With this review, I got my goal in for this month. Now the real challenge starts. I really don't think I will get a review a day up, but I know I will get more than my usual ten posts. To finish off the month of September though, I watched a film that was written by two Italian horror greats, Dario Argento and Lucio Fulci. With some big names like that, it has to be a good horror movie, right? Lucio Fulci passed away before this project could be completed. Fulci was going to direct Wax Mask (1997), so Sergio Stivaletti, a former effects guy, stepped in to make his first film as a director. As we know all too well though, just because the people on the film know what there are doing, it doesn't always mean the end film will be good.
Wax Mask starts off in the year 1900, in Paris. We come in on a very bloody double murder. The police come in to start their investigation, and one of them hears something. When he looks under a bed, he discovers a child. Twelve years later, now in Rome, we catch up with Sonia (Romina Mondello). Sonia still has dreams about what she saw all those years ago, but she is trying to move on with her life. A new wax museum is about to open, so Sonia decides to try and get a job there making clothes for the wax figures. She meets Boris (Robert Hossein), the guy that makes the wax figures, and owns the museum. Right away, Boris is attracted to Sonia. I don't know if it was in a sexual way, but more of a you remind of me someone way. As she leaves, she runs into Andrea (Riccardo Serventi Longhi), a reporter who is there covering a story on a death at the museum, which we see before meeting the older Sonia actually. Andrea thinks something is going on in the museum, but Sonia doesn't really think so. That is until she sees a display that shows the murder of her father in perfect detail.
I had high hopes for Wax Mask when the film started. The DVD itself was a bit of a disappointment. I had to wait a few days to get it, because it came from New Jersey. There isn't a real menu to be found. It starts up in the chapter selection screen. The opening double murder scene though was a nice start to the film. There were some nice effects to be found there. Sadly, good effects were not always found throughout the film though. Most of the effects are good, but there are some that could really ruin a scene. These were mostly caused by the very cheap looking CGI effects. I didn't even understand why they had some of them. For example, fire all around, and people are trying to get out. They show a long shot of the hallway everyone is in, which shows CGI fire all around. I didn't get why they did that, when they had the set on fire anyway. I guess maybe they added the shot later, so they used CGI? No matter, it didn't look good at all.
The plot itself is much like The House Of Wax films. If you have watched those, you have basically watched Wax Mask as well. There are little twists that set this one apart, from the ones that came before it though. The machines that make people into wax figures gives the film a sort of science fiction feel to it. To top this off, there is even a Terminator tribute thrown in there. This was a bit of a jaw dropping moment for me, when I saw it. Not really in a good way mind you. All it did was help finish up a downward spiral that the film has started in. The actual ending of Wax Mask made no sense to me. I would watch it again to see if I missed anything, but I didn't like it well enough to do that. On the plus side of things, there were some very good looking women to be found here. And they aren't afraid of being topless either. Of course, I realize how sad that just sounded. I'm praising a film because of the nudity. Of well, I always said there is something in every film that I liked. I couldn't help but like the nudity this time, since there are some very beautiful women. One topless shot did actually manage to shock me though. A couple of kids are attacked, only one dies, and with the worst scream I have ever heard. The other was thought to be dead, but the doctors discover that she wasn't dead after all. We see her on a table with a sheet covering her. They pull the sheet back and we see her topless. This really surprised and shocked me since she doesn't look very old. The doctors were saying her age was either 12 or 13. I hope the actress was in fact much older than that, but still.
Over all, Wax Mask wasn't as good as I thought it was going to be. There are some nice effects to be found, be beware of the bad ones as well. The acting seemed to be ok, but the voice overs could have used some more work. Maybe worth a watch once, but it was just another disappointment to me being that is an Argento movie in a way.
2 out of 5 I thought I took a screen capture of the robot but I guess not, sorry
5 days ago