House of Wax (1953)
While going through my Vincent Price collection this week, I have really taken a trip down memory lane. I grew up on his movies and they truly were my introduction into the horror genre. Looking back, I believe one of the first Price films that caught my imagination was House of Wax, a movie seemed to just stay with me and I could not wait to grab it when it came out on DVD.
Plot/ A sculptor of wax figures for a museum is horrified when his partner proposes setting fire to the unpopular museum in order to collect the insurance money. As the wax figures melt amid the blaze, the two men have a fight. The sculptor is knocked out in the scuffle and left to "perish" among the flames. He resurfaces many years later for the launch of his own wax museum. The opening coincides with the sudden disappearance of some dead bodies from the city morgue. His assistant begins to suspect his boss of foul play, especially after the deranged wizard of wax begins eyeing his assistant's lovely friend as a model for a waxed figure of Marie Antoinette.
House of Wax has a great and solid storyline, and is definitely one of the few 3D releases that does not have to rely on the special effects for it to be popular. While I do not believe this is Price’s greatest moment as an actor, it may be one of his most important and defining roles. This film started his path into horror history and is the foundation of his icon status (not to mention the influence left on the viewers). Complete with a very stylish and artistic feel, some creepy effects and some of the best early make-up, this movie is a classic and towers over the modern remake.