Waxworks (1924) - Paul Leni

Waxwork is a movie about a young man and woman that are hired by a local wax sculptor to create terrifying stories about his sculptures. This of course leads to a series of chilling tales being told. Each one unique in its own right. 

The first is the tale of Harun al-Rashid and how he lost his arm. The arm having fell off of the wax sculpture in the previous scene. The story isn't very terrifying. Harun al-Rashid (The sultan or something) wants this Bakers wife. He tries to seduce her but it doesn't go right. Its kind of a comedy and not really a horror bit. Weird. 

The second is about Ivan the Terrible wanting a girl that is about to get married. Much like the above, but less comedic. 

The last, however, is the best one. The last wax figure, actually comes to life and attacks the writers. Spring-heeled Jack is a version of Jack the Ripper. This is more of an early slasher feature. The ending to this one is pretty creepy, however, cliche. 

This movie is fantastic for its visual aesthetic. Each scene is done with such creativeness. The sets and costumes are fantastic. This is a really solid movie. They went all out and made something from nothing. The acting doesn't hurt the movie either. Our good friends Conrad Veidt and Werner Krauss put in an expected great effort. I would definitely recommend this movie to anyone that is looking to get into silent films. 



  • There was to be a fourth scene. The director cut it to put in the Spring-Heeled Jack bit. 
  • Leo Birinski actually directed half of the film and directed the actors. Paul Lini directed the scenes and scenery. 
  • Spring-Heeled Jack is referred to as a birder. This is a term about being as flighty as a bird.