Waxwork (1988) Review

**I’m skipping the IMDB Top 250 thing today & posting another Horror Comedy review for my Horror Comedy-Themed Week! Woohoo! More fun than boring Top 250 films anyway.** πŸ˜‰

Waxwork (1988)

Directed by Anthony Hickox

Starring: Zach Galligan, Deborah Foreman, Michelle Johnson, David Warner, Dana Ashbrook, Miles O’Keeffe, Patrick Macnee, John Rhys-Davies

Plot Synopsis: (via IMDB)
A wax museum owner uses his horror exhibits to unleash evil on the world.

My Opinion:

You know how you have certain movies on your “Watchlist” for years and for some reason you just never saw them? Waxwork was one of those for me. I don’t know why the hell I never saw it. An 80’s horror (comedy-ish) movie starring my beloved Zach Galligan! (Who, by the way, follows me on Twitter. I’m so proud of that fact. Hi Zach!). πŸ˜‰ Anyway, it took me a very long time but I’m glad I finally saw this one. What a relief after watching a load of shit for the blog this October to finally see one that I actually enjoyed!

Waxwork is quite odd. I liked that! I didn’t really know what to expect but always thought it was more of a straight-up horror. It’s not quite what I’d call a “horror comedy” as it isn’t strong on the comedy but it also doesn’t take itself seriously, which I think works better for a movie like this. As it’s kind of hard to classify, though, it may be why it wasn’t as big of a film as it could have been. It’s also much more violent than I was expecting for the somewhat lighthearted nature! It’s not exactly extreme by today’s standards and the gore is very dated in that 1988 kind of way but this may be another reason why it wasn’t as big of a movie at the time. I’d also say it’s aimed at an older audience with characters such as the Marquis de Sade & scenes of a slightly sexual nature plus the movie’s use of famous older British actors (like, aimed at late teens/early twenties). Waxwork is kind of a weird sort of mishmash of styles. But I liked it! Granted, regulars here will be aware of my age and the fact that I tend to like most movies from the Eighties & am often much more forgiving of their flaws than I am with current films.

Anyway, these two college girls are walking down the street when they suddenly notice this waxwork museum which seems to have appeared out of nowhere. Then the above creepy British guy from The Omen appears, tells them it’s his, and invites them and their friends to come & see his horror-themed wax exhibits that evening.

One of the girls is a bitchy slut and one is a nice virgin because, of course, all girls fall into one of these two categories! The bitchy slut is played by Michelle Johnson, who has very large breasts (you can check out her IMDB page if you want proof) and the nice virgin is played by Deborah Foreman from 80’s horror classic April Fool’s Day, which I keep putting off reviewing each October for some reason. I like that so many people in this movie were in some pretty damn awesome other films (as well as The Omen and April Fool’s Day we have, of course, adorable Zach Galligan from Gremlins, John Rhys-Davies from the Indiana Jones films, Patrick Macnee from The Howling, and some other small actors from other horror films not really worth mentioning). Waxwork isn’t as good as these films but I appreciate the effort they put into the cast for this. Zach Galligan is sort of dating/broken-up-with the bitchy slut so he goes along with the group of friends to the waxwork museum.

What I really liked about Waxwork is that it’s got a great idea even if it’s somewhat poorly (and weirdly) executed. There are all these wax exhibits of famous villains and monsters throughout history (vampires, werewolves, zombies, mummies, the Marquis de Sade dude I mentioned, etc). I don’t think it’s exactly a spoiler to say that these exhibits are somehow alive and that our college students are in for some trouble when they visit this creepy British dude’s wax museum in the middle of the night. What follows are a series of different stories as these college kids are each “sucked into” the different horror displays. The best (and bloodiest) story is probably the bitchy slut’s journey into the vampire display.

The movie really could have used more of these individual stories as they were a lot of fun but there’s too much focus on the overall story of the wax museum and why its owner is seeking out victims for his wax creations. It’s a pretty silly and convoluted set-up just to have a movie showing college kids getting killed by various historical figures but I appreciate the effort as those scenes make the movie worth your time if you’re an 80’s movie-lover and missed out on this one like I did. The ending is pretty crazy and SO over-the-top but, hell, I didn’t mind that. It’s a horror comedy, after all, so you’re not meant to take it seriously. I now really want to see the sequel, Waxwork II: Lost In Time, which looks… not so great. But I’m totally going to watch it anyway. I’ll review it next October if I’m still doing this blogging thing! I’m also going to mainly stick to just watching horror films from the Seventies & Eighties as I always enjoy those the most. I recommend Waxwork as I liked it a lot but I’d only really recommend it to other fans of horror movies from the Eighties. If you’re of a similar age to me, I promise you’ll have fun watching this one.

My Rating: 7.5/10

30 thoughts on “Waxwork (1988) Review

    • Well, there are plenty of straight horrors in the Top 250. And I think Shaun of the Dead is pretty damn close to making the Top 250, actually, and that’s a definite horror comedy. πŸ™‚

    • Lol! I guess that makes me the nice virgin. πŸ˜‰ And, yes – I’m sure he’ll be okay with us calling him “the above creepy British guy”! (We could ask him. He’s still alive. I just checked!)

  1. HA HA! I loved this movie back in the day! This was one of those “hey let’s go on a date, go back to my dad’s house, watch this and make out” movies : ) aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhh 1998….

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