Maschera di Cera
Le Masque de Cire / Gaston Leroux's The Wax Mask / M.D.C. - Maschera di cera
Dario Argento, Giuseppe Colombo, Fulvio Lucisano for Mediaset, Cine 2000, France Film International
directed by Sergio Stivaletti
starring Robert Hossein, Romina Mondello, Riccardo Serventi Longhi, Gabriella Giorgelli, Valery Valmond, Gianni Franco, Aldo Massasso
story by Dario Argento, Lucio Fulci, Daniele Stroppa, screenplay by Lucio Fulci, Daniele Stroppa, music by Maurizio Abeni, special and visual effects by Sergio Stivaletti, animatronics by Daniele Auber, cinematography by Sergio Salvati
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years afer she saw her father killed quite horribly, Sonia (Romina
Mondello) takes up a job as costume designer at Boris Volkoff's (Robert
Hossein) wax museum, where a gruesome murder took place just the
previous night. No sooner does she have the job is she approached by
investigative journalist Andrea (Riccardo Serventi Longhi), who smells a
story when he sees one & needs an inside source in the museum. Of
course, Sonia is first reluctant but soon changes her mind as she falls
in love with the man. Meanwhile a few more murders occur, while more
& more wax-statues, resembling the victims, turn up in the museum.
& one of the few surviving victims of our murderer describes a
gruesome mechanic metal hand - much the same hand that murdered Sonia's
father 13 years earlier. The inspector who investigated the case back
then (Aldo Massasso) thinks so too & arrives just in time to save
Sonia from an assault by the killer - but he soon falls victim to the
villain himself. Secretly witnessing the lovemaking of Sonia &
Andrea, Volkoff is reminded of his own wife, how he found her making
love to another man, & hwo that other man pushed him into hot wax.
Incredibly, he survived that ordeal though, but had to cover his whole
body in wax in order to hide his burnt features & limbs ... and
he has a mechanic metal hand ! As it turns out, Volkoff is not only
Sonia's employer but her real father, the man she saw killed - by
Volkoff - was actually only her stepfather, & now Volkoff wants to
preserve his daughter forever ... as a wax statue. Of course, hero
Andrea, finally having found Volkoff's secret lab, saves her in the nick
of time & sopmehow (of course) the museum is set on fire. But
Volkoff isn't exactly the man who can't stand the heat, so even as a
skeleton - in a scene that was lifted directly from the showdown of Terminator,
but still manages to give you a chuckle - he goes after Sonia & Andrea
before being finally destroyed ... or is he ?
charming but at the same time pointless period piece, with a - despite
some nice gore- & computer-effects - very old-fashioned directorial
effort by FX-master Sergio Stivaletti (actually, this movie was to be
directed by scriptwriter Lucio Fulci & to be the first collaboration
between him & Dario Argento, but he died prior to this). Unfortunately
though, the screenplay is overly complex & somewhat muddled, and at
the same time manages to be completely predictable - the plot of a house
of wax using human corpses as statues wasn't completely new in the 90's,
now was it !?