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House of Wax

4.6 out of 5 stars 372 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Museum fire turns handsome man into human monster who steals bodies from morgue to create lifelike images in wax.

Amazon.com

House of Wax brought Vincent Price into the horror genre, where he fit as snugly as a scalpel in a mad scientist's hand. A remake of the 1933 film Mystery of the Wax Museum, this entertaining Gothic shocker casts Price as a sculptor of wax figures; his unwilling victims--er, "models"--lend their bodies to his lifelike depictions of Marie Antoinette and Joan of Arc. The film was one of the top 10 moneymakers of its year, thanks in part to the 3-D gimmick, which explains why so many things are aimed at the camera (why else would the paddleball man be there?). Footnote to history: director Andre De Toth was blind in one eye, and thus could not see in three dimensions.

Not at all a musty relic of the early-sound era, the original Mystery of the Wax Museum (shot in a soft, trial version of Technicolor) is saucy, pre-Code fun. As corpses disappear from the morgue, Lionel Atwill's wax museum adds to its displays. Coincidence, or the work of the hideously deformed fiend stalking the Manhattan night? Most of the snappy dialogue comes courtesy of reporter Glenda Farrell, a vintage wisecracking dame. --Robert Horton


Special Features

  • Also includes Mystery of the Wax Museum (1933)
  • Round the Clock Premiere: Coast Hails House of Wax

Product Details

  • Actors: Vincent Price, Frank Lovejoy, Phyllis Kirk, Carolyn Jones, Paul Picerni
  • Directors: André de Toth
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, Full Screen, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), French (Unknown), Spanish (Unknown)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French, Portuguese
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Unrated
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: August 5, 2003
  • Run Time: 165 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (372 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00009NHBC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #83,329 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "House of Wax" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I was a teenager when I saw this movie in 3D (this was my 1st 3D movie). It was re-released in the early '70's and I fell in love with anything 3D. I would sit there flipping the glasses up & down amazed that these 2 images could make such a great looking 3D image. Warner Brothers did an "EXCELLENT" job with this transfer. This is how I remembered it. I will not report on the story as every review re-tells it. I want to report on the technical aspects of this movie.

Some are complaining about ghosting (also with Dial M For Murder) but I found that if you tilt the TV screen downwards the ghosting would disappear. If your TV does not tilt, stand up & you will see the difference. Some are complaining about it being grainy. This is probably the scene where Vincent Price is running after Phyllis Kirk in the fog. Yes it looks grainy because the Blu-Ray is so sharp you will see the graininess.
I am buying many 3D movies but none compare with these movies from the '50's. I also have "The Creature From The Black Lagoon", another great 3D movie. Still waiting for "It Came from Outer Space". I just hope that ALL the studios decide to put out their great backlog of '50's 3D movies. The new movies just don't compare. They look fake.
Again this movie is flawless. If you were waiting for a good reason to buy a 3D TV, this is it! This movie will do it for you.
My only wish was that they put it out with the 5.1 surround soundtrack. It is only DTS 2.0. Please note that this does NOT detract from the fabulous transfer.

Movie Studios, PLEASE release your backlogs (even the cartoons from that era, Bugs, Popeye etc.). Disney did a great job with "Working For Peanuts". There are MANY 3D buffs who can't wait for further releases.

Does not get better than this!!!!
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
This is a movie I wanted to see in 3D all my life and Warner Home Video really delivered the goods with this Blu-ray 3D release.

The picture is sharp and detailed, the Warnercolor is beautiful, and the 3D effects are outstanding. The surround stereo is thrilling to hear, and really enhances the entire experience.

This is a much better presentation than Warner's "Dial M for Murder," which was released on 3D Blu-ray last year. Although I enjoyed watching that one, it suffered with heavy ghosting issues at times on my 3D Epson LCD projector. Such is not the case with "House of Wax," which is absolutely spectacular, one of those movies you're gonna want to show family and friends when they stop by.

If you were on the fence about buying this one, it's time to hop down and pay the piper. Congratulations to Warner Bros. for doing an outstanding restoration job on this classic, important piece of cinema history.
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Format: DVD
This movie has wit, excellent pacing and a strong supporting cast (including a blonde Carolyn Jones "Morticia" from the Addams Family) and a small role for Charles Bronson (playing Igor and billed as Charles Buchinsky). Prince gets to be both understated and hammy in the brilliant film, that he is likely best know for.

It catches the atmosphere of the Gaslight period, and is lighting speed, as Price goes from a brilliant artist of life-like wax figures, to a scarred man, nearly killed by his partner wanting the insurance. He is forced to watch his two crowning glories, his Joan of Arc and his Marie Antoinette destroyed in the fire. With scared hands, he is forced to use bodies to fill his new house of wax, while Price also manages to meet out a little revenge to his former partner.

At first bodies are vanishing from the morgue, but when Price sees Jones - the living image of Joan of Arc - and Phyllis Kirk, his Marie Antoinette come to life in his mind - he knows he must possess the bodies of both women to see if greatest works recreated.

Is so spooky, and Kirk ably screams her way from one mishap to the next. Just does not get any better.
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Format: VHS Tape
Horror films in the 1950s were often set in earlier times - including "House of Wax" - a gothic-styled thriller. Vincent Price stars, and this movie was his first of many, many horror films. He's perfect in this role, and it's puzzling why no one had cast him as this type of character before. He plays Prof. Henry Jarrod, a wax figure sculptor who's far too obsessed with his work. He's the head of an unsuccessful wax museum and watches in disgust as other museums make money by showing horror style wax figures, such as mass murderers. When his museum is burned to the ground, he re-emerges and seeks vengeance on persons responsible.

The film received a great deal of buzz as the second 3-D film released by a major studio ("Bwana Devil" was the first); not surprisingly, it was a major hit, becoming the 7th biggest money-maker of 1953. "House of Wax" was actually a remake of a 1933 film, "Mystery of the Wax Museum." In addition, a remake of this film is currently in the works, and should be released in 2005. One of the stars of the upcoming film is Paris Hilton, which should be interesting!

Although I prefer Castle's horror films from this period, Price alone makes this film worthwhile. Carolyn Jones ("Addams Family") is also fun as a kind harlot. Overall, the movie holds up pretty well, mostly because of its creepy tone. I saw the movie in 2-D but still enjoyed it quite a bit.
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