Wax Museum Movies

A Comprehensive Filmography

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About the Book

Spanning over a century of cinema and comprised of 127 films, this book analyzes the cinematic incarnations of the “uncanniest place on earth”—wax museums. Nothing is as it seems at a wax museum. It is a place of wonder, horror and mystery? Will the figures come to life at night, or are they very much dead with corpses hidden beneath their waxen shells? Is the genius hand that molded them secretly scarred by a terrible tragedy, longing for revenge? Or is it a sinner’s sanctum, harboring criminals with countless places to hide in plain sight?
This chronological analysis includes essential behind the scenes information in addition to authoritative research comparing the creation of “real” wax figures to the “reel” ones seen onscreen. Publicly accessible or hidden away in a maniac’s lair, wax museums have provided the perfect settings for films of all genres to thrillingly play out on the big screen since the dawn of cinema.

About the Author(s)

George Higham has a background in sculpting and special effects, a degree in film from NYC’s School of Visual Arts and over twenty-five years’ experience x-raying corpses at the city morgue. He has created wax figures and puppets, machined mechanical contrivances and devised electrical trick-props.

Bibliographic Details

George Higham
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 296
Bibliographic Info:  73 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2020
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6219-0
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4011-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface 1

Introduction 5

One. The Lost and the Found: 1899–1919 17

Two. Flights of Fancy: 1920–1929 33

Three. Setting the Stage: 1930–1939 51

Four. Crime Reigns: 1940–1949 91

Five. The Die Is Cast: 1950–1959 122

Six. The Horror of It All: 1960–1969 153

Seven. Off Track But on Target: 1970–1979 181

Eight. Sex and Horror Re-Vamped: 1980–1989 210

Nine. Edgy: 1990–1999 222

Ten. The Last Dance: 2000–2009 230

Eleven. Vicious Cycle: 2010–2019 252

Chapter Notes 263

Bibliography 278

Index 283