The Wax Mask (1997) (Blu-ray Review)

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The Wax Mask (1997) (Blu-ray Review)
Directed By: Sergio Stivaletti
Starring: Robert Hossein, Romina Mondello, Riccardo Serventi Longhi
Rated: UR/Region O/1:85/1080p/Number of Discs 1
Available from Severin Films

Paris, 1900: a couple are horribly murdered by a masked man with a metal claw who rips their hearts out. The sole survivor and witness to the massacre is a young girl. Twelve years later in Rome a new wax museum is opened, whose main attractions are lifelike recreations of gruesome murder scenes. A young man bets that he will spend the night in the museum but is found dead the morning after. Soon, people start disappearing from the streets of Rome and the wax museum halls begin filling with new figures…

Wax Mask was at one time prepped to be a movie directed by Lucio Fulci but unfortunatly he died before that could happen. But Dario Argento did produce (and help write) this one and it does have Sergio Stivaletti behind the camera. And if you are keeping track at home, it is a bit of a strange one, to say the least. The movie opens showing the aftermath of a gruesome murder that a young girl witnessed. We then fast forward in time and that girl is grown and working in a wax museum. Well, as luck would have it more killing comes and you can better believe that it is connected to what happened before! I liked this one but I also found it very strange. It’s like a throwback to 80’s Italian horror but it does also have that 90’s flavor to it as well, for better or for worse. But it also has gore and that always helps when selling me on a movie.

The last act of this one can get a little nuts from time to time. There are twists and turns and while you might see some stuff coming you also have things that leave you scratching your head a bit. That’s pretty much Italian horror in a nutshell and this movie sort of works as a last of its kind Italian horror movie that sort of worked to close out the time period when you’d see stuff like this being made with this type of style. I dig it! I also dig this Blu-ray release from Severin. This isn’t the first time this movie has been on Blu-ray, but I’m not sure whatever became of the other version that was released by One 7. But this one from Severin is remastered with a new 4K master and comes LOADED with extras. We get lots of interviews, including one where we hear Dario Argento speak a little on Fulci. That whole Beyond Fulci segment here is a very nice watch. That makes this version the one to own and I dig it very much.

Extras

– NEW 4K RESTORATION FROM THE ORIGINAL CAMERA NEGATIVE, supervised and approved by Sergio Stivaletti
– Audio Commentary with Director/Special Effects Artist Sergio Stivaletti and Michelangelo Stivaletti
– Beyond Fulci: Interviews with Producer Dario Argento, Director Sergio Stivaletti, Producer Giuseppe Columbo, Production Designer Massimo Geleng, Actress Gabriella Giorgelli and Filmmaker Claudio Fragasso
– The Chamber of Horrors: Interviews with Producer Dario Argento, Director Sergio Stivaletti, Producer Giuseppe Columbo, Production Designer Massimo Geleng and Actress Gabriella Giorgelli
– Living Dolls: Interviews with Producer Dario Argento, Director Sergio Stivaletti, Producer Giuseppe Columbo and Actress Gabriella Giorgelli
– The Mysteries of the Wax Museum: Interview with SFX Artist Sergio Stivaletti
– The Waxworks Symphony: Interview with Soundtrack Composer Maurizio Abeni
– The Grand Opening: Interviews with Producer Dario Argento, Director Sergio Stivaletti and Producer Giuseppe Columbo
– Wax Unmasked: Interview with Film Writer Alan Jones
– Vintage Featurettes: Behind the Scenes, Special Effects, On Set with Dario Argento
– REGION-FREE

Quality of Transfer: 95%

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