Director: Anthoy Hickox
Starring: Zach Galligan, Alexander Godnov, Monkia Schnarre, Martin Kemp, Bruce Campbell . USA . 1h 44m
After the impressive Waxworks(1988) Anthony Hickox spoilt his loyal fans with a sequel only 4 years after the original, possible in an era when fans were honoured with such things rather than waiting a lifetime for nothing. It’s very typical for Hickox’s trademark horror lightly dusted with black comedy, evil henchmen drenched in black with lots of hints of magic and a bizarre array of special effects and fantasy.
The final scene of Waxworks has been re-enacted and the film flows on seamlessly from here. Although it’s a little scattered and less formed than the original where we saw a group of wayward teens visit an enchanted waxworks exhibition and its freakish staff. They one by one get seduced into a display and find themselves thrust into the fantasy world that it depicted. While this is rife in this comedic sequel, it has a very different atmosphere to it, nothing is really taken seriously here, and after all we’ve seen it all before with the original and it seems that Hickox was just out for a lark with this one. He does make the most of the original set up, so the film is presented in different segments each with a very unique feel and theme.
So after the horrific fire the teens Mark (Galligan) and Sarah (Schnarre) escape but a disembodied zombie hand follows her home and after a messy attack manages to kill her abusive father, while on trial she tells the court about the waxworks and the hand and is given time to enter evidence of the hand. The two go back to Sir Wilfred’s manor where they chance on a compass device which opens a portal into different dimensions. Much like the original they are then transported into different “stories” trying to find the evidence to clear Sarah from her case and also maintaining the balance between good and evil, much like before.
For me the stand out segment is a black and white piece starring the legend Bruce Campbell, he’s a learned man who’s trying to prove that ghosts exists, with the Lovecraftian feel, the piece is also has a bit of a Scooby Doo Vibe. Bruce is brilliant, if a little under used, but it shows the films potential.
Generally it works as a sequel, not too serious, not horrific but happy to lay out the action and various monsters. Personally it’s a bit comedy heavy but it’s exactly what I expected and hoped the sequel would be. At times there were moments where it got a bit overbearing, there is a sci fi segment where Sarah is obviously Ripley but the aliens are more Red Drawf-esque, which isn’t a big problem, but just the weakest part of the film.
Really it could have gone on and on, maybe even with it’s own TV show, but with the track record of franchises generally getting less thrilling as time goes on and then doing themselves into obscurity I’m more than pleased with this duo of Hickox’s imagination.
Rating: 6 /10
R: Waxworks (1988), Warlock 2 – the Armageddon (1993)
L: 10 Impressive Sequels Vol.1 , 10 Worst Sequels Vol. 1
5s: Anthony Hickox, Bruce Campbell