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3.5/5. A classic movie with some really fun sequences even if there are some boring parts and the ending is anticlimactic.
I saw the 1953 version first and I love Vincent Price so I am bias.
Yet another reason Fay Wray was the original scream queen.
I was not a fan of 'Mystery of the Wax Museum'. It was meant to be a horror film, but got more than a little confused with a mix of awkward comic relief and romance added along the way. It tries to do too many things at once, and ends up doing a mediocre job at all of them. An example of this early on was a dopey comedic bit when the morgue robber sits up under a sheet and the orderlies stupidly shrug it off as the effect of embalming or the nature of women (double 'ugh', and this loses all opportunity for tension in the scene).
Fay Wray plays a streetwise, fast-talking, tough reporter who varied between grating and interesting to me. Its pre-Code which allows her to bust off lines like "Hi sweetheart, how's your sex life?", to a male colleague, and after seeing the risqué cover of his copy of 'Naughty Stories', saying "uh-oh". Later she tells a guy to "go to a warm place, and I don't mean California." Unfortunately for all that, her 'detective work is quite simplistic'; she's on to the secret of the Wax Museum far too easily, finding morgue tags still on one of the exhibits.
There is no real suspense or sophistication here, just a hodge-podge, and while there are creepy scenes, they're few and far between. I liked the fact the film was shot in the emerging 'Two-tone Technicolor' technology, which in some ways adds to the eeriness of some of the early scenes, before the script starts getting in the way of the whole thing.
This one may have camp appeal and provide some entertainment, but for a truly great horror film from the time period, try 1932's 'Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde' instead.
Fine old timey horror film. Directed by the great Michael Curtiz, he invokes the well suited style of German expressionism to tell this story of madman Lionel Atwill killing folks and then encasing them in was for his was museum. Fay Wray plays his next would be victim. Filmed with a 2-strip technicolor process, the film mostly feels black and white except for some flesh tones, but it is an interesting early color film and the gruesome storyline is quite fitting for this utilizing the new color technology. The comic relief moments are really the only negative for the film, but the macabre story is enough to overcome the unneeded comedy. The film was remade later as "House of Wax."
good mystery tale in this pre-code suspenser
Though choppy and a little hap-hazard in structure, Curtiz still delivers a solid early horror-thriller. Naturally, being a Curtiz film, the direction and camerawork are front and centre, giving the film both an eerie mood and a certain liveliness to prevent it from feeling as stagey as some of its contemporaries.
An Original Idea For It's Time, & One Of The First Colour Films Produced, Mystery Of The Wax Museum Is A Well Made Horror Film. The Plot Revolves Around A Reporter Who Is Looking For A Story. But When She See's A Wax Statute Looking Like A Recently Deceased Woman & With The Body Missing In The Morgue She Suspects That Humans Have Been Turned Into Wax Figures, & May Be Able To Solve Some Recent Disappearances. A Solid Made Film, That With The Plot Tweaked Slightly Became The Classic House Of Wax (1953) A Remake Which Is Far Superior Than The Original.
This was a decent film that I watched on Turner Classic Movies (TCM) that's about a museum that consists of wax figures. . ahem. . wax figures of dead bodies.
Finally on blu-ray! This is the movie that spawned the remakes: House Of Wax (1953), The Mad Magician (1954), Terror In The Wax Museum (1973) and House Of Wax (2005)!