Wax Mask (1997)

M.D.C. - Maschera di cera (1997) 98min | Horror | 4 April 1997 (Italy) Summary: Paris, 1900: a couple are horribly murdered by a masked man with a metal claw who rips their hearts out. The sole survivor and witness to the massacre is a young girl. Twelve years later in... See full summary¬†¬Ľ
Countries: Italy, FranceLanguages: Italian

If you are a film buff then there’s a big write up about how Dario Argento worked on this with Lucio Fulci at the end of Fulci’s life (and they argued a bit about it too). I am not a film buff. I write these notes as a personal memory aid, not much more. But go read up about that if it’s interesting.

This, if you don’t mind the gore and the sometimes tawdry plot machinations, is a fairly decent horror movie set in the early 1900s. We meet many characters but they all have their own character and purpose in the movie: the sex worker and one of her clients, a mysterious man who runs a mysterious wax museum, the costume designer with a traumatic past, the brash journalist, the weird young man who helps out at the museum.

People disappear. New exhibits arrive at the museum. And at the heart of it all, a simple vengeance story.

The effects are really quite good for the age of the movie (at the time of writing it is 23 years old) and the quality of the picture is also very good. The plot has some holes, if you pay careful attention, and perhaps a bit much time is spent lovingly on the gore (thanks Dario) instead of letting the plot unfold at perhaps a slightly more leisurely pace. The characters lapse a little into tropes, but so much so that I wonder if it was not deliberate.

But it was quite good really.

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