Mania Grade: A+
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- Special Features: A+
- Picture Quality: A+
- Rated: Not Rated
- Staring: Vincent Price, Frank Lovejoy, Phyllis Kirk, Carolyn Jones, Charles Bronson
- Written By: Crane Wilbur (screenplay), Charles Belden (story)
- Directed By: Andre De Toth
- Original Year of Release: 1953
- Distrubtor: Warner Brothers
- Special Feaures: See Below
House of Wax Blu-ray Review
Shot by a One-Eyed Man!
By Robert T. Trate
October 04, 2013
The times weren’t so different as they are now. The big studios were trying to find a way to bring people back to the theater. Television was all the craze and, with that, people started to discover classic movies and original programming in the comfort of their own homes. Why go out when their movies were on your own personal screen at home? Yes, it was the birth of 3D movies and after a little known film named Bwana Devil (1952) premiered in 3D, the big studios took a gamble on this latest gimmick. Jack Warner, one of the day’s biggest movie moguls, hired a one-eyed director by the name of Andre De Toth to tackle the new medium. This bore unto the world, House of Wax and the world has never been the same.
To celebrate the 60th anniversary of House of Wax, Warner Brothers has released a special edition of the film on Blu-ray and in Blu-ray 3D (special equipment and glasses required). Only fitting, as this was their first film in this format. The film stars the legendary Vincent Price as Prof. Henry Jarrod, a man obsessed with his wax figures and who will do anything to protect them. The film is a combination of the Phantom of the Opera and Dracula. There is a beautiful damsel in distress, revenge, murder, and what one person is willing to do for immortality. Price shines in his second big horror film (The Fly being his first). Only, this time, he plays the madman. If you have yet to experience House of Wax, Warner Brothers has pulled out all the stops and gave the fans an edition they so desperately need for their collections. The colors live and breathe much like Jarrod’s wax creations. Hands down, this is a great Halloween treat if ever there was one.
With any release, there is always the lure of better picture quality and new special features. For someone who already owns House of Wax on multiple formats, this edition packed plenty of surprises. The first being “House of Wax: Unlike Anything You’ve Seen Before!”. This brand new retrospective was 48 minutes long and featured many of Hollywood’s authorities on movies, make-up, and directing. Everyone from Martin Scorsese and Wes Craven, to Rick Baker and Joe Dante chimed in with House of Wax knowledge. The biggest surprise was that the director had only one eye! Watching the film would have been a problem, yet Andre De Toth figured it out, mathematically. Scorsese really reveals the history of the film as well as that he made his own cast and crew watch the film before making Hugo. The House of Wax was his template for getting the 3D done right!
Another great special feature to this release is the addition of Mystery of the Wax Museum. This film from 1933 is the precursor to House of Wax and the basis for the film. So, not only are you getting one classic, but another which it was based on. Shot in 28 Days, House of Wax is still one of the highest grossing horror films of all time (adjusted dollars, of course). Warner Brothers not only gave us a great treat for Halloween, but delivered a perfect Blu-ray release if ever there was one.
The Blu-ray Experience:
Blu-ray 3D Edition
House of Wax: Unlike Anything You’ve Seen Before!
Commentary by David Del Valle and Constantine Nasr
1933 Warner Bros Feature: Mystery of the Wax Museum
Check out this Clip from the House of Wax: