is.

Finally, the Marquis gets Mark on the floor, and Lincoln who was lurking in the rafters, gives the Marquis the thumbs down, gladiator style, and tells him to 'kill the wimp'.  Just as the Marquis is about to spare us any bad sword fighting in Mark's future, Sarah buries an axe in his back.

"What? It came with my Nintendo."

 Lincoln pulls out the silliest, fakest, most absurd looking gun I have ever seen that he just so happened to have stored in the rafters near the catwalks in the back room.  That's a backup plan.

Just as he's about to fire, Sir Wilfred follows Sarah's lead and shouts Lincoln in the back.  He twists around and fires off about a dozen random shots as he plummets to his doom into the vat of wax.

Since this is a horror movie, Lincoln pops out of the vat covered in wax, and grabs Mark.  He falls right back into the vat though, so there's no real fight.  Just one last quick little jump.  Fun way to use the cliche, and just utterly undermine it.

The flames are now raging out of control, and there's no way for Sir Wilfred to get down the stairs to the kids.  This is why we have handicapped access laws.  He wants them to get out, and he and the rest can finish taking care of the few wax figures that remain.  But as the two stand there and watch, the werewolf arrives and tears off Wilfred's head.  And to add insult to executional, they get burned up by the flames.

There's so much fire raging that Mark and Sarah actually can't get through the door right in front of them, until Mark grabs some blankets to try and keep them protected.  Covered up, they bust through the door, and escape to freedom.  Sweet, tasty freedom.

We see a hand digging out of the rubble, and in a nice twist, it's not Lincoln.  Nor is it one of his minions.  It's also not one of the main wax figures like Drac or the Marquis, or even Wilfred.  No, it's the severed zombie hand Mark stuck atop a gate and thought he took care of.  The thing wannabe crawls off into the credits, as "It's My Party" starts playing, which has absolutely zero to do with the movie, and is so very random.

 And that brings us to...


Video: Well, it's not great, but it's not bad either.  Disappointingly in full frame and not widescreen.  The images are clear and sharp, and the colours are bright, so no major complaints.

Audio: Nothing special, sounds fine.  Pretty typical stereo presentation.

Special Features: Not a one.

First Kill: Less than a minute in, as Mark's grandfather faceplants into the fireplace.  I appreciate a movie not wasting time.

Best Kill: Honestly, there's a lot of good ones to choose from.  Dracula's is just pure awesome, and I really like the Egyptian guide getting crushed, but something about the severity of the hunter getting torn in half is just awesome and unexpected.

Best Line: I've gotta totally mark out and go with Mark's line after his mother denies him coffee, "But Mom, I need the caffiene, BADLY!"  I can empathise, and the delivery just made me laugh.  I only wish they had done more with it, made it more of a running gag, but Mark's addictions disappear pretty quick.  The movie has a bunch of good quips that aren't just puns, though, and that's welcome

Blood Type: Holy crap, there's a ton of blood.  People getting ripped in half, torn apart, crushed, bitten, stabbed, gushing all over.  If you like blood, this movie has plenty for you.  Hooray for cartoonish violence.

Sex Appeal: There's a number of sexual situations, but nothing really shown, but lots hinted at.  And it as the Marquis De Sade.

Ratings: It's almost unfair of me to rate this movie as itself, since I really do love it.  But the movie has some huge problems in logic.  And yet, most of those I forgive because they were clearly tossing logic out for fun and humour.  This movie has its tongue firmly planted in cheek, and they went for the laughs over reality.  If you're willing to accept that, then you're probably going to have fun.

But as a movie, I would probably give Waxwork a two out of five reports on Lithuanian dictators.  It's got a truckload of plotholes, and some heaps of cheese to work through.

For fun factor though, I gotta go with a four out of five exploding bat heads.  And I'm hard pressed to not give it a five.  This movie is fun, it was meant to be fun, and they just didn't care, and drove straight ahead.  It's a great popcorn flick to watch with friends and have a good laugh, and some scares.  This movie is everything this site is about.  It's so bad, it's good, and everyone knew it.

They knew it so much, that they actually made a sequel.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need MY caffeine.  Badly.