Waxwork – USA, 1988

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‘Stop on by and give the afterlife a try.’

Waxwork is a 1988 American comedy horror feature film directed by Anthony Hickox. It stars Zach Galligan and Deborah Foreman. A sequel, Waxwork II: Lost in Time, was released in 1992.

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The eighteen most evil beings used in the film are: the Marquis de Sade, the werewolf, Count Dracula and his son and brides, the Phantom of the Opera, The Mummy, Romero-style Zombies, Frankenstein’s monster, Jack the Ripper, the Invisible Man, a voodoo priest, a witch, a snakeman, pods from Invasion of the Body Snatchers, a mutant baby, an axe murderer, a multi-eyed alien, giant talking venus fly trap, and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

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A waxwork museum comes to town, and a mysterious man invites some teens to come to a special showing at midnight. Once inside, while viewing different exhibits, the scenes come alive and the viewer is sucked into the story being portrayed…

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On October 18, 2016, Vestron Video released the film and its sequel on Blu-ray + DVD in the United States:

Waxwork special features:
* Audio Commentary with Anthony Hickox & Zach Galligan
* “The Waxwork Chronicles” Featurette (Parts 1–6)
* Vintage “Making of” Featurette
* Theatrical Trailer
* Still Gallery

Waxwork II special features:
* Audio Commentary with Anthony Hickox & Zach Galligan
* Theatrical Trailer
* Still Gallery

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Buy Blu-ray + DVD: Amazon.com

Reviews:

“The make-up effects by Bob Keen are tremendous, and very icky indeed. One of my favorite bits involves the poor sucker whose had his leg feasted on by vampires and the bloodbath that ensues within the otherwise pristine white room. It’s a great example of the nutty tone this film has: it’s usually quite funny, but there’s also no denying it has many disturbing moments and sights.” Arrow in the Head

“Campy and fun, part of the appeal here is that Waxwork never takes itself too seriously. The setups are extremely clever and the transitions in and out of each “dimension” are handled near flawlessly. Add to this fact some really fun performances from a group of no name has-beens (sorry guys) that you’ll no doubt immediately recognize.” Lawrence P Raffel, Monsters at Play

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“Waxwork plays like one big goof, an attempt at parody and praise infiltrated by cheesy special effects, non-existent characters, and incoherent story lines. Literally like walking into a play mid-second act, the Waxwork films have no problem depositing us in the midst of a vampire power struggle or awkward alien invasion as the reptile retread stalks and slays its snacks. Then it simply turns and says “Golly, aren’t you glad you’re here, kind viewer?” Bill Gibron, DVD Verdict

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“It’s got great visual style, with nods to EC Comics and Mario Bava’s colour palette; and packed with little in jokes […] Even the synth score (always the letdown of movies of this era) from Emmy-nominated composer, Roger Bellon is pretty darn effective. All in all it’s tremendous fun…” Peter Fuller, Kultguy’s Keep

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Buy DVD: Amazon.com

“The final showdown degenerates into a cross between a Western saloon brawl and a custard pie fight. In short, this cannot hold a candle to its AIP and Amicus predecessors, and mostly just gets on one’s wick.” Nigel Floyd, The Time Out Film Guide

Cast and characters:

  • Zach Galligan as Mark Loftmore
  • Deborah Foreman as Sarah Brightman
  • Michelle Johnson as China Webster
  • Dana Ashbrook as Tony
  • Micah Grant as Jonathan
  • Eric Brown as James
  • Clare Carey as Gemma
  • David Warner as David Lincoln
  • Patrick Macnee as Sir Wilfred
  • Mihaly ‘Michu’ Meszaros as Hans
  • Jack David Walker (as Jack David Warner) as Junior
  • Charles McCaughan as Inspector Roberts
  • J. Kenneth Campbell as Marquis de Sade
  • Miles O’Keeffe as Count Dracula
  • John Rhys-Davies as Werewolf
  • Jennifer Bassey as Mrs Loftmore
  • Edward Ashley as Professor Sutherland
  • Joe Baker as Jenkins
  • Buckley Norris as Lecturer
  • Tom McGreevey (as Tom MacGreevey) as Charles
  • Anthony Hickox, director, as English prince
  • James Hickox, assistant editor, as werewolf hunter’s assistant
  • Gerry Lively, director of photography, as Sir Wilfred’s butler

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