Who doesn’t love a good movie about the horrors of a wax museum? Maybe Todd. At least, Waxwork didn’t rub him as well as it did Craig. But as an artifact of 80’s filmmaking and the lost art of practical monster effects, it survives to deliver to today’s audience a bit of fun and a lot of truly terrible dialogue.

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Waxwork (1988)

Episode 57, 2 Guys and a Chainsaw

Todd:  Hello, and welcome to another episode of 2 Guys and a Chainsaw. I’m Todd.

Craig: and I’m Craig.

Todd: Today’s film is the 1988 hit, horror comedy. Wax work. I’m sorry, man. This is this is gonna be an interesting one. I can’t wait to hear what you think about this movie. 

Craig:  This is a movie that I I don’t remember when I saw it, but when it was when I was a kid, and I remember really liking it when I was a kid. And our last video store finally closed its doors here in my, small town. And, so, you know, they liquidated all of their stuff. And, this one I got on sale for like a buck, double feature wax work and wax work Todd. And I hadn’t seen it in years years. And and going back and watching it again, having the memories of it as a kid was an interesting experience. 

Todd:  You know, I think I’d seen wax work too, on television. Maybe not the whole thing, but just little snippets of it. I remember one scene with Bruce Campbell being absolutely hilarious, and I was hoping against hope that maybe I was mistaken and that wax work the first actually had that scene with Bruce Campbell in Todd, but alas, no. This is a movie about a wax work. It’s not House of Wax, though. It’s nothing like it really, the classic with Vincent Price. This is a 1980s film, I think planted quite firmly in the eighties, and it opens up in a suburban Well, I guess it’s supposed to be kind of suburban. It’s a, I would say, McMansion type neighborhood, maybe is the best way to put it.   Yeah. With with a seed with a with a kid. And I’m sorry. Is he supposed to be in college or high school, Craig? College. 

Craig:  I couldn’t tell. I I I think I think they’re supposed to be in college, but he still lives with his mom, I guess. I don’t know. I couldn’t really tell. I mean, as usual, all of these actors look far Todd old to be even high or college kids really. Yeah. But I I do think it’s supposed to be college. 

Todd:  Yeah. Well, I don’t know. Actually, now that I think back on it, maybe it’s supposed to be a really big high school because of the scene that happens later. It’s just so weird. Alright. Anyways, so it opens with this kid and his mom, and, they’re at one of these really long tables, you know, that’s how you tell that they’re rich, is because Right. People dine at these really long tables and don’t really talk to each other. You know, there’s something about that.   Is that like a social thing? Is that like a commentary on the loneliness of being rich or the aloofness of the rich that they don’t even, like, enjoy dinner together? Is that 

Craig:  what that is? I I don’t know. I have no idea. I think it’s I   I think it’s just a convention to show us, hey. Look. They’re wealthy.   I don’t   think there is a whole lot more thought going into it than that. 

Todd:  Their dining room is bigger than your house. That’s what it’s supposed to mean. 

Craig:  Yeah. And and and it’s funny because it’s the fact that he’s wealthy is really completely insignificant. Like, this is just kind of a little I don’t even know why we get this little scene really. I mean, it comes at the very, very first scene. I think it’s that same mansion, but it’s like on a spooky stormy night, and this guy is murdered by this figure who we can’t see. You know, all we see is, like, gloved hands and things. But, this guy is, is thrown into the fire place virtually and his his head catches on fire and and he’s killed. And we see somebody, whoever this killer is, stealing all of these relics out of glass cases.   Of course, we have no idea what the relevance of that is, but, it comes up later. And then we get that that breakfast scene which really just introduces us to the main character, Mark, played by Zach Galligan, who I always I mean, he’s been in lots of stuff. He he still works, but, Gremlins was, his big movie. He was the main kid, in Gremlins. And, yeah, I mean, that that opening scene is just kind of odd, I guess. I think at some point, I don’t know if it’s on the news or or maybe the mom’s reading the newspaper, and and they discuss how there have been some disappearances in the town recently. And, I I guess that’s significant for us to know for later, but it just seems kind of a, I don’t know, a cheap way of delivering that exposition.   But Yeah.   I mean, it’s not like the scene it’s not like the scene lasts long. The kid gets up and goes to school, and and then we start to meet the other characters. 

Todd:  Well, it’s weird. Actually, it’s funny that you mentioned that opening scene, the guy getting getting his head getting his head thrust into the fireplace, which is which is unique. But also because you just reminded me of it because I think, like, its significance, like, totally passed by me. And and now that I’m going back and thinking about the movie, yeah, I guess it was a little significant, but it just Todd. It’s kind of incongruous with the rest of the film in that when when you see this hand breaking these glass cases, and you see it taking these artifacts, you really think, oh, this is gonna be about, this this particular magical gem or this particular artifact or whatnot. And it really doesn’t end up being like that at all. So I forgot about it. 

Craig:  No. I mean, all I all it turns out is that we’re gonna you know, the movie’s called Waxwork. We’re gonna eventually get to this Waxwork. There’s something spooky going on, and all it establishes later on is that we find out that this kid, Mark, his grandpa or somebody, is connected somehow to this guy who runs, the wax work. And all that comes up later. It’s really not all that important or significant anyway. But, after we meet Mark, then, we cut to a scene of 2 girls, walking to school together, and they are Sarah and China. Sarah is played by Deborah Forman, who I I really recognize.   She’s so familiar. She’s got this really, girl next door look, but she’s got these really stunning, like, pale blue eyes. I looked her up. The only thing that I really recognized on her, IMDB page was she was the main girl in April Fools’ Day, and I I did remember that when I saw that. And then there’s, Chyna, and I guess Sarah’s kind of the goody goody one, and then Chyna’s kind of the bad girl one. Beautiful girl played by Michelle Johnson doesn’t look anywhere near high school or college age, but pretty girl. And and they’re walking along, and they end up in front of this big man mansion. I mean, it just looks like a house, a really nice big stone house.   But there’s a sign on it that says waxwork, and they kinda comment to one another. It’s kinda weird that there would be a waxwork right here. Like, it seems like it’s just, like, plopped down right in the middle of suburbia. 

Todd:  And, yeah. 

