The Horror Honeys: Saturday Creature Feature with Suzanne!

Saturday Creature Feature with Suzanne!

Waxwork (1988)

Hello, hello, my spooky darlings! It’s been an awfully hot summer so far, hasn’t it? I have the perfect remedy. Let’s get out of the heat and spend a little time checking out some of our favorite life-like horror villains in Waxwork. Mind the ropes.

Four college friends take advantage of an advance showing at a local waxwork. This is no ordinary wax museum. Some of the displays aren’t complete. Those killer wax figures need victims and as the unsuspecting friends soon discover, getting too close makes you part of the scenery… forever.

Our four main characters fit a movie profile, but would most likely never be friends in real life. We have Mark, the spoiled, rich, douchebag turned hero (played skillfully by the forever adorable Zach Galligan). Mark is in love with China (Michelle Johnson), the local harlot who rejects Mark’s entitled advances, but sleeps with everyone else. Her best friend is Sarah (Deborah Foreman), the virginal girl who harbors less than pure desires. Finally, there is Tony (Dana Ashbrook), the group’s goofy friend and the first to go. 

Why, Dana? WHY?
As three of the friends drift off into the exhibit, Tony is left alone in front of a display of a werewolf sitting in a chair. He drops his lighter over the ropes and as he steps in to fetch it, he is suddenly transported to the woods, in front of a rustic cabin. Thinking he’s hallucinating, he does the obligatory yelling at no one, expecting an answer. What he finds in the cabin is a sweaty, distraught man (John Rhys-Davies) who is about to go full lycanthrope. The scene plays out and, as Tony meets his fate, he becomes a part of the display.

China follows suit after she tries to seduce a wax figure of Dracula (Miles O’Keeffe), but just as Sarah is about to experience her deepest desires with the Marquis De Sade, Mark yanks her away, fearing something is amiss. 

And not just this wardrobe.
With their friends missing and the cops unwilling to believe them, Mark and Sarah start their own investigation with the help of his grandfather’s friend, Sir Wilfred (Patrick Macnee). This is where things get a little messy. Stolen artifacts, voodoo, the dead inheriting the earth, butlers with battle experience… It’s complicated.

The movie, as a whole, is a bit all over the place, but despite its rather bizarre story, it works. The displays they find themselves sucked into play into their character profiles and the vignettes are really well done, particularly the makeup. 

As with all things 80s, cheese is always on the menu and Waxwork has plenty. The actors spend a great deal of time chewing the scenery and the climax is absurd, but it’s a lot more fun than Madame Tussauds. The wax figures don’t come to life and try to kill you there. Not that I’m aware of anyway.

If you haven’t seen this gem of 80s horror, please do yourself a favor and get on it. You can buy Waxwork on DVD for a song. It’s also available streaming on Amazon Prime. It’s worth it for Zach Galligan alone.

Do you want to visit the Waxwork?
Let's plan on Twitter: @suzebee04