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M.D.C. Maschera Di Cera
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Length:1 Hour 38 Minutes
Cast:Sergio Stivaletti

An interesting variation on the classic Gaston Leroux story, which was also the inspiration for the 1953 3-D classic House of Wax, Maschero di cera is an interesting footnote in the ushering of Italian horror into the new millennium. Though it shows little progress in development of plot over style (a notorious criticism of Italian horror), the fact that it was intended to be the first partnering of genre contemporaries Lucio Fulci and Dario Argento excited many genre diehards. With the death of intended director Fulci throwing the production an unexpected curve ball, frequent Fulci/Argento special effects collaborator Sergio Stivaletti was chosen as his successor. Displaying a competent handling of the material, as well as the stylistic excesses that have become synonymous with Italian horror, Stivaletti drenches the dark corridors of the wax museum with rich primary hues and keeps the story moving at a satisfying pace. Blending the conventions that defined Italian horror in the past decades with the modern, digital special-effects mentality that Stivaletti has been refining in recent years, M.D.C. isn't a breakthrough in any sense of the term, but though its final 30 seconds nearly destroy the redeeming qualities of the preceding 97 minutes, it ultimately serves its eerily entertaining purpose. ~ Jason Buchanan, All Movie Guide

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