Craig:  But as they’re as they’re standing there, a guy appears. And he’s wearing kind of a colorful suit, and, like, he he literally just kind of appears right next to them. This guy is the guy that runs the wax work. He’s played by David Warner. Again, another really familiar actor. That he was in The Omen. He’s been in lots of things. The thing that I remembered him from was that he was the villains Flunky and Titanic.   Mhmm. But you I mean, you’re you’re totally gonna know this guy from stuff.   I’m having a private showing tonight at midnight. 

Clip:  Good time. After dinner, but before breakfast. 

Craig:  You can bring some friends, of course. No more than 6, though. Bit full. Oh, you’re expecting a crowd. Like I 

Todd:  said, no more 

Clip:  than 6. And then, you know, 

Craig:  we meet these other young people, not young looking, but young nonetheless. And and the group, it ends up being 6 of them. There’s, Mark, Sarah, China, James, and Gemma who are a couple. And then there’s Tony who is this guy that’s always in, like, a suit and is always smoking cigarettes, and they’re gonna be the ones, that go. And, you know, the the funny thing is before I suggested that we watch this, I had already watched it. As soon as I bought it, I had already watched it. And when I watched it that time, I really enjoyed it. And then now, that’s probably been, I don’t know, a week, 2 weeks ago, I sat down to watch it again, and I realized that this opening part before they get to the wax work is really pretty bad.   And I can’t tell I can’t tell if it’s intentional or not. Like, the acting is really melodramatic and The writing. The characters are really stereotypical. And, like, with the cinematography, like, it’s all these really extreme close ups on their face for, like, reaction shots, and it plays super melodramatic and and soap opera y. And I couldn’t tell if that was on purpose, like it was supposed to be funny, or if it was just unintentionally bad. But the first, I would say, 10, 15 minutes where we’re just meeting the characters, not the greatest of quality. 

Todd:  Well, if even if you back up way back to when he’s talking with his mom, it is so the dialogue is so dumb. 

Clip:  Oh, isn’t it terrible, darling? 2 more people have disappeared. 

Craig:  Oh, really? Were they uses or thems? 

Clip:  Don’t be facetious darling. Now drink your milk. You’re late for college. 

Craig:  Mom, when are you going to let me have some coffee in the morning? 

Clip:  When? You’re a big boy. I mean, you know it’s bad for you. 

Craig:  But mom, I need the caffeine badly. Well, I’ll think about it. 

Clip:  Now run along, darling. 

Todd:  And then after he steps out, there’s Jeeves or whoever the butler is 

Craig:  who’s, 

Todd:  like, gives up your caffeine, sir, and he takes a shot of espresso. And and I’m, like, I thought at first, oh, they were trying to establish that he’s kind of a bad boy, or his mother, keeps him oppressed, but because he’s rich and he has a butler and he can kind of do what he wants, he just goes right over her head. But all about caffeine and coffee just seemed like a strange way to get that. And then I realized, no, I don’t think they were going for that either. I just think it was really dumb dialogue. And and then when the girls meet the guy in front of the house, are we supposed to believe that China was somewhat attracted to that guy? 

Craig:  Oh, yeah. Definitely. She definitely flirt sure. And the I mean, the conversation that they had just been having, you know, she, Chyna, I guess, is the girl that gets around, and and owns it. But, you know, she she had the night before went out on a date with this jock. I think his name was Jonathan or something. It doesn’t really matter. But we also find out that she had had been dating Mark, but she’s not anymore because he’s just not enough man for her.   And she even talks about how she’s interested in older men. So yeah, she’s definitely flirting with him. And you’re right, like the dialogue, I I really think that it was I want to believe that it was intentional because I I can’t imagine how it could happen by accident that it was really so over the top. I mean, there’s one point, because Chyna and Mark used to date, like, when they’re around each other, there’s all this tension. Like, he’s still into her, but she’s not into him, and he’s always kind of ribbing her.   We need to talk. 

Clip:  Yeah. About what? 

Craig:  About what? About us? 

Clip:  Us is over. You had your chance. You blew it. 

Craig:  Right. 

Clip:  I need it taken care of. Not, hey. How about a pizza after class, babe? I’m looking for something just a little more in a man. A little. 

Craig:  A little what? 

Clip:  See? You don’t even speak French. 

Craig:  Well, I’m sorry. I’m not that good at languages. Okay? 

Clip:  Well, why should I suffer for that? 

Craig:  Suffer? We’re living in America. Just   like these these these are really silly, silly lines. I don’t know. I mean, I guess if if you’re going into it, you know, not expecting a whole lot, you’re right. It’s very entrenched in the eighties. In fact, I was really kinda surprised that it was 88. I would have thought, you know, more early eighties. That’s the aesthetic that it has. It does.   And, you know, this kind especially in horror movies or b movies of the time, this it’s not like this is atypical. You know? It’s it’s pretty typical of of these types of movies that the writing is really kinda goofy, and and I don’t mind that. But as I was sitting here watching it the second time, I just kept thinking, Just get to the waxworks. Just get there. That’s when the movie starts getting good for me. And it really doesn’t take that long. You know, they assemble that group of friends and they do, 2 of them, James and Gemma, chicken out before they even get to the front door, and they leave. So now they’re down to 4. 

Todd:  And then that’s the last we see of them for, like, an hour and a half. 

Craig:  Right. Yeah. Yeah. And then they pop up very conveniently at the end. 

Todd:  I know. I kept waiting for them to come back. I’m like, wait a minute. What about these 2? Or or, like, are you gonna after your visit the wax works, are you gonna, like, confer back with them? Are they gonna go looking for you? There really wasn’t any of that. 

Craig:  Yeah. I mean, it seemed weird that they introduced them. You know, it seemed very much like, okay. Here’s our group of characters. Oh, no. Wait. Now these 2 are gonna leave, and we’re not gonna see them again for a long time. It was it it was kind of odd.   I mean, like I said, they do end up coming back. It’s all kind of clunky how they do end up coming back, but they do. But anyway, they get into the wax work. They’re greeted at the door by Hans, who is a little person, played by I don’t know how to pronounce his name, Mihaly. His nickname was Mico, I guess, Mizaros. And he’s this funny little guy. I think really that I recognize him from this. I think this is what I always think of him from, but he was also in Big Top Pee Wee, which I was a fan of when I was a kid.   Terrible movie. I loved it. And he was ALF. He was the little person who actually was in the ALF suit. No way. Oh my god. Yeah. Yeah.   Yeah. Cute little guy. And sadly, he just passed away this year. But he, you know, nice long life, long career. They’re greeted by him and he’s got this little squeaky voice.   We are at the door.   Just closes the door. And then, you know, he kind of seats them in this lobby. A butler comes in. He’s this great, big, huge, tall guy. He looks like, you know, Lurch. And eventually, the door to the wax works just swings open, and they go in. And that is when things really start getting cool in my opinion. I have always, you know, I don’t know that I’ve ever been to one of these like horror themed wax works, but in my humble opinion, all wax works are pretty freaking creepy.   Yeah. Well, it’s   And and this one yeah. 

