Anthony Hickox’s Waxwork was a very familiar sight in video shops in the late 80’s and early 90’s.  I first heard of the film after reading about it in Fangoria and eagerly awaited it’s release as a youngster.

Mark Loftmore is a college student (with a seriously stuck-up Mother) and along with his friends get an invite to a private showing of a new waxworks that has opened.  The waxwork is owned by a sinister looking fellow played by the great David Warner who has a couple of manservants with one who is ridiculously tall and the other is a little person (who featured prominently on the advertising).  When the group enter the main part of the exhibit they are greeted by scenes of horror and mayhem throughout history.  There’s werewolves, Jack the Ripper, vampires and even the Marquis de Sade amongst others.  Warner’s character needs people to magically enter the individual exhibits where they get sacrificed to whoever that particular evil-doer is.

With a couple of their friends missing and the local police not all that convinced, Mark and his surviving friend Sarah have to basically save humanity.  So they visit Mark’s Godfather Sir Wilfred for advice.

Coming up to thirty years old, Waxwork really hasn’t aged at all.  Of course some of it is a bit eighties, but the make-up effects hold up very well and there really isn’t a bad performance at all from the cast.  Although played reasonably straight, there’s plenty of humour in the film and some wonderful little nods to all kinds of films.  Director Hickox assembled a first rate cast including Gremlins’ Zach Galligan, the gorgeous Deborah Foreman and the afore mentioned Warner and Macnee.  Smaller roles went to the likes of Miles (Ator the Fighting Eagle) O’Keefe and John Rhys Davies.

The individual sequences for each particular evil character are extremely well put together and have some really beautiful set designs.  The short Marquis de Sade sequence is far more sexier than anything the ‘Fifty Shades’ film-makers could even dream of.  This sort of thing isn’t my bag but Deborah Foreman’s reactions are mind blowing.

The Blu-ray has some terrific extras including a full length documentary on the making of the film (and it’s follow-up, Lost in Time).  The film is as enjoyable as ever and is simply still a fantastically entertaining piece of cinema.

  • Starring Zach Galligan  Deborah Foreman  Michelle Johnson  Dana Ashbrook
  • Director Anthony Hickox
  • Distributor Vestron Video / Lionsgate