House of Wax

I worked on lecture notes all day, trying to put useful information into them. I gave the class a decent review session, and I headed home. It was too late to go into the record store. I watched James Stewart on the Tonight Show episode from September 7, 1989. He recited his poem about his dog. I took a walk to the theatre to see “House of Wax,” which didn’t attract many ticket buyers. Well, it was from 1953, and the screening wasn’t in 3D. I’m not sure that the 3D effects would have added to the drama, anyway. I had some kind of birthday bonus that I didn’t use. The passage of one week felt like a longer period of time with my upset stomach. A wax museum seems like it would be very creepy. I’ve never been in one. Vincent Price was Professor Henry Jarrod, the genius of wax art, and I thought he was the best actor in this bunch. He was in some good movies in the past. I thought his partner in business was really wacky. Why would he set fire to the place right then and there? He had to fight and ignite fires at the same time. He didn’t stop to think of the possibility of making more money from a buyout. Couldn’t anyone figure out that the fire was deliberately set, and suspect him? What happens to wax when you turn up to heat to close to 500 degrees? Does it look like pink soup, as it did in the vat? The makeup of Jarrod’s face was not too convincing by today’s standards. One of the outrageous things about this movie is that the running time is only 88 minutes, but there is a ten-minute intermission in it. Apparently, that was to change reels. Also, something that really didn’t make sense to me was the guy out in front of the museum with the paddle and ball trying to get people to go inside the museum. It seemed that he was annoying everybody, to begin with, and why this paddle and ball? It was to show a 3D effect, and it went on for far too long. The movie does give you a bit of a history lesson in the discussion of people like Marie Antoinette. Two of the cast member were Carolyn Jones and Charles Bronson. Bronson is Igor, who doesn’t speak. Was there some reason for that? Did he have a bad voice? He didn’t seem anything like the big action star he would be in the 1970s. The woman who kept fainting seemed to be made of something weak. It’s funny how this horror movie from the 1950s doesn’t have constant tension and disgusting imagery. This movie was released seven years after “It’s a Wonderful Life” and seven years before “The Apartment.” I don’t know if I would have been eager to see it if I had been alive in 1953. I thought about how Vincent Price made a good appearance in the movie “Edward Scissorhands” towards the end of his days. I guess millions of people are familiar with his voice because of “Thriller.” I read that “House of Wax” was released in 1971 and again in 1982. I thought that seeing it again was rather fun, although I prefer a comedy. It was only 10:35 when I got out of the theatre and started walking home. In my mail, I got a notice about health care coverage that I tried not to think too much about because it just meant more expenses. I wanted to get some rest with a settled stomach so that I could have a fresh start in the morning. Some of the people who died on February 19 include Michael Powell (1990), Charlie Finley (1996), and Stanley Kramer (2001). Today is a birthday for Jeff Daniels (61) and Smokey Robinson (76). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for February 19, Lou Christie had the Number One single, “Lightnin’ Strikes,” in 1966. In 1972, Paul McCartney released his single “Give Ireland Back to the Irish,” which was banned by the BBC. In 1980, Bon Scott of AC/DC died at age 33 after passing out during a night of heavy drinking.

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