Todd:  Go ahead. Just the idea, it’s it’s they’re almost like corpses. You know? It’s people, but and and it and the more real it is, the more effective it is, the more creepy it is even if it’s just a scene of, you know, Samuel Jackson standing there, you know, getting getting 

Craig:  Right. 

Todd:  Picture taken by the paparazzi because your mind tells you that these should be alive, but they’re absolutely motionless, and you know they’re not. It’s it’s just the idea 

Craig:  of it 

Todd:  is really creepy. You’re right. You’re totally right. 

Craig:  Well, yeah. And and they do. I mean, they they look like corpses, but then there’s something just inherently unnatural about them too, and and that kinda creeps me out. But I would love, except for the whole supernatural getting killed part, I I would love to visit this particular wax work because, you know, it’s got lots of really cool, setups and and scenes. You know, I I was just kinda really trying this time to really pay close attention to what all was there. And I’m sure that I didn’t even see everything, but there’s a scene with like an axe killer, there’s Frankenstein’s monster, there’s a witch doctor, like a lizard man, there’s an invisible man scene, there’s the mummy, there’s Phantom of the Opera, a werewolf, a little evil baby like from the It’s Alive movie, and like a pod person or or they kinda make a little shop of horrors joke, with this pod at the end. So it’s kinda like that too. But they’re all really neat.   I mean, they’re neat scenes. And one of the things that I like about this movie that makes it even creepier is that all of these wax figures are clearly just actors. Doctor. Yes. Doctor. They’re just actors standing there as still as they can, but of course people can’t stand perfectly still. And you can see them moving. Doctor.   I know. Doctor. And that’s unsettling to me. 

Todd:  See, you you call it creepy. I was, like, so distracted by it. I was like, oh my gosh. Like, this movie, I would say, overall, is is over ambitious for its budget. I mean, bless their heart. They were really trying. You can tell the budget was limited, but it really tries to be this grand kind of movie. And I think it gets about halfway there in in spirit, but this is where the cracks start to show, I think, is when they’re walking through this waxworks and you know that they’re supposed to be still, but you can tell that they’re actors trying to stand still.   And there’s no cut that they can make that’s short enough. Right. Yeah. People are not moving slightly, and I thought it was distracting. I just felt like I was, you know, peeking behind the curtain of the filmmaking process and oh my gosh, really. So I didn’t find it as creepy as I felt it, kind of pathetic. 

Craig:  But I I I totally see where you’re coming from, and I think you’re right. I’m sure that it was all about budget, and had they been able to actually construct wax figures, they probably would have. But for me, the the unintentional effect is that it does add kind of another level of of creepy factor, to me because you know that these inanimate objects are eventually gonna be animated and and, I don’t know. I I think you’re right. I think it’s a flaw in the film making, but I actually think kinda cool. 

Todd:  Craig, has there ever been a movie about wax works? A horror movie about wax works where they are not eventually reanimated somehow? 

Craig:  Isn’t that just part part of the story? 

Todd:  I mean Yeah. No. I’m just teasing you. But but, you know, what you did point out, and this was impressive to me, and I didn’t even notice all those waxworks until the end, was the fact that, yes, they did actually have so many. I mean, a movie with this kind of budget, you would imagine, would just have 5 or 6 key scenes and then some indefinable stuff in the background. But, by golly, they really went all out, and they did actually have a there’s even a, like, a gangster scene where this woman is, I guess, being force fed gasoline or something, or they’re Mhmm. Clenching her in gasoline. It was it was so odd, but that’s a good thing for this kind of, you know, for a wax works display.   You want something odd and strange and different. Yeah. To look at. 

Craig:  Yeah. And the thing another thing that I really like about this movie is that this is a really, I think, very clever way to bring all of these classic villains and monsters into one movie where it really feels organic. You know, it makes sense because they’re wax works, that they would all be collected in this in this one place. It doesn’t to me, it doesn’t feel forced. I know that when we talked about Freddy versus Jason, you you talked about how you kinda don’t like those crossover movies because they seem forced and you kinda lose, something about the original characters. And I thought here, they did it it felt like homage. I mean, it felt like these were people who were big fans of of the old movie monsters and that type of thing, and and they’re kinda bringing them back to the screen, all in one place, and and I liked that. I thought that was cool. 

Todd:  Yeah. I agree with you. It it that was a nice part of it even though it was a little clunky at times. 

Craig:  Yeah. And it is. I I mean and then, you know, the what what’s going on here is these kids have obviously been lured here for a reason. And e they as soon as they get in there, they kind of start to separate, and they’re all interested in different, displays. And Tony, the tall guy who wears the suit and smokes all the time, he goes and stands in front of this werewolf display, and he goes to light his cigarette with his Zippo, but he flips his Zippo out of his hand and into the into the display. And he kinda looks around and he says, oh, I’m sure they won’t care if I just go in to get my lighter. But when he steps into it, you know, it’s kinda corny eighties effect, but you can there’s, like, clearly an invisible barrier. And when he goes through it, there’s, you know, kind of an effect.   I don’t know how to describe it, but you can tell that he’s going through this barrier, and he ends up like in a forest, like he’s actually in this scene. And that’s really, you know, the premise of the movie. That’s what happens for the rest of the time. They each individually go into or or are coerced or even pushed into one of these, exhibits, and they kind of have to live out, the scene. And the first one is the is, a werewolf scene, and I thought that, you know, it it felt very much like a typical werewolf scene, and I I enjoyed it. You know, you know, the kid when he first gets in there, he’s confused. One of my favorite lines in the whole movie. He he gets in there and he looks around and, like, his appearance has changed.   He’s got long hair now. He’s in period clothes. 

Clip:  Alright. Who put the acid in my drink Craig, China? 

Craig:  Oh, god. Which I thought was so funny. 

