Nightmare in Wax (1969): UV
Stay away from this movie like your life depends on it. If you have a soft spot for broke-as-fuck grindhouse movies with plots about as consistent as wet toilet paper, maybe you’ll get something out of this, but you should be ashamed of yourself if you do.
Some eye-patch wearing, Scooby-Doo villain looking motherfucker broods around in the back room of his wax museum concocting potions that he can use to turn Hollywood stars into wax statues so he can display them in his museum and get all excited about it. Actually, they don’t even turn into wax statues; the potions just induce a paralytic state that makes these movie stars look like wax statues of movie stars when really they are just catatonic movie stars, frozen like wax statues. He ensnares a few stars who have wronged him in the past and props them up in his museum. The old studio he worked for had a little party at which his boss purposely disfigured his face for life. Instead of just getting over it like a man, he becomes a mad scientist / wax statue ringmaster who wears, what appears to be, clothing from that Devo video and he abducts studio stars/personnel one by one.
I know what you’re thinking: “Oh, sick! Does he, like, molest them, or jerk off on them, or at least lick them like Sarah Connor’s hospital guard in Terminator 2?!” Nope. He just freezes them and then chills in his lab, which is full of bubbling test tubes and weird tubes and whatnot.
The captured stars are frozen statues, trapped on their respective podiums… or are they? Just when you think you understand the STUPID concept of pretend-wax incapacitated movie stars, all of a sudden they are robots or zombies or hypnotized or something and they follow the orders of the villain. Basically all of them act like an obedient Keanu Reeves. This potion makes the date rape drug look like Tylenol.
The characters are ridiculous and the writing is some of the laziest I’ve ever seen. They try to work in a little sexiness and are not very creative about it. Our hideously scarred villain, who looks like he is made of Michael Shannon and William Shatner DNA, makes out with this girl he is chasing OUT OF NOWHERE before shanking her. One minute she is terrified, but she succumbs to his (un)sexy advances.
The cops get a little suspicious and have inexcusable incompetence, even for a grindhouse movie. They fucking INSPECT the statues and still take forever to piece together what’s happening. There’s a snore-inducing car chase and no gore. The ending is (SURPRISE!) an anti-climactic cop out.