Saturday, December 27, 2014

TERROR IN THE WAX MUSEUM - Shani Wallis - "Happy Family" (1973)

"Terror In The Wax Museum" is one of the more obscure movies that have been made over the years about wax museums, and fits in perfect between X-Mas and New Years!

The lineage of wax museum movies that culminated in 1973 with "Terror In The Wax Museum,"  includes all these great titles! From 1933, "Mystery Of The Wax Museum," 1936, "Midnight At The Wax Museum," 1940, "Charlie Chan At The Wax Museum," 1953, "House Of Wax," and in 1969, "Nightmare In Wax!" Let's face it, wax museums are just freaky!!

This particular wax museum is not just your ordinary run of the mill wax museum, Hell No, this place is also a chamber of horrors featuring famous murderers!

Next door to the chamber of horrors is the "Clock and Horn" pub, and their main attraction, singer and actress Shani Wallis as dance hall queen Laurie Mell! Laurie is singing a unique and dark little ditty about a happy family of undertakers that not all the patrons are comfortable with!

Not all the guys get rattled by the dark and dreary tunes!

These wax characters are a little more animated than most! Lizzie Borden, Bluebeard, Jack The Ripper, and Marie Antoinette!

Somebody or something murders Claude Dupree, the owner of the wax museum as played by the always astounding John Carradine, and all the evidence points to the Jack The Ripper wax figure!!

Nicole (Torture Garden) Shelby has the role of Claude Dupree's niece Margaret Collins who is set to inherit the whole place after Claude's death!

Steven (Zabo) Marlo is Karkoff, Claude Dupree's deformed but harmless assistant!  He is also the ticket taker at the door for that extra added special effect!

What a roomful of amazing talent! Broderick (Highway Patrol, The Vulture) Crawford, Elsa (Bride Of Frankenstein, Mary Poppins) Lanchester, and Ray (X: The Man With The X-Ray Eyes, Panic In The Year Zero) Milland!

Broderick Crawford puts in a fine performance as Amos Burns, a guy who wants to buy the wax museum and move the whole thing to America! He also plays a very good Shish Kabob!

I just like this shot in the Chinese restaurant!

The always great Lisa Lu as Madam Yang reads Margaret's fortune! Lisa was on a ton of TV shows whenever the script called for a beautiful gal named Su Wo Toi, Mei Ling, Quong Lia, or Hsieh-Lin etc.

Ray Milland as Harry Flexner, and Steven Marlo as Karkoff should have been the rightful heirs to the Dupree Chamber Of Horrors! From the poster etc, you are totally mislead that Karkoff is some kind of monster, but in reality, he's just this poor misfigured gentle soul!

Imagine that!! Margaret is being plagued by bad dreams! How very odd!

Then dead Uncle Claude pays Margaret a visit in the middle of the night! At this point, she's ready to get the Hell out of Dodge!

It gets even worse for Margaret when Jack The Ripper comes back to life! At least some nails to the face prove that it's some human imposter wearing a lifelike mask!

I actually fell asleep watching this movie three separate times, but the good news is that when I put all the pieces back together, I liked it quite a bit!

Margaret is completely fried by this point, but by the time it's all over, she'll be all right!

After Dupree's murder is solved, the wax museum gets a new exhibit!

I had to include this Mexican lobby card because of the blatant error they made! Lizzie Borden's picture is labeled Lucretia Borgia, and Lucretia Borgia's pic is labeled Lizzie Borden, and that pretty much sums up this krazy mixed-up movie, and this krazy mixed-up year!!


TABONGA! said...

I actually saw this one when it came out, didn't remember the amazing Cult Hall Of Fame cast though. What I do remember is.. Karkoff, a weird take on Karloff.

Grant said...

It's embarrassing that I've never seen this from beginning to end, only in a sketchy way once.

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