Todd:  It 

Craig:  and he doesn’t know how to explain it. He doesn’t know if it’s a hologram. He eventually convinces himself that it’s part of the deal that he’s just been hypnotized, and this is part of the experience, and he’s, you know, gonna play along. 

Todd:  Yeah. It’s a weird I felt that to be very weird. Almost anytime a character starts chattering its thoughts out loud, you kinda wonder if the writer it seems to be a sign of lazy writing. And this, you know, at first, when he thinks he’s talking to somebody, he’s chattering out Todd. He thinks it’s a hologram or he’s accusing China. Yeah. I don’t know. He thinks he’s under, but he can still talk to people, but then it gets into silliness, I think, when he’s speaking all of his thoughts aloud to some unknown blankness? 

Clip:  Hologram? No. Hologram, right? 

Craig:  Hypnotism. 

Clip:  Hypnotism. That’s it. Alright. I’m hypnotized. Alright. Well, hope you guys can hear me because this is a hell of an illusion. 

Craig:  I mean, 

Clip:  I can smell the pine trees. 

Craig:  Okay. 

Clip:  We got we got house. We got house. Guess we’ll go to the house. Alright. 

Craig:  Away. 

Clip:  Hey, Kip, just make this guy a little more friendly. Okay? 

Todd:  I have to admit, like, the werewolf when it gets to the werewolf, it’s okay. But if I had been watching this movie not for a podcast, this is probably the scene where I would have said, okay, I’m turning the channel, because I I felt like his motivations there was no motivations for him here. It was all kind of dumb. Now, before he goes into the werewolf scene, and now correct me if I’m wrong, but we don’t actually see what kind of a scene it is. Right? Doesn’t he just stand in front of the barriers? We have kind of a side shot, and he goes, oh, this looks cool, and he walks into Yeah. I really don’t remember. 

Craig:  You you could be right. I don’t remember. 

Todd:  That was my recollection. So it kind of keeps a surprise for the audience as to what scene did he end up in. But, of course, we see that there’s Forrest and there’s a cabin, and so he talks to himself as he goes up and’s like, maybe I’ll check out this cabin. I’ll go inside. And he he goes inside, and he meets John Rhys Davies. And this is a guy I did not expect to see in this movie at all, but, because he’s a fantastic actor. But then again, he has played a wide range of things. Then he’s just going crazy in there.   He’s nuts and he’s like talking about it’s too late and and and you know, okay, they make a big deal out of the moon and the moon’s streaming in, but the reactions from Tony just don’t make sense. He’s like, okay, dude. Just chill. I mean, maybe we could just sit down and talk or something. And this guy’s going nuts at him. And then finally he’s like, you know what? Maybe I’ll just go outside and I’ll grab some wood and we could come in here, we could make a fire, we could sit down and talk, you know, we could be friends. 

Craig:  It’s like, what? First of all, 

Todd:  it’s dumb. Okay? Second of all, okay, you come across this crazy man who’s being a little threatening towards you. Alright, that’s also dumb, but then apparently, you saw this this, wax work that you stepped into, which would have shown you the scene of a werewolf, and if you are not smart enough to decode what’s happening in front of you looks a heck of a lot like the scene, and this guy’s gonna turn like a werewolf in any second, then yeah, then I guess you’re dumb enough to decide you want to come back in and make friends with him. And I I just felt like they were looking for motivation for this character. They were just trying to get this character into this cabin so the werewolf could go crazy and trying to keep him from running away, and it just didn’t work for me at all. I like the werewolf transformation. That was cool. I was really impressed that the werewolf, like ripped a guy up in half.   That was neat. Mhmm. But, yeah, dude. Like, man, was this bad. 

Craig:  Alright. Well, I I think I’m gonna disagree with you on this one because I actually thought that this one was the one where his reactions made the most sense. What? Because he he doesn’t think that there’s any danger. He thinks that this is all part of the show. And and he thinks that somehow whether it’s through hypnotism or whatever, he’s being manipulated to see these things, and the impression that I got was that he felt like he didn’t have any choice but to play it out. And so he was just kinda trying to wing it and and do what he could. Now, yeah, if he saw the werewolf before, one would think that that would give him pause. But still, 

Clip:  I mean, if he thought that 

Craig:  it was all illusion, he wouldn’t feel all that threatened, or at least I wouldn’t think he would. It was actually the other characters later in the movie, and and they go boom boom boom. But the other characters enter into these new worlds and act like they’re not in any way surprised or perplexed or confused. Like, they just 

Todd:  are Yep. Boom in 

Craig:  it, and, like, they play along with it. And I think that seems way more unnatural and, like, not convincing than than this first kid. But I 

Todd:  think that’s one way to read it, and I and I don’t think that that’s a bad reading, actually, now that you explain it that way. But you’re expecting 1 of 2 things. Right? Well, after the movie kind of gets going, you’re expecting 1 of 2 things. You’re expecting them to be confused and perplexed, and maybe scared. Alright, maybe 3 things. Confused or perplexed and maybe scared, you’re expecting or you’re expecting them to think it’s all an illusion, so they’re playing along with a gag, or then, as you say, you start expecting them Todd, it’s almost like they’re stepping into a character, it’s almost like they’re becoming a waxwork themself in this, right, in this scene. I, once you get to that point where it’s so weird that as soon as they step in there, it’s like they are now, I don’t wanna say possessed, but but yeah, possession is maybe kind of the way you would describe it, that they are possessed by the spirit of this scene, and so they are becoming part of it and they play along. Then this part, this first one makes even less sense because this is the one where they don’t do that, You know? So it’s kinda, it’s kind of uneven and weird. 

Craig:  You’re right. And it you know, that does seem to be suggested, especially later on, in in the scene with, Sarah and the Marquis de Sade. We’ll get to that. But you’re right. Like, it almost seems like some of the characters are almost under an enchantment, like, in some way, and and so that’s he gets he gets bitten by the werewolf and then he starts to transform into a werewolf, which I thought was good effects Yeah. For practical effects. And then, he gets killed in the scene by a werewolf hunter. And and we, you know, the camera comes back outside, so we just see the display and we see that now Tony is part of the display.   And in this one, I thought they did a a fairly good job because it would make sense that the friends wouldn’t recognize him because he was halfway transformed into a werewolf. Later on, some of them, when they die in the scene and then they become a wax figure, it’s clearly them. Like there would be no there would be no confusion as to, oh that that’s clearly my friend, in the scene. But, Chyna is the next one to go. She, finds herself in front of a vampire scene. I didn’t know if this was supposed to be Dracula. I mean, it I I don’t know. It seemed like Dracula, I guess.   And she’s kinda drawn in by his eyes in the wax work and so she walks in there. And again, she kind of on her face you can read that she’s 

Clip:  a little bit confused like 

Craig:  what’s going on here? But she immediately then just starts playing along. Mhmm. I don’t know. I, you know, I tried to read   as much as I could   about this. I don’t know where they shot this. I don’t know if it was in a studio. I I feel like it had I don’t know where they shot this. I don’t know if it was in a studio. I I feel like it had to have been some sort of studio because they’ve got these pretty grandiose set pieces. And this one in particular, this castle with, you know, high ceilings and walls, and there’s this big dining room where Dracula and his brides, I guess, and his son, are sitting and eating dinner, and they invite Chyna to sit and eat dinner with them. And they serve her raw meat, And Dracula’s like, Raw meat. 

Clip:  You do like raw meat. Please. If not, we can have   No. That’s fine. I haven’t had steak tartar in 

Craig:  a long time. Steak tartar? Oh, yes. Steak tartar.   So sully. And then the butler like pours blood as sauce all over it and she takes a bite and then they all start eating ravenously. And you know, it’s just this it it it’s a it’s a cool scene for what it is. Eventually, she’s led up to her bedroom. The sun comes up, tries to seduce her, but reveals himself as a vampire. He chases her down into the basement where she finds the guy who is supposedly in the scene, supposed to be her fiance, and he’s tied to, like, a a butcher’s block or something, and the whole bottom half of his leg, all the muscle and and skin has been stripped from it like they’ve been eating him slowly. And then there’s this whole showdown down there in the basement, which I thought, again, was was really fun. You know, first, the son finds her again, and she ends up using a a pair of knives to form a Craig, and and she burns his head and his head explodes and there’s blood everywhere.   And then the brides come in and she’s got a stake and she’s staking them left and right, and one of them gets impaled with with champagne bottles, and the champagne is shooting out of her body and the blood is spraying everywhere. It was a fun scene. Now I was, you know, clearly clearly you didn’t like this movie. These these little individual vignettes, I just thought they were fun, you know? And I like that that feel of getting placed into these very familiar films, really, and and just getting to watch them play out really quickly and and, you know, you’re in, you’re out, and let’s move on to the next one. I I kinda dug it. I gotta admit. 

Todd:  No. I can see I can see the appeal, and and it is fun. I feel like it’s more fun to make fun of, but, you know, this scene, I think again, was another case of where I felt like the budget was overstretched. Now, I know they had to cut a lot out of this. I was reading on IMDB, and I saw that it’s apparently when the crew was filming this scene, they were like, man, this is the bloodiest scene we’ve ever seen commit to film. And, and it is maybe a little choppy as a result, and it comes across then as we didn’t have the money necessarily for all of the detail and the effects, and so we cut around it when it maybe they just made them cut out the worst stuff. Because where the movie really does seem to spend a lot of money is on the gore effects, and that’s impressive, and that’s interesting. But I have to say, like, I was just waiting for that vampire dinner scene to be done because it lasted so long and he’s talking so slowly, and there are only so many slow furtive looks that everybody can give each other before it’s like, alright, let’s move on to the next thing.   And gosh, I hope they were really trying to play this as a soap opera because otherwise, that dialogue was really silly and dumb as well. But didn’t you find it a little jarring? And at first, I thought this was intentional when she’s in this big old castle and when she runs into the the what’s supposed to be a basement or a dungeon or something, it’s completely white tiled sterile. It almost looks like a hospital room or a mort morgue or something. 

Craig:  Yeah. Yeah. It it was odd. It didn’t seem in keeping with the design of the rest of the set, but it was obvious why they did that. You know, they they wanted a canvas to splatter blood all over and and it looks good when they do it. 

Todd:  Yeah. But it threw me off because I’m thinking, oh, is she moving from one set to another? I thought within the wax, maybe she was leaving this scene and she was going into a completely different scene. But, like you said, it isn’t quite that way. And so, then I got the notion, well, this is just how they decided to build again, this was another point at which I felt like I was I was in the minds of the filmmakers again, and I hate to be there, you know. I hate to be going, oh okay, this is a different looking set. I wonder why they chose this set, and oh, okay. It’s so that they could splash blood all over it. Well, is it supposed to make sense? Is it supposed to not? Did they run out of money? I mean, it’s obvious that you could only see kind of one half of the set too.   It almost Right. To me, it it almost looked like they were filming a TV show. Like, you only see one half a Seinfeld apartment, you know, in this in this particular scene. Mhmm. And and I mean, because of it, they had so little space to work with that the encounters here are pretty silly. Like, this vampire has the hardest time getting around this table that this man is 

Craig:  Oh, Todd. Yeah. 

Todd:  To reach her. Right? 

Craig:  That was pretty painful. Yeah. 

Todd:  So, yeah. Again, it was, it was fun. Sure. It was fun for that reason, and it was definitely fun because everybody’s kind of getting slaughtered and the blood’s going everywhere, and it’s silly. But there are just parts of me that, by this point then, I start getting super critical, and I go, okay, well, this woman got impaled on the wine rack here, but why did the corks pop out? You know? Yeah. It looks cool, but it doesn’t even break it 

Craig:  down. That’s why. That’s why. See, yeah, You’re being too analytical about this and you’re forcing me to be too analytical about it. I mean, you’re sitting here you’re sitting here talking. It’s like it’s like they’re on a TV set and I’m sitting here thinking, well, yeah, that makes sense. They’re in a display, so there wouldn’t be a 4th wall. Oh Todd god.   I don’t think that there was that much thought put into it at all. Oh no. I think but I They were just making, you know, a fun, splatter movie. 

Todd:  But just to just I mean, just to say, for example, okay, the woman gets impaled on the wine bottles and you want, or champagne bottles, and you want champagne to come spurting out of there and make a big deal. Okay. You can do it where the corks inexplicably have popped, even though the force of your body going on there would almost do the opposite. But there are other choices, like, you could have the bottles like kind of break off in her Todd, so she slides down a little bit, you know, and the bottles snap. I mean, even that wouldn’t actually happen, but it makes a little more sense. I’m just saying that you have choices even when you’re facing limitations and you want to do something cool, and you just Todd you horn it in. You still have ways, I think, of making it a little more believable, and when you choose the ways that are less believable or call attention themselves as being silly, to me, it’s it’s either ineptness or it’s laziness, you know, and that just shows itself to me, and it bothers me. And it makes me it just makes me realize I’m watching a movie, and sometimes And again, with a movie like this, you know you’re watching a movie, but you want to be able to suspend a certain amount of disbelief and not see through to the process.   And to me, I felt like throughout this movie, I was seeing through to the process, and that and that took me out of it and made me more critical of it, I guess. 

