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Mystery of the Wax Museum

USA 1933
produced by
Henry Blanke, Hal B. Wallis for Warner Brothers
directed by Michael Curtiz
starring Lionel Atwill, Fay Wray, Glenda Farrell, Frank McHugh, Allen Vincent, Gavin Gordon, Edwin Maxwell, Holmes Herbert, Claude King, Arthur Edmund Carewe, Thomas E.Jackson, DeWitt Jennings, Matthew Betz, Monica Bannister
screenplay by Don Mullaly, Carl Erickson, based on the play by Charles Belden

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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New York City, 1933: Girl reporter Florence Dempsey (Glenda Farrell) is in desperate need for a story to not get fired from her job at the newspaper. So she digs deep into the murder of a Hollywood starlet and the subsequent disappearance of her corpse, and manages to get the chief suspect in the case, the girl's rich boyfriend George Winston (Gavin Gordon) off the hook. During her investigations she stumbles upon a wax museum where Ralph (Allen Vincent), boyfriend of her roommate Charlotte (Fay Wray), works, a wax museum that is run by crippled sculptor Dr Igor (Lionel Atwill). Florence is sure that one of the museum's exhibits looks a bit too similar to the dead starlet to not be her wax-covered corpse, and soon she finds that other exhibits in the museum also look like recently deceased persons.

While Florence is still on the case and eventually (and rather unintentionally) exposes an alcohol bootlegger, Dr Igor shows a rather unhealthy interest in Charlotte, that leads to him taking her prisoner and preparing her to be covered in wax to become his Marie Antoinette. Florence saves her roommate from being killed only in the very last moment, and in the end, Dr Igor naturally dies in his own vat of heated wax.

In the very ending, Florence could leave into a future of luxury with George Winston in the end, but she chooses her newspaper editor, with whom she has a love-hate relationship, over him instead ...


A film that falls in between a few too many stools to be great: On one hand it tries to be a horror movie (and its atmosphere in conjunction with colour photography is handled quite well I must add), on the other a murder mystery, and one of these girl reporter flicks that were a dime a dozen in the 1930's. And you know what?

Even if the girl reporter aspect to the proceedings stands in the way of the other aspects to come to full bloom, it's Glenda Farrell as the alcoholic investigative journalist that holds things together, keeps things flowing smoothly and adds a bit of humour to the whole thing as well. Bus as much as I liked Farrell's character, Mystery of the Wax Museum is probably not a movie she should have been in ...


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD