Wax (2014) d. Victor Matellano (Spain)
On the one hand, this love letter to horror cinema delivers several cult figure cameos (Tombs of the Blind Dead’s Lone Fleming, Paul Naschy’s voice), some gooey eviscerations, and a welcome scenery-and-flesh-chewing showcase for Spanish horror icon Jack Taylor (gussied up as Vincent Price in House of Wax). The rest of the time, however, we’re trapped with smart aleck Jimmy Shaw (working his Brad Dourif features overtime) wandering around a supposedly haunted wax museum – where he has been challenged to remain until dawn – with an array of videocameras recording every snoozy, snarky move he makes.
Just to break up the monotony, we’re occasionally shown clips of Taylor’s mad Dr. Knox’s self-recorded sanguinary shenanigans, which are nasty and gruesome and should nicely pad out longtime SPX man Colin Arthur’s sizzle reel.
Regrettably, these completely gratuitous interstitials only serve to point up the flabbiness of Matellano and co-screenwriter Hugo Stuven Casasnovas’ primary narrative. (I’m not sure what repair bill respected thespian Geraldine Chaplin needed to pay in order to be coerced into appearing as an enigmatic TV producer, but she gives it her all like the pro she is.)
|Look, mom! I'm in a movie with Geraldine Chaplin!|
Matellano directed the highly anticipated documentary Clawing! A Journey Through Spanish Horror and clearly has his heart in the right place with nods to everything from gothic chillers to found footage to torture porn, so we’ll just cross our fingers and hope for better next time. (Next time, of course, being the upcoming remake of José Ramón Larraz’s 1974 lesbian bloodsucker classic, Vampyres. Don’t mess it up, amigo.)