A WORD TO THE WISE- PLEASE DO NOT POST SPOILERS!
Tonight on MeTV, it’s a creepy tale we are somewhat familiar with from a later remake- but this is the original version, presented in close to its original state, thanks to some skillful remastering! In all its two-strip Technicolor glory, we proudly present a masterpiece of body sculpting, body snatching, and somebody out for revenge of the most gruesome kind- as we delve into the “Mystery of the Wax Museum”!
This 1933 horror classic begins on a stormy night in London- as sculptor Ivan Igor is distracted from his artistic endeavors by a welcome interruption- a patron of the arts, who is so moved by Igor’s incredibly lifelike wax sculptures of historical figures, including his personal favorite , Marie Antoinette, that he plans to submit Igor’s works to the Royal Academy- as soon as he returns from a trip to Egypt. This happy occasion turns tragic, when, later, Igor’s business partner Worth arrives with bad news- the wax museum is in financial trouble, due to the public going to other such establishments that specialize in crime and horror. Worth has a simple solution- burn the place down for the insurance money! Igor naturally refuses- he will not sacrifice his creations for money, especially with the promise of fame and appreciation of his craft within his grasp. The impatient Worth doesn’t care, and starts the place ablaze- as he and Igor tussle! Igor is knocked out, and Worth leaves, heartlessly locking his partner in the museum as it becomes an inferno.
We pick up the story twelve years later in New York- where, surprisingly, Igor is preparing to open an all-new wax museum. He has survived the fire, but has paid a terrible price- he is confined to a wheel chair, and his burned hands can no longer sculpt- so he has hired artists to do that in his place.
We meet someone new- a brassy female reporter, Florence, whose career isn’t exactly on fire ( no offense to Igor for that one). Her editor is ready to fire her ( sorry again) but sends her out to investigate the suicide of a lovely young model. Something strange is going on at the morgue, though, as a mysterious misshapen figure prowls among the dead bodies, and makes off with one- naturally, that of the model! The heisting of the body makes the local authorities start to think this could mean her death was murder- not suicide, and that a major suspect would be her boyfriend, a wealthy playboy named Winton. While he is in custody, newshen Florence comes to chat with him for her story- and begins to think he is innocent!
We meet Florence’s roommate, the beautiful Charlotte, whose boyfriend Ralph just happens to be among the sculptors working for Igor. When the two of them drop by to visit with Ralph before the museum’s grand opening- Igor is struck by Charlotte’s resemblance to his ideal vision of Marie Antoinette- and Florence is struck by the figure of Joan of Arc’s amazing resemblance to the deceased model. This leads her to sneak into the museum basement- where she sees that monstrous being we saw in the morgue earlier- but she can’t get the police to believe her!
Things get tense as Igor pursues Charlotte to become his new Marie- as he and his unsavory cronies endanger the lives of both Charlotte and Florence- and horrible secrets are revealed!
Yes, this is the original version of the same story we saw in the Vincent Price 3-D hit from the 1950s, “House of Wax”- and, although many of us know the story, we AGAIN ask that no one post spoilers for the benefit of those who have not seen that –or this film. We’ll explain a little about this early version of Technicolor, and the film’s restoration; introduce the incredible cast, including Lionel Atwill and the woman whom made “King Kong” famous, Fay Wray; present a new song; and- look out-there will be more fur ( or fins and feathers ) flying when Kerwyn is again antagonized by Toony the Tuna from “Toon In With Me”!
“Mystery of the Wax Museum” opens tonight at 8 pm eastern/pacific, 7 central on MeTV, which invites you to live-Tweet during the program on Twitter, using the hashtag #svengoolie . Our Chicago area fans can enjoy one more look at “The Thing That Couldn’t Die” at 11am this morning on our main local station, CW26.
It has now been exactly one full year since we were locked out of our studio facilities due to the COVID 19 pandemic. It is amazing to think it has been that long- and we are hopeful that we will be back in our dungeon studio within a few more months. It has not been easy, producing our shows from home- but it feels worthwhile when we hear how we have, even in some small way, helped viewers make it through this unthinkable situation.
And- a personal note- thank you to everyone who was kind enough to wish Rich Koz a happy birthday!
Tonight, however, the wax isn’t in birthday candles-which aren’t what’s burning- so join us for an early horror classic!