Over at Alex on Film I’ve been watching a bunch of movies dealing with the theme of the mad artist who makes wax sculptures out of his victims. The ball got rolling with Mystery of the Wax Museum (1933), which was a bit of a studio pot-boiler released without any great expectations. The source story had never even been published. With House of Wax (1953), however, the idea received its classic expression. They couldn’t really miss casting Vincent Price as the demented and disfigured sculptor. I then have some notes on a couple of cheap quickies — Nightmare in Wax (1969) and Crucible of Terror (1971) — that are nevertheless of some interest, with Crucible of Terror being well worth checking out just as a curiosity. Finally, I look at House of Wax (2005), probably best known today for being the one with Paris Hilton in it. She gets a pipe driven through her head. Though not a great movie, I was actually pleasantly surprised by this one, especially with the melting museum at the end. Apparently this caused some problems during production, with a big part of the Australian studio burning down and a subsequent lawsuit. That’s unfortunate, but I have to say it looks great.