Saturday, October 12, 2019

sausage fingers.

Got a huge pile (ooeer) of brand spanking new movies to watch for 31 days of horror so have spent days (well hours) pouring over what to watch first.

Unfortunately my autie-ness and fear of all things new kicked in so to calm myself down I ended up picking this old favourite.


The Wax Mask (AKA M.D.C. - Maschera di cera, Gaston Leroux's The Wax Mask. 1997).
Dir: Sergio Stivaletti.
Cast: Robert Hossien, Romina Mondello, Riccardo Serventi Longhi, Daniele Auber, Umberto Balli, Gianni Franco and Gabriella Giorgelli.

It's the romantic city of Paris in the year 1900 and a portly, middle aged couple have just been bludgeoned to death in their beds by a cloaked, top-hatted fella with a groovy metal hand.

There are limbs and various bodily parts everywhere and the sheets are ruined leaving the local police at a loss as to who or what could have done such a thing.

After a few minutes heated discussion they all agree that it definitely wasn't the wee girl they found hiding under the bed.

Pretty good job they weren't the Hong Kong police tho' seeing as they'd have probably beaten the shite out of her then confiscated her teddy bear as a weapon before throwing the poor sod in a river.

Needle in mah neck!

Our story quickly jumps (via the groovy world of dissolves) from blood stained sheets to semen stained slappers as it's now twelve years later and the action has moved from gay Paris to ia brothel in Rome where the besuited and bookish boys are enjoying the company of the prettiest (and cleanest looking) whores since Jeune & Jolie.

Or since watching Channel 5's Milkshake this morning obviously.

Anyway, between the shagging of ladies and the drinking of tea the conversation turns to a brand new wax museum that's soon to open across town, no-one has seen it yet but rumour has it that the place is frankly terrifying with the scariest waxworks ever (yes, even scarier than this one) and it's not long before the weaselly whore-shagger and gambling addict Marcel McBeardo has accepted a £5 bet to spend the night in the place.

Waved (as opposed to wracked) off by his favourite and particularly bouncy blonde prostitute (imagine a rouge lipped, corseted and even more council estate Baby Spice and you're partway there) he heads inside to find a quiet place to sleep between the spooky wax figures.

Baby Spice: Whore.

Wandering between the exhibits he comes across a door leading to a basement room and being a nosy bugger heads down to investigate.

Bad move seeing as the basement is full of bottled babies, body parts and jars labeled 'bad things'.

Oh and a spooky hooded man busy working away on something not nice.

The sight is so horrific that poor Marcel can't help poohing himself a little bit, the smell of which attracts the attentions of the aforementioned hooded man who gives chase, easily catching the by now whiffy fella and killing him.

To death.

"Is that a leaky biro in your pocket
or have you cum in your pants?"

When Marcel doesn't turn up for work the following Monday the police soon begin an Investigation into his disappearance, quickly discovering that he was last seen approaching the waxwork where upon a closer inspection they soon find Marcel's shite stained body curled up in a corner just behind the Harry and Megan tableaux.

Due to the smell the coroner decides that he died of fear.

Enter Boris Volkoff (well as played by the very old yet still very sexy Hossein you'd not think twice), the owner of the waxwork who, of course knows nothing about the aforementioned death.

Aye right.

And with the set up out of the way it's time to meet our heroine for the next 90 minutes in the petite form of the young, fresh faced wannabe fashion designer Sonia Lafont (button nosed pixie perfection Mondello) who has just applied for a job making costumes at the wax museum.

Unfortunately Alex (Balli from the cult Bobby Rhodes starrer Tre), Volkoff's lanky, pretty lipped and pudding bowled assistant despises her hairstyle and eels she'd be rubbish at sowing but Boris on the other (non metal) hand, finds young Sonia 'fascinating' and hires her on the spot.
This is the first bit of good fortune Sonia has had in years seeing as her parents were butchered by a madman and that she's had to spend the last twelve years living with her vastly overweight and blind auntie Francesca (cinema legend and ex-model for the Sadistik photo-comic Giorgelli) .

But wait!

Does this mean that she's the wee girl from the start of the film?

And more importantly is it still OK to fancy her?*

Mondello: Fag.

Leaving the waxwork museum with a spring in her step and a heaving bosom Sonia is startled by the young news pup Andrea Conversi (Longhi, star of I tre volti del terrore and some other stuff) sneakily taking photo's of her.

