Rupert Pupkin Speaks: HOUSE OF WAX - 3D Blu-ray ""

Monday, September 30, 2013

HOUSE OF WAX - 3D Blu-ray

HOUSE OF WAX was a highly successful film for its time and perhaps the most successful 3D film of the 1950s. It's production budget was a whopping $1 million(quite a lot in 1953 money), but it grossed $23,750,000 so it's safe to say the studio was pleased. Watching it now, you can still see why it had such an impact on folks even 60 years ago. It's certainly in large part due to the 3D, but Vincent Price really delivers here as well. It is one of his most iconic and well-remembered performances. Vincent Price is a fella that has really grown on me over the past decade. I used to think of him as kind of a ham actor who made a lot of horror pictures. I completely underrated him. And then...and then I started to see some more of his non-horror stuff and I it started to make sense to me. My entry into the cult of Vincent Price came into crystal clear focus after two things happened. The first was that I saw him play a hammy actor character named Mark Cardigan in HIS KIND OF WOMAN with Robert Mitchum and Jane Russell. The second was that I saw HOUSE OF WAX in 3D at the Silent Movie theater in Los Angeles. It was fantastic. I had seen the film before on home video and had thought it was alright, but nothing as spectacular as it had been purported to be. Seeing the 3D version, in a theater shifted my opinion completely though.
The orange waxy dripping credits were like a punch in the face and the film never let up the while way through. It was truly a wonderful 3D viewing event, unlike that of our current theatrical 3D. Watching the old school 3D gave me a bit of a headache but the experience turned the tide of my Vincent Price fandom forever. I would see HOUSE OF WAX in 3D again at The Egyptian theater as part of a 3D Expo a few years later. It was still a magical event. Enter this new 3D Blu-ray Disc. The translation of the 3D to 3D Blu-ray is quite lovely. It really plays well in High definition and 3-dimensions! Unlike a lot of the films we see in 3D today, HOUSE OF WAX was truly crafted carefully to be a 3D movie. The sets, the colors, the way the shots are set up(layered with foreground, middle ground & background elements) all make it remarkably immersive experience. This disc coming out is very exciting for me in that many more people will get to genuinely "see" this movie again as it was meant to be seen. I am hoping some young people will give it a look too and perhaps some new Vincent Price fandom will be forged!

EXTRA FEATURES: Included on this disc is a brand new featurette - "HOUSE OF WAX: Unlike Anything You've Ever Seen". This a a great little 48-minute retrospective on the film including interviews with the likes of Martin Scorsese, Joe Dante, Wes Craven and many others. Very enjoyable stuff. There is also a commentary track by film historian David Del Valle and Constantine Nasr(of AMC's THE WALKING DEAD series). Also, as with the dvd of HOUSE OF WAX, this disc includes a bonus film as well in MYSTERY OF THE WAX MUSEUM(which is a cool little movie in and of itself). Lastly, there is a short bit of (2 mins or so) archival B&W footage of the round-the-clock HOUSE OF WAX premiere in 1953.


el cornichon said...

I'm glad you brought up HIS KIND OF WOMAN, so I didn't have to! Price seemed to play himself there (though at that point he'd only started playing Large Hams) - he plays up his gourmet cook self too. Love the scene at a screening of one of his swashbucklers where he applauds himself.

Dick said...

This is the blu-ray I'm most excited for this fall. Along with the Scream Factory Vincent Price set coming out this is a great time to be a Vincent fan.
It would be nice if they would release Horrors of the Wax Museum in its original 2 strip Technicolor as it appeared on the old laser disc rather then that travesty with the pumped up colors they put out on DVD.
Always thought it was interesting that the director of the greatest 3D film of all time Andre De Toth, was blind in one eye.