Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Waxwork (1988, Anthony Hickox)

All-Time Great Late '80s Video Funtimes

One of my all-time favourite horror flicks, eagerly rented from the late lamented Vision's Videos when i was but nine years old, to revel in the fun, the gore, and - yes, oh yes indeedy! - the scenes where the lovely Deborah Foreman is chained up and whipped into a frenzy of sweaty ecstasy by the Marquis de Sade. Powerful stuff indeed, which had a profound effect on my hormonal adolescent self, producing very powerful sensations in my brain and body.
A great cast for those of us who waded through many an '80s fantastique flick at the time: Zach Galligan of "Gremlins" fame, Dana Ashbrook, soon after to star in "Twin Peaks" and "Sundown: the Vampire in Retreat", the aforesaid vision of loveliness that is Ms. Foreman, also a "Sundown" alumnus as well as the brilliantly cheesecore "Lobster Man from Mars", Michelle Johnson of "Werewolf", and David Warner and John-Rhys Davies, both from... pretty much everything!
We are treated to a gourmet feast of horror tropes: the mummy, a werewolf, Count Dracula and his alluring vampy brides, "Night of the Living Dead" zombies, and a standout performance from J. Kenneth Campbell as the Marquis de Sade himself, as well as the late lamented Patrick MacNee appearing as the guiding Sir Wilfred, part Van Helsing and part Dr Everett von Scott in his motorised wheelchair.

I defy anyone who's seen seminal scare spoof Carry On Screaming (can such creatures exist?) not to cry 'Frying tonight!' at Warner's waxy demise.

The old video box called it 'more fun than a barrel of mummies' and i really can't put it better than that myself. Genius.
          ('Taste the whip, in love not given lightly / Taste the whip and bleed for me...')


  1. I can't help feeling that one reason for the decline of this sort of film is the easy accessibility of free internet pornography.

    Y'know, your mum doesn't sound like the kind of woman who'd let you watch this stuff. How come she wasn't washing your mouth out with soap?

  2. It's not pornography - it's art! Anyway, the Sadean sequence is highly erotically charged, without showing any nudity whatsoever. You just don't get the same kind of frisson of sensuality from porn.

    My mother was bizarrely lax in the stuff she'd let us watch. I'd have seen 'The Last House on the Left' when i was six if my dad hadn't come in and switched it off. It was nearly twenty years before i saw the second half. Longest. Intermission. Ever.

  3. Oh man, I will remember to send you that SAE when I have some money. I have a memory that is totally drug fried >_< Anyway, I never actually ever saw Waxwork the original. Just the sequel many times. So I look forward to seeing it now... one day.