Film #185: THE WAX MASK aka MASCHERA DI CERA
Wax Mask (aka MDC Maschera Di Cera)
2.75 out of 5 stars
Reportedly originally planned by producer Dario Argento as a “come back” film for Lucio Fulci, this riff on HOUSE OF WAX was directed by Italian Special FX guru, Sergio Stivaletti, due to Fulci’s untimely death. The story, if you’ve seen HoW, will seem pretty darn familiar, but Stivaletti manages to add some neat little twists to it. The feel now is still Gothic, but there are elements of – dare I say – steampunk that make it seem new. As one might expect given Stivaletti’s background, the FX are pretty neat (especially given its time (1997). The sets are beautiful as are the costumes. But again, the story is so familiar that it robs the film of its novelty. Recommended for people who like Italian versions of Hammer films or Gothic dramas. I’ll certainly be looking for more of Stivaletti’s films (he’s directed 5).