Terror in the Wax Museum – USA, 1973

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‘You can’t tell the living from the dead.’

Terror in the Wax Museum is a 1973 American horror feature film directed by Georg Fenady from a screenplay by Jameson Brewer from a story by Andrew J. Fenady. This production was shot back-to-back with Arnold using some of the same cast.

Terror in the Wax Museum (1)

The BCP Productions movie stars Ray Milland, Elsa Lanchester, Maurice Evans, John Carradine, Mark Edwards, Louis Hayward, Patric Knowles and Broderick Crawford.

London: After Claude Dupree (John Carradine), the owner of a wax museum ‘Chamber of Horrors’ is murdered, his niece decides to continue the family business, which has long attracted the attention of the police…

Reviews:

“It’s a pity the movie is bore; the horror is tepid and the mystery isn’t much better, and the only real pleasure is seeing the familiar faces. Director Georg Fenady would go on to direct Arnold, a better movie with a sense of humor and something of a cult following…” Dave Sindelar, Fantastic Movie Musings and Ramblings

” …even though Terror in the Wax Museum is short on terror and long on plot, the movie revives a tradition as spooky as any in the thrill-horror genre.” The Hollywood Reporter

“Ordinary variation on the wax museum theme, notable mainly for the gallery of ageing stars taking part.” Alan Frank, The Horror Film Handbook, Batsford, 1982

“The film was produced in the same year as The Exorcist (1973) and the comparison between the two films shows just what a dull and dated film this is […] Terror in the Wax Museum looks like a poverty row studio film from the 1940s. One can hear the arthritic creaks as both the plot and cast of genre veterans.” Richard Scheib, Moria

“The imaginative story idea and an excellent cast […] is wasted by poor and unimaginative direction and writing, although both the score and the production design are excellent. Particularly aggravating in some scenes is the ‘models’ inability to stand still!” Phil Hardy (editor), The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror

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“Parade of character actors turns this shallow tallow House of Wax pastiche into a passable film. If nothing else holds your interest, you can try identifying each of the familiar faces.” John Stanley, Creature Features

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Choice dialogue:

Marie Antoinette: “J’accuse Monsieur Dupree. Traitor!”

Sergeant Michael Hawks: “The Chinese serve the slipperiest food in the world and then hand you a pair of slippery sticks to pick it up with!”

Cast and characters:

  • Ray Milland as Harry Flexner
  • Elsa Lanchester as Julia Hawthorn – Arnold; Bride of Frankenstein
  • Maurice Evans as Inspector Daniels
  • John Carradine as Claude Dupree
  • Mark Edwards as Sergeant Michael Hawks
  • Louis Hayward as Tim Fowley
  • Patric Knowles as Mr. Southcott
  • Lisa Lu as Madame Yang
  • Steven Marlo as Karkov
  • Nicole Shelby as Margaret Collins
  • Shani Wallis as Laurie Mell
  • Broderick Crawford as Amos Burns
  • Ben Wright as First Constable
  • Mathilda Calnan as First Charwoman
  • Peggy Stewart as Second Charwoman
  • Leslie Thompson as Constable Parker

Image credits: The Dwrayger Dungeon

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