Tonight on MeTV- we present an encore performance of a 1950s film that is iconic to the horror genre- notable not only for its original 3-D presentations in theatres, but also for being one of the films that immediately comes to mind when you think of Vincent Price- it’s the creepy, colorful tale of the “House of Wax”!
The story takes us back to the early 1900s, and the New York museum of Professor Henry Jarrod- a gifted sculptor who creates historic tableaus out of wax- and prefers the educational and artistic approach, instead of the sensationalism seen in other wax museums of the era. This preference is not shared by his business partner, Matthew Burke- he feels these cultural displays aren’t exciting enough, and haven’t been bringing in enough revenue. The money-hungry Burke tries to get Jarrod to see his viewpoint- but the artist refuses. Burke then hits on a “plan B”- burn the museum down, and profit from the insurance money! He takes matters into his own hands, setting the place on fire- with Jarrod trapped inside and thought to be killed in the conflagration!
Years later, it is a shock to discover that Jarrod has miraculously survived! Due to injuries suffered in the conflagration at his original museum, he is now confined to a wheelchair, with his hands so crippled that he himself cannot do any sculpting any longer. He must rely on the help of assistants, including the mute sculptor Igor, to create his new displays. He plans to open this new wax museum, but, surprisingly, he no longer shuns the “house of horrors” type exhibits- and will feature the chilling, thrilling scenes in his new place.
At about the same time, the streets of New York are being haunted by disfigured killer in black! He claims Cathy, the fiancée of Jarrod’s old partner Burke- who appears to have committed suicide- as a victim. Cathy’s friend Sue finds her friend’s body and comes face to frightening face with the killer. Later on- the deceased young woman’s body mysteriously disappears from the morgue!
Jarrod’s new museum is opening- and Sue joins her sculptor boyfriend Scott to view the displays there. One of them bothers her a lot- because the wax figure of Joan of Arc strongly resembles her late friend! Jarrod himself rolls up in his chair and offers an explanation-he used photos of the dead girl as reference in creating this figure. He is also struck by Sue’s uncanny resemblance to his original version of Marie Antoinette that was destroyed in his first museum’s fire. He asks her to consider modelling for a new figure of Marie, to be added to his museum collection in the future.
Posing for him is the furthest thing from Sue’s mind, because she is not convinced by his story of using morgue photos. She sneaks into the museum to do a closer inspection of the Joan of Arc statue- leading to a shocking confrontation that could see her – and not a wax figure of her-become a permanent part of the museum collection !
This 1953 film is impressive, even without being in 3-D- with amazing color, frightening effects, and an outstanding cast, headlined by Vincent Price as Prof. Jarrod, and Charles Bronson ( as Charles Buchinsky) as his mute lackey Igor, as well as Carolyn Jones, the future “Addams Family” Morticia , and more! We’ll talk about the cast, and have provide information on the production, including an odd irony regarding the director Andre DeToth. And- don’t forget the famed “paddleball” scene, which may have been impressive in 3-D, but now seems -well- kind of silly ( and may trigger some viewers’ gag reflex!) Of course, there are plenty of Svengoolie gags as well!
"House of Wax" returns to MeTV tonight at 8 pm eastern/pacific, 7 central time- if you need help finding where and when it airs in your area, check your local listings ,or at www.metv.com . The many fans live-Tweeting during the show ,using the hashtag #svengoolie , have been keeping our program among the top trending items nationally on Twitter every Saturday night, and MeTV encourages you to do the same! For our viewers in the Chicago area, at 11 am on WCIU, the U, we have an encore showing of Peter Cushing’s “Evil of Frankenstein” for you to enjoy.
Thanks for making our second Sven 40th anniversary shirt a sell-out in about four days! The next one will be showing up around the first of September- with more special merchandise coming soon.
Last weekend, we were so honored by the Sven anniversary festivities at the Flashback Weekend convention- and taped some great future and celebrity interviews for future shows! It was great to meet so many fans of our show- many who had travelled long distances to be with us! It was there that we made the full official announcement- coming up this fall, DC Comics will present chapters in their books of “Svengoolie Meets the DC Universe”- featuring yours truly battling a villainous menace with the help of Justice League heroes! More information will be forthcoming!
Please join us tonight to wax horrific with the great Vincent Price!