For the 14th day of 30 Days of Terror, I picked a film starring one of my all-time favorite actors, actually two. If you’ve only seen the remake of House of Wax, I strongly suggest you search out the original.
House of Wax (1953) is special because it has Vincent Price and Carolyn Jones. She doesn’t have a huge role, but it’s delightful and unexpected to see her play someone not Morticia Addams. Another fantastic thing about this movie is that it’s the first color 3-D film from Warner Bros. Pictures. There aren’t many in 3-D bits, and the ones inserted remind me of what they did in Friday the 13th 3-D.
Had the Warner Bros. Pictures graphic not been present at the beginning of the film, I would’ve thought this was an American International Pictures movie filled with overly dramatic music, and elaborate low budget sets. As they show the exhibits in the rebuilt House of Wax, sometimes it’s hard to tell which pieces are wax and which are people; which is part of the twist.
The menacing man that Professor Henry Jarrod reminds me of an early Phantom of the Opera or even Mr. Hyde. The make-up is impressive, it doesn’t really look like Vincent, or is it him? When we go to the wax museum, he’s in a wheelchair. There is obviously something diabolical happening; it’s not a secret what he’s doing to create his new displays, to the audience anyway.
House of Wax is an extraordinary piece of art that if you haven’t seen you should see, and if you have, revisit it. Price’s melodramatics are always a treat.
I give it 4.5 out of 5 Stars.