Waxwork is one of those movies that I remembered watching back in the day on MonsterVision hosted by the legendary Joe Bob Briggs on TNT. I’m so glad that Shudder TV has brought him back because there are so many people out there who have no idea who he is or what he did for B grade horror and science fiction. The MonsterVision version of Waxwork was heavily edited and censored for television but I absolutely loved it. Where else can you get vampires, werewolves, voodoo priests, mummies, demonic babies, and so much more all in one place?
The movie revolves around a waxwork museum that has popped up out of nowhere in a suburban part of town. A group of college students decide to investigate when the mysterious proprietor invites them to come to a private midnight viewing. Each exhibit contains evil beings (eighteen in total) and if the velvet rope barrier is crossed you are teleported into the world of that monster. If you die in that world you become part of the exhibit, which is exactly what the owner wants. If souls are fed to all eighteen of these monsters they will rise up and the dead will take over the world (or some such voodoo nonsense).
The film was distributed by Vestron, and for those of you who don't know already, they released all kinds of 80's B-films. Waxwork is no exception and features terrible dialogue, questionable special effects, tons of blood splatter, and music sometimes so loud you can't hear what the characters are saying. It's not Troma level, but it's close. It may sound like I’m warning you away from the film, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. It certainly falls under the "it's so bad it's good" category because it succeeds at being very self aware. It does a great job of poking fun at multiple horror stereotypes and also works as a pretty good horror anthology film, with each horror exhibit working as a film within the film.
If you can get your hands on the Unrated edition you’ll be treated to more blood spray, longer shots of the gorier scenes, and grosser sound effects. That being said, the R-rated version of the film doesn’t really hold back any punches. If you’re a fan or B-movies, especially from the 80’s, Waxwork is certainly one of the high water marks of the decade.