Happy Friday Gasmii! P-Baby here with your latest installment of Horrorgasm. While I knew this day would inevitably come, I am still downing a can of Diet Pepsi in order to gather strength for what I’ve set to embark on. Today’s edition will be on the Chard Michael Murray/Elisha Cuthbert/Paris Hilton flick from 2005 House of Wax. I actually saw this little booger in the theater when it came out, loved it, and subsequently bought the DVD a few months later. While I would never admit publicly to loving a movie starring both Chard and Paris, I’m comfortable enough to share these innermost feelings of guilt with you all. Something about that squinty-eyed bastard running around full of angst and Paris giving BJs in a movie not filmed in night vision charms my cold, dark heart. Anyway Gasmii, enough out of me. On with the show!
PS. Chard is not a typo. In prior recaps, we’ve come to find out that the definition of Chard can be a Swiss vegetable with long, succulent white stalks or a derogatory synonym for male genitalia. Seeing as both of these definitions suit Mr. Michael Murray to a T, that’s what we’re going with.
The film opens in 1974 with a woman making a mask out of wax at the kitchen table while one son eats a bunch of Cheerios and the other son says, “Fuck Cheerios, I want some Cinnamon Toast Crunch!” and starts flipping out, knocking the mask on the floor and forcing his parents to tape him down to his high chair. Mom then slaps him across the face, perfectly setting the stage for the young child to grow into an emotionally imbalanced psychopath with mommy issues.
Fast forward 31 years and a group of teens are eating at a table outside a diner in the middle of a road trip to a football game. Paris Hilton, Elisha Cuthbert and Jared Padalecki of Supernatural fame are hanging out reading the paper and eating french fries. Just your typical group of average looking kids at your run of the mill road side diner. If I was 13 and not the wise age of snark that I am now, I’d definitely want to hang out with this gang in hopes of being photographed and tagged on Facebook with the cool crowd. My status would totes say, “P-Baby is hittin’ the road with Jar, Par, and Lish. See you at the game, biotches!” Since I’m not 13, I’ll just roll my eyes out of their sockets and move on.
Jared, who’s going by the name Wade, gives Carly (Elisha) shit for inviting her brother along on the road trip because it seems as though he just posted bail and is a bit of a troublemaker. Five minutes in and Paige (Paris) is already sucking face with her boyfriend who’s rollin’ with the homies out in his Escalade in the parking lot. Come on writers. Why does the black guy HAVE to drive an Escalade and listen to rap? That’s like having an Asian waiting in the parking lot in a souped up neon colored Honda Accord listening to David Hasselhoff.
Anyway, Elisha’s brother Nick and flunky Dalton come out of the diner and sit down at the table with the rest of the gang. Elisha’s brother is played by Chard. That dude wouldn’t last two seconds in jail. His fuck-me squint would be too powerful against the rest of the inmates.
After catching a glimpse of Chard’s brustwarzen (English translation: breast warts) I’ve decided that Chard was probably quite a hit at the county jail.
Carly and Nick squabble back and forth while Dalton records stuff annoyingly on a video camera. Finally the group stops wasting my time and gets back on the road. They are forced off the main highway due to a detour and as the group grows weary, they decide to pull over and camp out for the night. What the shit? Maybe I’m coming from a place of responsible grown up where I tend to make hotel reservations when I know I’ll be embarking on a lengthy road trip. There are six people in this group. Surely they could have each pitched in $10 bucks for a room at the Super 8. Never have I been driving somewhere, grown tired, and decided to randomly pull off into the nearby forest for an overnight stay. I also have never filmed myself fucking Rick Saloman, cheated on my adorable wife with a herpes ridden heiress, worked my way through the NHL, or starred in a movie with Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen. I’ll let you all figure out who’s who in that mix of self destructive behavior.
