Waxwork (1988): 29 Years Later and Still A Fan Favorite – Retro Review

The eighties unlocked some of the most beloved horror films of all time. We met Freddy Kreuger in our nightmares, got lost with The Lost Boys, opened PinHead’s box, and purchased the Good Guy doll Chucky. On June 17, 1988, director Anthony Hickox unleashed another cinematic, horror masterpiece for the world to enjoy: Waxwork. Today, fans still rave about this film and for good reason. Join the PopHorror family as we look back on this classic film and discuss why it continues to be a fan favorite!


A group of high school students are invited to a mysterious wax museum that has recently graced its presence in their small suburban town. Upon their arrival, they take note of the disturbing wax displays. Some even take a closer look and get more than they bargained for. I guess it is a good thing it was at least free to get in! Then again, losing your life would be a valuable price to pay for witnessing art.

The film stars Zach Galligan (Gremlins) as Mark Loftmore, Michelle Johnson (The Glimmer Man) as China Webster, Deborah Foreman (Valley Girl) as Sarah Brightman, and Dana Ashbrook (Twin Peaks) as Tony. The essence of this cast is as dynamic as the film itself. Each brought something memorable to the table and helped pave the way for Waxwork to become a  success.


Bad Moon Rising – After arriving at the wax museum Mark, China, Sarah, and Tony are quickly drawn to the morbid displays. They wander off in different directions in search of something they don’t even know. Tony is the first to experience the ordeal. He stumbles across a wax figure of a werewolf which he notes is “killer”. Reaching for his lighter, he accidentally throws it into the display. Of course, it is o.k. to just go in for your lighter, right? The gif below would suggest otherwise…

I Want To Suck Your Blood! – The next wax display to cause a disturbance would be the one China encounters. She observes a wax figure of an attractive man. Out loud, she says “Well, what are you supposed to be doing handsome?” The rope surrounding the art just drops thus, allowing her to walk into a dream er…nightmare. This time instead of werewolves it is vampires that must be defeated! This is definitely one of my favorite stories in the film. I don’t know what it is about vampires I find so enduring. Perhaps I was one in another life?

Whip It! Whip It Good! – Sarah becomes enchanted by a display of a man holding a whip. Obviously, the girl is looking for some kinkiness in her life. Can we really blame her though? In all honesty, it made for one interesting story. Basically, virgins were thought of as whores and then whipped to death. What I loved most about this story is when Mark enters the display to save her. Ah man…here I go getting sappy on you! Let’s fast forward to the big war at the end when Mark duels the Marquis in a battle to the death. That’s more like it! Will good prevail over evil this time?


This is one of my all-time favorite movies to quote! Let’s look back on some of the best ones.

China – “I do what I want when I want. Dig it or fuck off.”

Mr. Lincoln – “Would you like a closer look?!”

Tony – (stuck in the wax universe) “Caribbean…the Bahamas…a pretty girl…a body…a bikini Do I get a pretty woman in my illusion? No. No I get a dick! This sucks man!”

Marquis – “Don’t look so smug boy. We shall be meeting again.”

Dracula – “Steak tartar? Ah yes, steak tartar.”

Mark – “But Mom, I need the caffeine – BADLY!”

So, as you can see there are many reasons to love Waxwork. From the great stories to the memorable quotes, this film has proven it is a force to be reckoned with in the horror community. What do you think of a possible remake? I’m not sure I would agree as I probably would be partial to the original. You just never know though! Sometimes all you need is a closer look!


About Nikki777

Nikki has always been a fan of all things horror. At the ripe age of four, she became an instant Freddy Kreuger fan and the rest is history. She has aspirations of writing a horror novel someday so writing horror articles is right up her alley! She currently resides in Des Moines, Iowa with her boyfriend and two dogs.

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