After first wanting to slap him, Andrea's smooth movies and easy good looks soon have her, if not eating out of his hand at least sucking his fingers on a promise of a McDonalds and a movie.


But seeing as we're in an Italian horror movie it's no surprise that whilst all this mushy (and fairly sticky) stuff is going down, the mad bloke with the cloak, top hat and metal hand is skulking about the local parks buying a wee urchin's candy floss before sticking a huge syringe into his neck, stripping him down to his undies and filling him with warm sickly liquids.

Which reminds me, how is your uncle Peter doing?

Too late Noel Edmonds discovered he'd
left his special wanking hand on the shelf.

Whilst all these murders are going on, Andrea comes to the conclusion that they may be related in some way to the wax museum.

Sonia tho' is too busy to care seeing as she's being romantically pursued by Boris (who gives her a really classy pearl necklace) as well as wondering if the metal hand murders could be in any way related to her parents deaths.

Hmmmmm......a hard one that.

Meanwhile Baby Spice has been kidnapped, stripped to a pair of (leather) undies and injected with stuff before being placed in a display featuring Jack The Ripper.

As a whore.

Oh the irony.

"Laugh now!"

Andrea with his patented sweet talking and even sweeter cock (possibly), manages to 'talk' Sonia into letting him into the wax museum after hours to take pictures of the exhibits before heading off for tea at Aunt Francesca's house.

The conversation turns to Sonia's childhood and Francesca tells the sad story of Sonia's mother, Gayle who was unhappily married to a weird bloke named Boris who did bad things with candles.

Finding solace in the arms of a nice (non mental) man named Victor, Gayle began a torrid affair but as is the way in these things, Boris caught them red handed (and sore arsed).

Being slightly upset at finding his wife spreadeagled across the bed like a common strumpet Boris leapt at Victor and some serious bitch-slapping ensued culminating with Boris falling arse over tit into a huge vat of boiling hot wax that just happened to be bubbling away in the living room.


The patented Ivanka Trump mooth shite-in chair,
only £19.99 from Paliwank industries.

Andrea begins to suspect that Sonia's dad maybe the same Boris that now runs the wax museum and heads back to over there, leaving Sonia just enough time to get herself kidnapped and threatened with being fed to some hungry pigs.

Rescued by Boris before any hot pig on pretty lady action can take place (booo!) Sonia is taken to the museum (rather than being taken up the casino which is what Boris would rather do, you can tell by the look in his eyes), dragged down to the secret laboratory and stripped and forced into another pair of leather undies (I hope they're clean) ready for embalming.

Mondello: Any excuse.

But don't fear (oh go on then, fear a wee bit) because the ultimate crime solving force of Andrea and the blind Francesca are hot on Boris' trail and determined to rescue our sweaty and trussed up like a turkey heroine.

Will they find Sonia before her dad fills her with his special liquid?

Will there be any more unnecessary close-ups of her glistening breasts?

And will a giant, steam powered Terminator style robot turn up for no reason?

Co-written by the late, great Lucio Fulci and the hardly ever late but still great Dario Argento with effects genius Sergio Stivaletti behind the camera how could a movie like Wax Mask fail to entertain?

Throwing caution, logic and budgetary constraints to the wind (but keeping hold of those handy red filters), Stivaletti has crafted a stylishly saucy slice of pure cinematic gold that's as cheesy as it is chilling, tho' whether the cheesiness is intentional is up for debate.

I for one don't care when a movie is as enjoyable as this.

Often cruelly slated by 'proper' fans of the genre, there's lots to love about Wax Mask if you're willing to let yourself go with the flow, not least the wonderful production values, the vivid deep colours, the lush score and lastly but by no means least, the yummy Romina Mondello strapped to a steampunk style operating table wearing nowt but some leather briefs and a layer of shimmering sweat.

Even the cack handed dubbing (the worst I've ever heard) courtesy of distributors Film 2000 can't detract from the movie's overall greatest, if anything it adds another unique dimension to the proceedings, as if the dialogue was being presented thru' some kind of bio-mechanical drunken trumpet.

And there aren't many films you can say that about.

Apart from the bizarro sound mix used on the Warner two disc release of the Peter Cushing Dalek movies back in the early nineties.

At once a celebration of the best (and worse) excesses of Italian horror cinema, Wax Mask deserves to be re-evaluated and smothered with the love, attention and sticky kisses it so richly deserves.

Do it now.

*Yes and yes.

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