Now I know what you're thinking.
People made of wax, in a museum-type setting, coming to life at night: that's some Night At the Museum shit right there.
Sure, but we're not talking Robin Williams with a moustache or Ben Stiller slapping monkeys, when this Waxwork comes alive: crazy, disturbing things happen. The film follows a group of friends who are invited to a private night-time showing at a nearby Waxwork, they go there and some of them find that getting too close to the displays makes you actually enter the world presented in said display and unfortunately, each display depicts a monster-related scene. This is a really clever way to bring in the likes of werewolves, vampires, zombies and mummies while still keeping the film original in its approach. This is reminiscent of something like The Cabin In The Woods which seems to have borrowed a lot from this movie. Hell, both films basically end in a monster clusterf***! Expect, of course, thousands of horror movie references from all the classic Universal monster movies to stuff like Night Of The Living Dead, It's Alive, even The Little Shop Of Horrors. Once you get what the film is doing, you just want to sit back, shut your brain off and enjoy the ride.
Waxwork stars Zach Galligan (Gremlins), Dana Ashbrook (Bobby Briggs in Twin Peaks), Deborah Foreman (Valley Girl), the stunning Michelle Johnson and includes short appearances from the likes of John Rhys Davies, Patrick Macnee and David Warner. Also, J. Kenneth Campbell shows up as the Marquis De Sade and clearly has the time of his life. Waxwork is surreal enough to feel original and works completely as a horror movie homage. As a horror movie itself, it's a bit more of a light-hearted effort but it does includes some brilliant gore effects and each mini-world has its own unique style and tense atmosphere. Not really scary, though. Plus, some of the effects haven't dated quite as well as others (see the werewolf) and there's really more of an emphasis on keeping everything slightly tongue-in-cheek. The film takes a bit of a weird turn when one character is revealed to be a tad more masochistic than you would have thought at one point, that was random. It's also pretty harsh with its characters. You know how in a lot of horror comedies they always manage to find some bullshit way to bring back dead characters to life at the end? Well not here: if you're dead, you're dead and that's that.
Overall, I definitely recommend Waxwork. It's a really fun little movie that's full of lols and wacky goings-on but which never forgets to throw gross stuff at you once in a while. Light-hearted but mischievous, Waxwork is one for horror fans wanting an easy, entertaining watch they can get a few laughs out of and have a ball picking out all the references from.