In the wicked performance that crowned him the movie’s master of the macabre, Vincent Price plays a renowned wax sculptor plunged into madness when an arsonist destroys his life’s work. Unable to use his flame-scarred hands, he devises a new – and murderous – way of restocking his House of Wax.
I had no interest in the movie, but saw some good discussions about it on a neat image site, so I figured I’d give it a try. Vincent Price is a legend, so how bad could it be? Turns out, not bad at all. There’s a couple scenes that seriously horrified me, specifically the corset tightening scene, and there’s some fun lines from people due to the age of the film (died by car accident – “I didn’t think they went that fast!”). There’s some truly obnoxious 3d scenes with a paddle ball, but come on, this movie was from 1953, I’ll give them the pass on showing off the latest movie gimmicks. At the climax of the film, there’s a Sam Raimi style punch special effect that I both absolutely loved and laughed at it’s simplicity. They’re not fooling anyone with it, but I can appreciate it for what it was.
This was a great movie, really worth your time if you have the opportunity to watch it. Oddly enough, the 1953 version is a remake of an earlier film from 1933 that I may check out some time in the future.