Craig:  Yeah. And I don’t know. I just I can’t get on board with you because I just feel like we’re not I’m not I don’t have very high expectations. You know, like this is just, it’s episodic. It feels almost like a Scooby Doo cartoon or something. And I’m not, that’s all I’m looking for, and I’m okay with that. So I I don’t know. Overall, I find it to be a a cute little movie.   I you know, it’s not great, but I still like it. I I think it’s it’s pretty juvenile, and I’m alright with that. I like, that’s that’s why. It it’s by no stretch of the imagination any kind of masterpiece, but it’s a fun it’s a fun little movie, I guess. 

Todd:  Even for a god like me who’s gonna be critical of it, there were some shining moments. And I’ll say that the next scene, the Marquis de Sade scene was surprising. 

Craig:  You’re jumping pretty far ahead there. Well, 

Todd:  if you wanna go through go ahead. Let’s let’s keep going. 

Craig:  No. No. No. No. I don’t I don’t we don’t need to go through all of them. I just think, like, it keeps happening in the same way that we’ve we’ve mentioned. You know? These 2, you know, Mark and Sarah realized that the other 2 are missing, so they leave. Somehow the jock that China had dated gets lured in.   And there is a funny scene that’s really not all that interesting where he stands in front of a, scene depicting the Phantom of the Opera, and they have a conversation about that. The only thing that I found interesting about that was that it was supposed to be a scene of Jason Voorhees, but they couldn’t get the, the rights or the rights were too expensive for the image or something. And there were other ones that they wanted to have that were in the script like The Thing, and, the the village of the damned, and and for whatever reason, they couldn’t get the rights. And I it would have been I would have liked to have seen those things, but what they ended up with was fine too. Anyway, he gets pushed in there and killed. We don’t even get to see that one. Totally. Was And the next morning, Mark and I can’t tell you how happy I was.   Unnecessary. I Yeah. 

Todd:  I was like, oh, please. We’re not gonna have to see, like, some guy getting killed by the Phantom of the Opera. That’s that’s not gonna be interesting, but maybe you can explain something to me because that this brings up, this point. So, my understanding and what ends what it ends up being is that this guy has he has to create these scene. He’s created these scenes, but they’re somehow based in reality because he’s gathered all of this stuff together. Right? 

Craig:  Yeah. Yeah. 

Todd:  So, there’s a lot of fiction thrust in here. Yeah. And and so, but he makes a comment here at the Phantom of the Opera scene where the guy says, Oh, yeah, that’s a classic movie. And then, the owner of the waxworks says, They made a movie about the Phantom of the Opera incident, And so his implication is that, no. This actually happened, but nobody really knows that it actually happened because they just think of it as a movie. Am I right? 

Craig:  Right. 

Todd:  Okay. 

Craig:  And so   I think that’s the implication that it within the universe of the movie, all of these people at one point in time had been real. Okay. 

Todd:  So even the pod scene 

Craig:  That’s that’s my Even though. I think so. I think so. Like dead scene. And maybe not all of them. I I don’t know. We we get all that information. So Mark goes to the cops.   The cop go investigate, don’t find anything, but eventually the cop recognizes some of the, the wax figures look like these missing missing person’s ads. So he goes back. He gets, pushed into, a mummy scene. I really liked that scene. I thought it was good. Yeah. 

Todd:  That was a good scene. 

Craig:  Pretty pretty Yeah. Yeah. I like that one. And and that’s the thing. I mean, you’re right. We don’t need to go into detail on every single one. You you get the basic premise. You know, they go into this scene and it’s a typical scene from any of these old monster movies.   Just updated a little bit, I guess. But they stick pretty true to tradition. So, if you’ve seen a mummy movie, you know how these things play out. But it it was a good scene. But that backstory, they they go, I don’t even know where Mark and Sarah go visit this guy, Sir Wilfrich. Played by Patrick Mcnee who was in The Howling and the Avengers. And, I how do they know him? I don’t even I didn’t even get that. Like, was he supposedly a friend of the grand of the grandpa? 

Todd:  He’s his godfather. He is the godfather of, Mark. 

Craig:  Gotcha. Mhmm. Well and and so he tells us the whole story about what’s happened, and that’s that calls back to that opening scene where the guy was killed and all the artifacts were were stolen. This wax work guy apparently worked with, Mark’s grandfather, but he killed him and stole from him all of these artifacts that had belonged to these 18 terrible men throughout history. And what he’s trying to do through black magic is he has to set up facsimiles of them with an actual artifact, of theirs. And then if if the each one if a soul and and so that’s that’s the whole setup. And this sir Wilfred who’s, like I said, I think wheelchair bound, he sends Mark and Sarah off and says you have to have to burn it down. You have to burn it down before it, before it gets out of hand or or whatever.   So they do go there and that’s they’re in the wax work. They’re looking around and Sarah is obviously fascinated by this Marquis de Sade. And she kinda has been throughout the course of the movie. It seems like she’s been enthralled with it throughout the course of the movie. And even though now it appears they kinda know what’s going on, again, this is one of those things where is she under some sort of enchantment or thrall or I don’t know. But she goes in, and that’s the scene you were talking about. And I agree with you, an excellent scene, although I’m still a little bit confused as to her behavior. What were you gonna say? I mean, obviously, you thought this was a good scene.   So what’d you like about it? 

