Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Mystery of the Wax Museum (1933)

A gifted sculptor is disfigured in a raging fire that was set by his business partner in order to collect their insurance fund, but years later he resurfaces in New York along with a brand new wax museum. At the same time, a crackerjack journalist picks up a hot scoop from the police that bodies have been disappearing from the county morgue. A chance visit to the museum sparks her suspicion when she notices that several of the attractions bear an uncanny likeness to the missing bodies, leaving her to confront the elusive villain herself in his chamber of horrors! THE MYSTERY OF THE WAX MUSEUM was one of the final pictures to be filmed using the two-color Technicolor process, and for the time of its release, the results are quite impressive. Glenda Farrell's Vaudevillian acting can be corny at times, but Lionell Atwill is highly capable as the crippled Ivan Igor. Director Michael Curitz introduces a number of skeevy characters to draw out the mystery and suspense for as long as possible before the shocking reveal in the end. The film would be later remade into the Horror classic HOUSE OF WAX starring Vincent Price, although this version is quite good in and of itself.

Rating: 8/10.

If you liked THE MYSTERY OF THE WAX MUSEUM, check out:
HOUSE OF WAX, NIGHTMARE IN WAX, WAXWORK.

5 comments:

  1. I started reading thinking you were reviewing Horrors of the Black Museum, and was thrown when you said it was remade as House of Wax. Too bad it is unknown by Netflix. Sounds like one I'd like to catch.

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  2. If Netflix still has the old Warner Bros release of HOUSE OF WAX that was released as an individual disc, this can be found on the reverse side Fred!

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  3. Well, I have House of Wax on my queue, so that would be nice to get a two-for. The description did not mention Wax Musuem.

    Thanks!

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  4. The revelation of the true extent of the facial disfigurement is one of the greatest shock moments in horror history - easily up there with Lon Chaney's PHANTOM OF THE OPERA.

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  5. Now that I didn't know, that is an excellent piece of Horror trivia!

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