Director Andre deToth
Year 1953
Starring Vincent Price, Phyllis Kirk, Frank Lovejoy, Carolyn Jones, Paul Picerni, Roy Roberts
Run Time 88min
Age Policy

18 and up; Children 6 and up will be allowed only with a parent guardian. No children under the age of 6 will be allowed.

More Info IMDb

Aside from a couple of visual shocks here and there, few of the 3D movies of the early 1950s left much of an impression on viewers. But that was not the case with Vincent Price's HOUSE OF WAX, a nifty thriller adapted from Lionel Atwill and Fay Wray's 1933 hit THE MYSTERY OF THE WAX MUSEUM.

If you saw HOUSE OF WAX in 3D -- it was the first major 3D feature photographed in color -- you were impressed by director Andre de Toth's expert use of the format (even more impressive when you learn that de Toth was blind in one eye and couldn't actually see any of the 3D effects he was staging). If you saw HOUSE OF WAX without 3D, you still got a classy, memorably creepy horror show.

Price plays Professor Henry Jarrod, who loses the waxworks he had dedicated his life to creating when a sleazy business associate torches the gallery for insurance money. Scarred and crippled by the devastating fire, Jarrod nevertheless rebuilds a new museum, with the able assistance of Igor (Charles Bronson), his mute partner. When Sue Ellen (Phyllis Kirk) notices the new figure of Joan of Arc bears an uncanny resemblence to her recently deceased friend Cathy (Carolyn Jones), she snoops around for answers and uncovers some unsavory examples of "artistic license."

Aside from its many shocking sights (including the eerie sequence in which Jarrod watches helplessly as his wax masterpieces melt before his eyes in the fire), HOUSE OF WAX throws in a few completely superfluous and utterly amusing effects, such as high-kicking chorus girls and a street entertainer who performs a memorable trick that beautifully shows off the 3D cinematography. The great success of HOUSE OF WAX led to Price being cast in many more thrillers, including THE MAD MAGICIAN. As for the 2005 non-3D semi-remake with then-trendy Paris Hilton prominently featured in the cast, the less said about that the better. (James Sanford)