Todd:  Now this is where the confusion, about her behavior, I thought was played in her favour. Instead of, I felt like she was completely under enchantment, but you get these these tones and these themes of she’s the the virgin. Right? And and Right. Sadly, they hit you over the head with it 3 or 4 times, and everyone teases her about being a virgin and and all this stuff. So here, she becomes attracted to this scene of, you know, sexual pain, and this domineering figure. And I thought now, this is interesting. This is a weird. I felt like out of place in this movie really, that you’re exploring this idea of this girl who, has never experienced this before, but nevertheless, of course, thinks about it like any teenager does and probably has these fantasies and this seems to be her fantasy.   And so, when she steps into the scene, it’s like she can act out this fantasy. And some of it Todd might also be the lure of the Marquis de Sade, because he was, you know, again, there’s this I don’t know a lot about the Marquis de Sade, but I imagine there’s this casanova type element. If it didn’t actually exist, at least it’s something you can abuse upon him and that’s certainly what they have here. So, he she steps in and she becomes this willing willingly violated, I guess you could say. Mhmm. By him in a way that just was very unsettling. First of all, but unsettling in a very very satisfying way. And it it bothers you, to see this because of what it is, I think.   And to me, that’s pretty horrifying. It’s the horror without the blood and without the guts, but to see this girl step into this scene, willingly become seduced by this guy to fulfill this unfulfilled sexual pleasure, this desire, and get whipped by him several times. And then at one point, I guess it’s the prince or whatever that the Marquis works for suggests that she be killed instead. And so he says, well, I guess we’re going to have to do that. Real 50 shades of grey here. 

Craig:  You know? 

Todd:  So now she’s in mortal peril, and at some point she doesn’t even seem to mind that she’s in the mortal peril. Like, you don’t see her suddenly jolt to reality and try to yank the chains off. And, again, very unsettling. I thought this scene was skillfully done. 

Craig:  I think a lot of that is, should be attributed to the actors. I it it seemed like there was good chemistry, between the guy who played the Marquis and and the girl who played Sarah. Yes. And it I mean, it was it was very sensual, and it it is unsettling. You know, there are people who are into that weird shit, but, you know, it’s it’s it it was it is unsettling. And it’s even more unsettling because, Mark gets thrown into a Night of the Living Dead scene, and I thought that again, I really liked it. I thought that the cinematography was cool. It looked kind of old black and white, but not entirely.   And it was a scene, you know, it’s got all these zombies, the classic, Romero looking zombies. But he figures out in that scene that if they just acknowledge that these things aren’t real, then they can’t hurt them. And he’s able to escape the scene because of that. And when he escapes that scene what I’m sorry. Go ahead. 

Todd:  You say he figures it out. Alright? Now did how does he figure it out? Does he just come up with the idea and decide to try it out, or does does something happen? Because I didn’t catch the thing that happened that helped him to figure that out. 

Craig:  Well, the only I I think he kind of just figured it out, but I I the old guy, sir Wilfred, had told them that the whole ritual needed to be complete before any of them actually came back to life. So I guess the insinuation is that they’re not real, they’re not a real danger if you don’t allow them to be until they come to life, and then, you know, all all bets are off. But but, I don’t 

Todd:  They are a real danger. I mean, we’ve already seen 2 people succumb to, I mean, apparent death. The werewolf guy is not coming back, and the guy 

Craig:  with the family operator is not coming 

Todd:  back. And China and, so I mean, they are. So I I mean, I I guess, but it’s a matrix type situation where you can’t believe that they 

Craig:  It’s a it’s a it’s a Nancy and Freddy Krueger type situation. You know? Like, you don’t give them the power, then they can’t hurt you, I guess. I mean, it’s, I don’t know, Todd. He just figures it out. Alright. But it’s okay. So he figures it out and   But no. Don’t stop because he figures it out. 

Todd:  But the way he figures it out is he just has the idea. Like, he goes This isn’t real. 

Craig:  And if this is real, I was forced to. If I don’t believe in you, then you don’t exist. Shit. I hope I’m right.   And so he just I 

Todd:  mean, isn’t that how it plays out? 

Craig:  That he so he just stands there 

Todd:  and he says and he even says, gosh. I hope I’m right. 

Craig:  Right. Exactly. I hope I’m right. So it’s not like he knows, but it turns out that he is correct. I mean, he’s one 

Todd:  lucky dude. 

Craig:  And so he yeah. But what I was what I was saying about the unsettling thing is that he then goes to rescue Sarah, but she doesn’t wanna go. Yes. She she she she he unshackles her, and she throws herself at the Mars Key’s feet and and hugs his thigh. You know, it’s it’s pretty intimate. Intimate. And he has to convince her to go and and basically, you know, convince her this isn’t real. I I don’t even remember what he says.   They’re using you or something like that. And eventually, I guess he’s able to break the spell, and, they do leave. And and and the Marquis, like, tries to fight Mark, but he can’t, you know, he has no physical impact, like, he just when he swings his sword, it just goes right through him like an illusion. But as they leave, he says, I’ll I’ll be seeing you later. And so they exit the scene and they’re met by the people who run the wax work and they’re kind of detained or whatever, but, Mark’s like, we foiled your plan. The wax work guy basically says, no you didn’t. And this is where out of nowhere from an hour and a half ago, James and Gemma show back up. And apparently they’re not any longer scared of the wax work.   They’re totally into it. And they end up going into the two scenes that Mark and Sarah had just vacated. And again, we don’t see anything happen. We just see them appear dead in the scene. And that’s when, you know, the the ritual has been completed and all of these creatures start to come to life in their displays. And it’s not scary. I mean, there there’s nothing in this movie that’s scary. But I thought that this was was kind of cool and exciting, and it it leads to this battle, which again, I don’t think makes any sense, but it’s fun to watch.   It is. Apparently, yeah, apparently, sir Wilfred I I guess there’s a whole group of these people who are trying to stop black magic things from happening, and and he shows up, of course, you know, deus ex machina right at the perfect time, and all of these people come in and there’s this big battle in the wax work between the humans and the wax figures. And it goes on for quite a while. Yeah. And and and it’s it’s fun to watch. It it’s not the most amazingly choreographed thing I’ve ever seen. A lot of the times you can just kinda tell, especially in wide shots, they’re like, Okay, action. Just fight.   You know? And and you do. But there are some good gags in there. I like that scene. You know, there’s, again, not a whole lot, to it, but, Sarah and Mark, Mark ends up in this basement where there’s the big vat of melted wax, and and the Marquis follows him in there, and and they fight in what is one of the goofiest sword fights ever. And, again, doesn’t make any sense. If this guy if this guy was really the Marquis de Sade, I’m pretty sure that his sword fighting skills would be a little bit better than some preppy high school kid who’s never held a sword in his life. Yeah. But, they fight and, my to be fair, he loses.   The Marquis bests him, and and, the guy, Waxwork Man is in there and he tells the Marquis to kill him, but Sarah, of course, arrives and saves the day and throws a, hatchet into his back. And then there’s just kind of a confrontation between Mark and the wax work guy, but I don’t even really remember what happens. What’s what happens in this part? Do you remember? 