So the losers are stop and get out of their cars. Paige confides in Carly that she thinks she may be pregnant which is the absolute last thing this planet needs. A friendly game of touch football begins while Chard Nick smokes a cig nearby, watching, because he’s too cool and so above everything. Turns out Nick had a scholarship to go to college for football before he got in trouble, which apparently occurred because Carly ratted him out for having a stolen car to the cops/parents/some authority figure. I don’t really know. The point is, Chard is “edgy” and Carly is “good.” Chard may want to lay off the fuck me eyes when he is talking to his on screen sibling.
At their camp, a gust of wind brings the smell of death upon their campsite.
Dalton continues to record stuff on camera while every tells him to knock it off. More fluid exchange goes on between Paige and Blake and Carly and Wade. The group overall is enjoying themselves until a strange pick up truck pulls up, shining his high beams onto their camp site. They get all weirded out and start yelling at the guy to turn his lights off. These must be city kids because where I grew up, this behavior was known as spotlighting, and often resulted in the driver shooting at whatever animals he could see with his lights. Meaning, these idiots better stop yelling at the drunk redneck before blasts them all with his shotgun. Finally, Chard throws a beer bottle at the truck, busting a headlight. The guy finally pulls away slowly, but I’ve got an itchy feeling that busted light is going to come back to haunt them.
The gang retires to their tents for a little shut eye and the video camera circles around recording them all tucked in with dancing sugar plum fairies in their head. But who’s behind the camera??!? Something wakes up Carly so she decides to jump out of the tent and explore. Carly apparently can’t be bothered with worrying about silly things like yeast infections and wedgies as she is conveniently wearing the shortest shorts ever worn on a camping trip. Wade gets up to bring the wandering Carly back to the tent.
The next morning, Blake wakes up and starts hollering at everyone else to get their lazy asses up as it is already 2:30. There is no way these incapable asshats are ever making it to the football game unless it starts a week from now. Paige and Carly are off in the woods peeing when a gust of wind brings back the smell of Paige’s ladybits death. Carly decides she wants to explore to find the source of the smell. Carly’s hair also suspiciously looks fantastic for having just spent the night in a sleeping bag in a tent.
Back at camp, Wade’s having car trouble, discovering a broken fan belt. Well that’s going to hinder things. In the woods, Carly sleeps and falls down a hill, landing in a bog of what appears to be human bodies and dear carcas, as made evident by the random hand popping out of the ground. She’s going to need a lot of Purell after that adventure.
At the site, a man named Lester pulls up in a pick up truck similar to the creepy one from the night prior. He shows the group that the hand actually belongs to a dummy that he found by the side of the road a few weeks ago. Wade asks Lester if he knows where he can get a fan belt. He suggests they head to the town of Ambrose, 15 miles down the road. Wade tries to form a game plan with Blake, and in the process we find out that they don’t even have tickets for the game yet, placing their attendance in the hands of finding a scalper. So basically, their road trip to the biggest football game of the year was really just a road trip with no real outcome planned for the end.
Lester offers to give Wade a ride into town. Wade accepts without even a promise of candy or ice cream. He also makes his girlfriend sit next to the with no teeth and a blooding carving knife. Idiot.
Carly decides to go with Wade and off they go! Lester is a real creep (Not “Creep” like Jersey Shore Ronnie or catchy tune a la TLC). After an abrupt stop, Carly and Wade demand to be let out to walk the rest of the way into town, which is just up around the bend.
Meanwhile, the other four assholes are now stuck in traffic and arguing over whether or not to just give up on the football game and turn around. They don’t have tickets anyway, so I’m not quite sure they’re giving up on anything except sitting in a parking lot outside the stadium.
Back in Ambrose, Carly and Wade walk along the main street, failing to notice the lack of typical main street staples such as people, moving cars, etc. They find the gas station though it appears to be unattended. They decide to track someone down in the church while Paige calls to inform them they are turning around due to the traffic. At the church, they coincidentally locate the owner of the gas station who appears to be in the middle of a funeral. Totally not plot related but I just noticed that very audibly we hear Wade telling Carly they should just go back to the road, yet his cute little mouth isn’t moving at all. Jared Padalecki is a wayyyyy better actor than I ever gave him credit for. And once Supernatural gets cancelled, he can totally get a sweet low-paying job as a ventriloquist.
