Friday, March 14, 2008

House of Wax: Movie Review #2

House of Wax (1953)

Vincent Price has been my idol since the very first time I heard him laugh on Michael Jackson's Thriller. I am in the middle of Denis Meikle's book Vincent Price: The Art of Fear and I cannot put it down. But I did take a break from my reading for yet another viewing of the classic horror film, House Of Wax.

First off, the recent remake of this film does the original absolutely no justice (which is usually the case in most horror remakes, but having Paris Hilton in the cast is enough to make it completely useless). However, Price's performance in the original made him an instant staple in horror cinema for years to come. While House on Haunted Hill remains one of his more popular titles, House of Wax is still my personal favorite.

After Price's life's work as a wax sculptor is destoyed by his greedy investor turned arsonist, Price seeks revenge by murdering people and using their bodies as wax sculptures in his new museum. Visitors marvel at the realistic appearance of the figures. Presumed dead in the fire, Price's burned face is hidden by his own wax mask for the duration of the film as he runs around town like a mutilated Zorro, fully equipped with black hat and cape, which is more of a laugh than a scare. His sidekick is a deaf mute also adds some real comedy to the plot, and the stupidity of the local police adds even more. But like all bad guys, Price gets his in the end, by falling into an enormous boiling cauldron of wax. Forgive the bad joke here, but this film is absolutely PRICELESS!

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