At the risk of pissing off The Wax Mask's fans who deem it as proof gothic horror was still kicking in '97, the impression left from SFX artist Sergio Stivaletti's directorial debut was more period soap opera than Mario Bava. Before you heave your tomatoes and breadsticks understand that this prim and proper quality actually leads to an bittersweet observation in regards to the state of Italian horror.
So while competently made, the mood begins to wane as the story lumbers along to its inevitable climax between the girl (strapped nude to a tortuous chair for "waxing"), her lover, and madman. It's a shame that this exercise in "restructuring" what it meant to be a horror film produced in Italy lost that vital something in translation (there's even a couple CG effects). Ultimately, The Wax Mask is an interesting curiosity but there's a reason Michele Soavi's 1994 Dellamorte Dellamore has become the official page break of the industry. Pony Canyon's Japanese LaserDisc looks and sounds very solid framed at 1.66:1 widescreen. The picture quality is actually nicer than Image's long out-of-print DVD which manages to have crispy edge enhancement and clumpy textures. I often forgot I was watching an LD...