Todd:  I don’t. Somebody ends up falling off a ledge. Well, he ends up falling off a ledge into wax. And how that happens is yeah. I don’t really remember either. He kinda pushed him or Did got the upper hand. 

Craig:  Did sir Wilfred come in and shoot him? 

Clip:  Oh, not the last time. 

Todd:  Happened? Yeah. 

Craig:  It Anyway It’s really Yeah.   He disappointing. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, it’s not a big confrontation at the end. You know, I I I knew somebody was gonna end up in that vat of wax at some point, And he does, and he kind of, after, you know, they think they’ve won or whatever, he pops back up for one last jump scare and and says, would you like a closer look? Which is what he’s been saying throughout the whole, movie. But meanwhile, the the whole wax work is now on fire. And somehow, I sir Wilfred is sitting up there at the top of the stairs. He gets his head ripped off by the werewolf, which I thought was funny, and and confusing because I’m pretty sure he’s in the sequel, so I don’t really know how that works out.   But, basically, they get out. Mark and Sarah get out, but they’re the only ones apparently who get out, and they watch the house burn. And it’s the most terrible burn effect I’ve ever seen. But whatever. And, so, you know, they they stand there and watch it burn for a while, then they turn around and walk away, and the last thing we see is this severed hand very much in the vein of, Evil Dead 2 crawl out of the rubble. So some, at least one of the monstrous things, escaped. I don’t know what that means. And then it cuts to black to go to the credits and it starts playing It’s My Party, which I I have no I have no idea where that came from, but it’s almost fitting.   Like, it’s the movie is so silly and then to end it with that silly upbeat song. Right? It I it put a smile on my face. I thought it 

Todd:  was funny. Yeah. I I enjoyed that last final battle scene just because it was so goofball. Although Todd does really beg this question. Gosh, this plan of bringing all of these 12 horrifying creatures to life didn’t end up being so great. I mean, just a handful of people from outside put up a pretty good fight. 

Craig:  Yeah. Like old people. Yeah. Exactly. 

Todd:  Like, wouldn’t you feel bad if you had, you know, gone through the trouble of killing all these people and stealing all these artifacts and creating all these scenes and getting people in there to, go into the scenes and doing all that just to have them kinda beaten back in about 30 minutes by a bunch of old people. Yeah. 

Craig:  Yeah. Yeah.   They they didn’t end up as being as much of a threat as they had been played up to be. I don’t know. It doesn’t make any kind of sense that this group of old people, regardless of how agile or skilled they must be, could beat something like a werewolf or a lizard guy. And I guess the implication isn’t really so much that they physically defeated them is that they they just they they set the place on fire and locked the doors. Yeah. And so everything just and I I guess all the good people burned up in there too. They’re we certainly didn’t see them outside when Mark and Sarah came out. So, just just close the whole chapter. 

Todd:  There’s no good ending for anyone. 

Craig:  Right. 

Todd:  Well, it was a neat idea, and I and I like the notion. I wouldn’t say it’s a fresh take, but it’s a yeah. It’s a fresher take, I guess, on the House of Wax idea. Normally, these these wax movies are more about these actual wax figures being mystically brought to life, or they’re about actual people being killed so that they can be reshaped and dipped in wax and made into more realistic looking wax figures. So, this is a whole different supernatural take on and gave you a different reason for, which is appealing because you can walk through a wax museum and have that in the back of your mind, perhaps. And maybe these are mystical portals to these other worlds, and in a sense that they are portals to other worlds, You know, when you walk through a wax museum, you’re glimpsing in on on something else. So it all it all works out well on paper. I just felt like the execution of the movie was a little too ambitious for the skills of the writer.   Apparently, the movie was written in 3 days, and I didn’t learn that until after the fact, but I was absolutely not surprised. But, I felt like it was just a little beyond the skills of the writer and maybe beyond their budget, and despite a few really good actors in here who play some great turns, overall, I don’t I’m like you. I don’t expect a lot from these kind of movies, but I it just surpassed my level of tolerance in that way. And maybe not because of the goofy acting and because of the goofy stuff, but because there was enough good stuff in there that it threw it off kilter, and it made the bad stuff just a little more apparent. 

Craig:  Yeah. I I totally get what you’re saying, and and I agree with you. It’s not a good movie, but I enjoy it nonetheless. Like you said, there are enough good elements that I think it’s redeemed in some ways. For example, I love the effects. You know, all these practical effects, all of these different displays, I love it. I think that it’s a really fun aesthetic. The the guy who did the effects was, named Bob Keane, and apparently he spent 18 hours a day for 8 weeks creating all these different monsters and effects.   And, I liked them, a lot. I thought they were a lot of fun. And like you, I really like the concept. I think that this movie is one that would be perfect for a remake. Oh, yes. Give it give it to somebody, you know, fresh and clever. You know, I can almost see, like, if Joss Whedon would do something with this. I think it could be really clever and, Cabin in the Woods has has kinda got some shades of this movie in it.   And, I’d love to see somebody else’s take on it, maybe with a little bit bigger budget, a little better effects, but I love the concept. I think it’s such a cool concept. And if somebody were to remake it, of course, you know, they could stick with the idea of the classic movie monsters or there’s all kinds of possibilities with what they could do. You know, they could update it with more modern, scenes, and I think that that would be a lot of fun. So yeah. Overall, is it a great movie? No. Do I like it anyway? Yeah. I I wouldn’t if if I were approached by a horror skeptic who is like, I wanna get into horror, would this be the movie that I recommended? No.   Absolutely not. But, for fans like us, I I think it’s it’s it’s worth seeing. And if you’re, like I am, a fan of the eighties in general and eighties movies, it’s a fun little ride. Nothing spectacular, but, I I enjoyed it nonetheless. 

Todd:  Alright. Well, thank you again for listening to another episode. If you like this podcast, please share it with a friend. You can find us on Itunes and Stitcher. You can also find our Facebook page out there. Like us there. And also let us know what you thought of this podcast and any other films that you’d like us to review in the future. Until then, I’m Todd 

Craig:  And I’m Craig. 

Todd:  With 2 Guys and a Chainsaw.

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