Monday, 18 August 2008

No.28 : Waxwork 2 : Lost In Time

Waxwork 2 : Lost in Time at the IMDb

I’ve not seen the original ‘Waxwork and I doubt I’ll bother looking it up after watching this lackluster sequel. We do get a recap of the original in the opening scenes and it seemed pretty straightforward stuff. As far as I can gather there was an evil waxworks and a couple escape after burning the place down. The sequel takes things off from there, although the actress changes mid flight.

Although the wax nasties have been defeated a disembodied hand manages to cling onto their escape taxi. The hand, which is a total rip from ‘The Addams family’, manages to kill the girl’s stepfather with a hammer before it is dispatched in the waste disposal. The police pin the death on the girl and her defence looks shaky at best. Unusually she’s free to walk the streets during her trial and the pair decide that they need to gather some evidence if she’s to be spared the electric chair.

They head over to Steed out of ‘The Avengers’ house and although dead he’s left a message and a handy time travel device. Our pair then travel through time and fiction (!) visiting the likes of Dr Frankenstein, Jack the Ripper and Dr Jeckyl. Their quest for evidence seems a bit random, but eventually they get a zombie arm from the cast of ‘Dawn of the Dead’ and try to head home. With various ticking clocks and lost time machines can things possibly be sorted out in time for the verdict, and will a zombie arm impress the jury?

This is a strange film, a sort of genre splicing horror comedy. It stars Zach Galligan (Gremlins) and a decent roster of ‘B’ list celebrities such as Councillor Troi, Martin Kemp out of Spandau Ballet and the always watchable Bruce Campbell. The cast seem to be having a great time raiding the dressing up box, although the special effects are ropey at best. The director switches filming styles for the different genres and it’s quite good fun, jumping from an ‘Alien’ style space adventure to a medieval sword fight straight to a zombie invasion.

Some scenes were dragged on beyond their entertainment value with Bruce Campbell’s a real master class in flogging a dead horse. It was fun waiting to see which familiar face would pop up next with the likes of David Carradine appearing in a single scene, presumably because he wandered onto the set. The episodic nature of the film meant it was hard to get fully invested but at least when a dull bit came along you could be sure something different was not far away.

It’s clearly all very tongue in cheek but that can’t be used as an excuse for some dreadful dialogue and risible acting. There is enough to like to keep you watching but the outlandish and nonsensical plot make it an unsatisfying experience.

Best Bit : Dawn of the dead reloaded
‘W’ Score : 12/23

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