Saturday, November 28, 2015

In short: Waxwork II: Lost in Time (1992)

The zombie hand that survived the first part’s finale murders the step father of survivor Sarah (now played by Monika Schnarre). Because the police doesn’t believe in killer hands or physical evidence, she soon finds herself on trial for murder. Mark (still Zach Galligan), survivor number two, has the brilliant idea of looking through the stuff of Sir Wilfred (Patrick Macnee returning as a film projection and later as a raven) for anything that might help her out. There, they find a time compass thingie that opens up time portals that’ll lead them into a crap version of Frankenstein, a really crap version of Alien(s), a slightly less crap because it features Bruce Campbell doing Bruce Campbell version of The Haunting, and an abominable sword and sorcery filmlet.

During the course of their adventures, Mark’ll turn out to be a Time Warrior chosen by god, whereas Sarah is only there to be rescued again and again. Oh Lord.

Ugh, after the barrel of fun that was the first film, you’d think the same writer/director would get up to something equally entertaining in the sequel, but where the first film was an enthusiastic, fast, and charming homage to horror films, film number two uses its even looser narrative structure (which is to say, it doesn’t really have one) to churn out a series of inferior short versions of beloved classics with added slapstick and some shit about Zach Galligan being chosen by God (I assume the Christian one, because I’m pretty sure most other godhoods would be somewhat embarrassed). Turns out all that stuff with set-up, characters, and so on and so forth the films this one rips-off instead of quotes tend to have is somewhat important to make an audience care about what happens in a movie; Waxwork doesn’t have time for nonsense of this sort, because it needs to set up a David Carradine cameo, and really couldn’t care less about actually hanging together as a film. It’s also pretty damn boring by virtue of showing a lot of stuff, none of which is interesting or in any form involving.

Because Hickox makes no attempt at involving his audience emotionally (well, or intellectually), the whole thing feels pointless throughout, like a never ending attempt to show off that its director has seen quite a few movies. Ironically, the resulting film mostly suggests he hasn’t actually understood what’s good about them. So, it’s very much a film like what certain critics (the ones who are wrong) pretend Quentin Tarantino is doing.

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