Friday, January 6, 2012

MYSTERY OF THE WAX MUSEUM / Warner Brothers Burbank Studios - 1933

Welcome to Friday Night Bijou Theater with Tabonga, here at The Dungeon!.. What a great movie we have tonite, it stars the great Lionell Atwill and the beautiful Fay Wray in this classic tale of horror filmed in early two-strip Technicolor! As a kid in the fifties and sixties, you'd never know it was in color because, basically, everything was broadcast in b/w.

The uncredited stock music is by Cliff Hess, the end theme is by Bernhard Kaun. Hess was a composer, songwriter, author, publisher, pianist and Irving Berlin's secretary between 1913 and 1918. Kaun had 224 music department credits and worked on PLATINUM BLONDE, THE MIDNIGHT SUN, THE HATCHET MAN, DOCTOR X, THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME, THE OLD DARK HOUSE, KING KONG, HAUNTED GOLD, THE MAYOR OF HELL, THE SON OF KONG, THE WALKING DEAD, FLASH GORDON, SECRET AGENT X-9 and THE RETURN OF DOCTOR X.

Lettuce bring in our littlest Dungeon helper and button pusher, it's... Rufus The Gnat! Howdy, Rufus... He's here to start our show, so, push the big red 'GO' button located there by the espresso machine, now, Rufus!! Here's our soundclip for... MYSTERY OF THE WAX MUSEUM!

Here's the great Lionel Atwill as Ivan Igor, master sculptor, in London. It doesn't take long to see where HOUSE OF WAX came from, which is also a WB production...

Ivan's damn good at his work, his pieces are stunning!

Bad news comes via his business partner... Here's $50 for your crap, I'm going to burn the place down and get all that insurance money!

It only takes a few minutes to set the place completely ablaze with just one match! Which reminds me, I'll never forgive AIP for what they did to Paul Blaisdell in HOW TO MAKE A MONSTER!

It's now New Year's in New York, Ivan has moved to the United States to continue his work...

And then, bodies start disappearing from the morgue! I smell A BUCKET OF BLOOD!!

This is Glenda Farrell as fiesty girl reporter, Florence Dempsey. She tells the editor and boyfriend that she's getting creepy vibes from Mr. Igor.

There was no way in Hell that I wasn't going to show this great pulp magazine cover!

Ahhh, the artist's studio!

When I see shots like this, it makes me want to spit on modern movies, no offense.

Fay Wray plays Charlotte Duncan. Ivan imagines her as his Marie Antoinette figure.

It doesn't get much more atmospheric than this!

Florence gets a good scare in the basement as she tries to find some clues to the mystery.

Love this part where one of the sculptors rises up, looking like his was a wax head.

Ivan surprises Charlotte when he springs up from his wheelchair and grabs her in an embrace!

She accidently cracks off his mask, revealing a twisted monster!

The police finally break Ivan's helper and he spills the beans about what his boss is up to.

It's time to dip Charlotte in the wax, to become his next exquisite creation!

Ivan notices that the police have discovered his hidden lair and have him surrounded.

After some terrific fight scenes, the coppers shoot Ivan on the cat walk, and, of course, he falls head first into the hot wax! It's always a sad story, genius turned madman due to circumstances out of his control, in this case, greed was the culprit...


Exeter said...

A great one!
I love that racy photo of Charlotte on the slab!

Retro Hound said...

When I was a kid, this was the scariest movie I'd ever seen. Not at all like those Universal horrors.

Christopher said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Christopher said...

Glenda Farrels a great wisecracker..I like this one better than the 50's remake..

Wobble The Witch Cat said...

I adore this movie and it's companion piece from Michael Curtiz Doctor " Synthetic Flesh!" X both were filmed in eerie Two Color Technicolor and in both cases it added oodles of spooky atmosphere!

I hear that Mystery's 1953 3D remake Vincent Price's starring vehicle House of Wax is coming out on Blu Ray I hope that they bring it out with Mystery of the Wax Museum as an extra as it did withnthevHouse of Wax DVD release!

Doug Krentzlin said...

"As a kid in the fifties and sixties, you'd never know it was in color because, basically, everything was broadcast in b/w." As a kid in the 50s and 60s, you couldn't have seen MYSTERY OF THE WAX MUSEUM under any circumstances. The film was lost for several decades until a single Technicolor print was discovered in Jack L. Warner's personal collection. And copies of the film weren't available for TV until the early 70s. I know because I did extensive research on this film and its companion DOCTOR X for an article for World Cinema Paradise.

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