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31 Days of Horror Movies: Terror In the Wax Museum

Day 7 of our horror movie appreciation may seem like a bit of an obscure choice, but bear with me as I delve into....

Terror In the Wax Museum

This film has its detractors. In fact, a lot of folks won't admit to liking it much. And, yes, it isn't a perfect movie by any means. But it did scare a young Matthew nearly to death, when he watched it one night, under the covers, his little TV in the bedroom glowing as the CBS Late Movie broadcast this under appreciated gem.

Terror In the Wax Museum has a plot not unlike many other in the genre. You've got a wax museum, some creepy wax figures, some murders, some protagonists and some shady characters. The movie features quite a number classic Hollywood actors: Ray Milland, Elsa Lanchester and John Carradine, to name a few.

Much credit should be given to director Georg Fenady, known mostly for his work in television. Fenady manages to shoot the film evocatively, with lots of close-ups of the murderous wax figures, with unsettling, taunting words being spoken in the shadows. These shots in particular were effective in scaring me when watching this movie as a kid. There wasn't any blood or gore, but there didn't need to be.

Terror In the Wax Museum was validated for me when going to St. Louis once with mom and dad. Not much of the weekend stays in my memory, aside from going up in the Arch, and visiting the wax museum located on Laclede's Landing. There was a hefty bald man running it, and they had a crypt of horrors (although most wax figures look pretty horrific, anyway). As we were leaving, we walked past a wax version of a British police bobby. Then he moved and said hello. I jumped and ran screaming from the museum.

The 'wax' actor laughed.


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