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CHARLES BRONSON SERVES VINCENT PRICE IN 'HOUSE OF WAX'

Bronson carries HOUSE OF WAX Year: 1953 Rates: ***1/2

The best part of HOUSE OF WAX is the drawn-out prologue setting up how Vincent Price adores his dramatically historical wax creations ranging from Joan of Arc to John Wilkes Booth to his prize, Marie Antoinette... 

As he goes on and on about each piece and how much time and dedication was put in, the fire set by his greedy antagonist partner is not only heartbreaking but feels like the end of a brilliantly beautiful short film in itself: Which doesn't mean the rest of director AndrĂ© De Toth's visually stunning 3D classic completely falls short... 

Although Price's transformation from a sophisticated artist into a crippled mask-wearing madman is a bit clumsy, and somewhat confusing, jammed with uninteresting would-be male heroes yet is eventually reignited by de Toth's previous year's CRIME WAVE ingenue Phyllis Kirk, missing her missing roommate Carolyn Jones... who ends up in wax and she could be next. But the most intense character is played by Charles Bronson in his character-actor days, also from CRIME WAVE, here as a borderline psychotic mute servant Igor, and not surprising, given his now legendary prowess — with Price on the sidelines he alone takes the action mantle; a genre that WAX molds into after the colorfully Gothic-horror catapult. But hey, it's 3D... where movement is a must. 

House of Wax artwork featuring Phyllis Kirk

Vincent Price and Charles Bronson in HOUSE OF WAX

Vincent Price in HOUSE OF WAX
Vincent Price in HOUSE OF WAX
Phyllis Kirk in HOUSE OF WAX
Vincent Price in HOUSE OF WAX giving Phyllis Kirk head
Charles Bronson in HOUSE OF WAX
Charles Bronson & Phyllis Kirk in Andrew de Toth's CRIME WAVE & HOUSE OF WAX

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