1992/ Director. Anthony Hickox
Review by Justine Ryan.
After a very short prologue, the premise of the film, continues on from the exact moment that the severed zombie hand (from the first film) escapes the fire at the waxwork museum, following Sarah home, and killing her stepfather (George ‘Buck’ Flower - PUMPKINHEAD, THE FOG, SUNDOWN: THE VAMPIRE IN RETREAT). Sarah is put on trial for the murder. With no evidence to prove her innocence. Mark and Sarah decide to head back to Mark’s grandfathers friend, Sir Wilfred (Patrick Macnee – THE AVENGERS, THE HOWLING, WAXWORK), to see if they can find any clues to help Sarah’s case. Once there, they discover a pre-recorded video message from Sir Wilfred (in the wake of his death, Sir Wilfred informs Mark that he has now inherited his home, and he (Sir Wilfred) and his grandfather’s collection of strange artefacts that they have collected on their many adventures through the supernatural.
To find Sir Wilfred’s secret door into his chamber, they are told to ‘Follow Alice through the Looking-glass.” (Referencing Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll, the second novel to Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland).
Entering through a mirror into the secret chamber, Mark and Sarah find a time door opener, which opens doors to travel through time. And much like Alice, travelling to another world through a mirror, so do Mark and Sarah, on their quest to find and bring back evidence to support their unbelievable story.
Waxwork II is a bit of a departure from the first film in many ways. There is not a waxwork in sight, like the first film, but we see the return of our two leads, Mark Loftmore (Zach Galligan – GREMLINS, WAXWORK, CUPID, TALES FROM THE CRYPT, HATCHET III) and Sarah Brightman (played this time around, not by Deborah Foreman - APRIL FOOL’S DAY, VALLEY GIRL) , but Monika Schnarre (BEASTMASTER, LOVE ON THE SIDE, WARLOCK: THE ARMAGEDDON) , who is quite good as Foreman’s replacement.
Most of the time periods throughout the film, that Mark and Sarah travel to, mirror famous horror films, and each are quite a fun treat (Okay, they are figgin’ awesome).
We have the likes of Bruce Campbell, in a tribute to The Haunting (1963). Maxwell Caulfield (GREASE 2, THE BOYS NEXT DOOR, SUNDOWN: THE VAMPIRE IN RETREAT) and Jim Metzler (SUNDOWN: THE VAMPIRE IN RETREAT) in a segment inspired by Aliens. Martin Kemp (from SPANDAU BALLET, THE KRAYS) as Baron Von Frankenstein. Drew Barrymore as vampire victim #1 to Nosferatu, and other fun homages to Jack the Ripper, Godzilla, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Dawn of the Dead, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and a medieval segment with Alexander Godunov (DIE HARD), Michael Des Barres (GHOULIES), John Ireland (SPARTACUS) and David Carradine (KUNG FU: THE LEGEND CONTINUES, KILL BILL).
To all the Waxwork/Waxwork II fans out there, please take a moment to visit this Facebook page, moderated by Stacy Still, dedicated to trying to get these two films out on Bluray. Stacy is a huge fan of both films, and it is a really cool page, and the best (in my humble opinion) dedicated out there to both films. Director Anthony Hickox (who made some really cool films and sequels in the 90’s like WAXWORK, HELLRAISER III: HELL ON EARTH, SUNDOWN:THE VAMPIRE IN RETREAT, WARLOCK:THE ARMAGEDDON, FULL ECLIPSE, PRINCE VALIANT), and Zach Galligan have said that they are more than happy to put together some really nice extras for a release, if given a chance. Definitely two films that are deserving, and certainly a long- time favourite of mine, that is on my list of comfort films, and one of my go to films to be just plain entertained. So please go and like away!