House of Wax (3-D)

Unknown Premiere

USA | 90 MINUTES | (Unknown) |

HOUSE OF WAX (3-D)

It is one of the supreme ironies of Hollywood history that what is generally regarded as the best of all 3-D movies was directed by a man with one eye, André De Toth. Following the initial 3-D movie, Bwana Devil (1952), House of Wax dazzled audiences with its sumptuous production values, its grippingly lurid Grand Guignol excesses, its wonderfully witty three-dimensional thrills (Dig those can-can dancers' soaring extensions and the ping-pong ball that streaks right towards the viewer's eye!), and the introduction of Vincent Price's definitive screen persona as a floridly creepy, strangely pitiable horror icon. While reveling in the pulp conventions of a thriller involving bodies stolen from the morgue, a Phantom of the Opera-like disfigured hero-villain, and the "shock" of discovering just how and why those figures in the wax museum look so life-like, De Toth brought an exhilarating visual flair and a surprisingly poignant emotionalism to his project that have only increased in seductive resonance over the last half-century.