Tuesday, August 11, 2009
She is dressed in ruffled and flowing white, the gown falling off pale white shoulders glistening with sweat. Her hair, now flaccid damp curls and strings, is no longer hidden by the powdered wig that towered over and framed the virginal blush of her cheeks and the dark fringe modestly concealing the brilliant green of her eyes with fashionable curls flourishes. Fragile and softly rounded arms are corded with strain, her arms pinioned to two columns. Chains clank as she moves with each searing bite of the blood-slimed whip that whistles through the air before it cuts into the crimson-ribboned curve of her back, bare above the waist. She bites her lip and smiles in ecstasy, caught in the grip of la petite mort, the little death. She gasps softy and sighs, riding the ebb and flow of smoldering passion, meeting each thrust with an eager, welcoming embrace.
This is the scene in a forgettable, and forgotten movie, Waxwork and Deborah Foreman is the formidable actress who elevated this campy 1988 flick from pedestrian to something very special. Not even the performances of John Rhys-Davies, David Warner, Patrick McNee, the male half of The Avengers, or the sexy and handsome Miles O'Keeffe could elevate this beyond second rate C movie fare. It is Deborah Foreman's performance at the end of the Marquis de Sade's whip that makes Waxwork special.
Even if you're not a fan of sadomasochism and don't get a dark thrill from seeing a girl dangling between strong supports while she's whipped, this is something you should not miss. The other scenes in the waxworks that come to life -- Dracula's castle, the werewolf's cabin in the woods or the pharaoh's tomb -- don't have the sensual and riveting quality of the Marquis de Sade's dungeon. Check it out and let me know if you agree. I'll understand if you don't.
That is all. Disperse.