Oldskooler Ramblings

the unlikely child born of the home computer wars

October of Horror #24: Waxwork (1988)

Posted by Trixter on October 29, 2018


(For an explanation of what these posts in October are, see the parent post.)

Synopsis

Upper-class high school friends check out a waxworks museum, only to get trapped in some of the exhibits.

Opinion

Waxwork feels like it is trying to be a Charles Band/Full Moon horror movie but the final result has half the quality and even less charm.  It can’t decide if it’s trying to be a horror-comedy, flat horror, or just “quirky”, and it fails at all three.  Which is a shame, since the premise is somewhat original:  People who wander into incomplete waxworks scenes end up living the scene itself, and, if killed, becoming part of it forever.  It’s a great idea!  It’s just a shame the movie can’t pull off any of the three tiers of execution it is going for.

The low budget didn’t help.  Waxwork was filmed for $1.5 million.  If it had $1 million less money in the budget, it would have been a flawed but admirably ambitious film.  If it had $1 million more money in the budget, it would have been able to pull off more scary effects.  But what got onto celluloid just falls flat.  It’s even distracting to watch at times — some dialog gets cut together with dialog that feels like it was an alternate take with alternate lines.  One character fires a machine gun as he dies (trope alert), but since they couldn’t afford an automatic machine gun, you can see the character pulling the trigger while “dead”.  Some characters are caricatures while the two main characters play it completely straight.  It’s a mess.

Recommendation

I hate to kick a movie while it’s down (especially since, based on the commentary, everyone had a fun time making the film), but you should skip it.  For every scene that works, there are three that don’t.  Your time would be better spent watching 4 episodes of Tales from the Darkside (or even 4 episodes of Monsters).

One Response to “October of Horror #24: Waxwork (1988)”

  1. […] October of Horror #24: Waxwork (1988) […]

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