31 Horror Films #18: Waxwork 1988 Dir. Anthony Hickox

Last year I did a series of daily micro blogs going through the history of horror films by year. This was meant to give people an example of the high points of the genre. This year I'll be doing the same thing, but going off the beaten path to provide some films you may not have heard of. These films may not be up your alley, but they're all interesting.

Waxwork 1988 Dir. Anthony Hickox

Let's get one thing straight, Waxwork is trash. I live under no illusions that the movie I am recommending to you is high art, it's simply not. Waxwork is filled with overly dramatic scenes featuring you, stupid characters making horrible decisions. Then why is it on my list? Because it's trash in the best possible way.

Waxwork has long been a favorite of my sister and myself, primarily because it is one of those films that best represents the glut of VHS horror that clogged video store shelves in the 1980s and 90s. There's an art to this kind of movie that SyFy or Asylum can't even touch. Waxwork knows how to blend teenage 80s nonsense with classic horror in a way that fun and respectful of the genre.*

Waxwork begins with a group of college students, lead by Mark (Zach Galligan) and Sarah (Deborah Foreman) attending the opening of a new wax museum owned by Mr. David Lincoln (David Warner), an evil man with a penchant for sorcery. Unfortunately, every exhibit in the museum is a portal to that tableau's time and place, and it isn't long before the students get pulled, one by one, into these different worlds. It's not long before Mark and Sarah figure out what's happening and go in search of their missing friends.

The thing that makes Waxwork truly special, is the fact that they manage to do almost every movie monster throughout the course of the film, we see werewolves, Dracula, Frankenstein’s monster and Night of the Living Dead zombies, and in the final showdown, every creature has a cameo. There’s goof-ballery, sex, melodramatic heroism and a soundtrack that is …not great, but the film is a blast to watch and also has a magnificent cast of supporting players.**

So if you’re in the mood to watch a B movie, please do yourself a favor and put Sharknado aside, instead pick up Waxwork.

*Other movies in this category are Night of the Creeps, Warlock, Return of the Living Dead

** Patrick Macnee, John Rhys-Davies and of course David Warner.

Watch the trailer HERE