The gas station dude comes back out, apologizes for his initially brusk demeanor and tells the two that he’ll meet them at the gast station in a couple hours. Wade gets annoyed because everyone wants to tap Carly’s ass. Well, Wade, what do you expect when your trollop girlfriend galavants around town like this.
While waiting for Bo, the gas station guy, Carly and Wade decide to explore the town’s wax museum. They discover the entire building is actually made of wax. Jared treats us to more of his acting prowess.
There are a bunch of random folks in the wax museum and Carly reads some of the news clippings on the wall. Apparently the wax owners are pretty famous in the deserted town of Ambrose. Carly also discovers a bunch of creepy animal/human hybrid statues all signed by the artist Vincent. They all see the dusty high chairs from the opening scene. While looking in the mirror, Carly sees a creepy figure in the reflection that quickly darts out of her view. Wade leaves the museum to explore outside though doesn’t discover anything or anyone. Carly gets freaked out and runs back outside to Wade.
Back with Chard and the Brainchildren, they are peeing in the woods and ask each other if they want to have sex.
Wade and Carly are now waiting in the gas station when Bo shows up. Bo is out of the size Wade needs so he convinces the two to go up to his house where he claims to have the correct size fan belt. They agree and head off with Bo. Bo tells them the history of Ambrose, about Trudy the wax lady and her crazy kids. Carly waits in Bo’s truck outside while Wade goes in the house to use the bathroom. Since he’s clearly not as famous as 2005 Elisha Cuthbert despite his everlasting stint on the WB, and he just committed the cardinal sin of scary movies by splitting up from said famous starlet, he’s fucked.
Wade decides to explore a little after using the restroom and finds some nasty shit on the desk including a cow fetus in glass. He also sees a bunch of masks on a shelf and finds what looks like an operating room with a bunch of rusty surgical tools. None of this causes any sense of fear in Wade which is worrisome to me that he’s never been diagnosed with a learning disability. Carly grows antsy and gets out of the truck only to see that it is the one from the previous night with the busted head light. She panics and starts beeping the horn to draw Wade out of the house. At that moment, the lights go out.
Wade is locked in the room and while trying to get out, the creepy figure from Carly’s mirror reflection snips his achilles heel with a pair of scissors. Wade cowers back into the surgical room where he is stabbed again with the scissors and kicked in the face. Carly tries to call her band of idiots but they don’t answer because they’re too busy spreading STDs.
Carly locks herself in the truck when Bo comes back outside. She confronts him about being the guy from the campsite which pisses him off. He breaks the window trying to get into the truck while Carly struggles to get away. In 30 seconds, Carly manages to lose hold of her cell phone and render her escape vehicle useless when one of the tires gets stuck. I know it is easy to judge when I personally have never faced certain death by the hands of a crazy dude obsessed with wax but I’d like to think I could manage my survival assets a little better than that.
Carly runs away and back into town while Wade gets his sorry ass dragged down a dirty hallway by long haired mask wearing creep.
So Wade is undergoing a series of treatments including facial waxing, drugging, and a hot wax shower for soft skin. As his body gets covered, Carly runs back to the church and realizes what she did not see before.
That everyone in there aren’t Christ loving good-hearted humans but in fact cold, dead, wax figures. Bo tracks her down in the church and stalks around looking for her. Looking, more looking, looking and he finds her hiding under the preacher’s robe. Bo chases her out of the church and tackles her outside.
Bo takes her back to the gas station and straps her into a chair with duct tape. Just as I warned you all, Chard and Dalton show up at the gas station after having managed to navigate themselves to Ambrose. After not finding Carly and Wade at the gas station, Chard decides to be a chard and go get himself a drink at the grocery store while Dalton wanders off in the other direction. I guess it is safe to say Dalton is fucked. As to the reason why, see above for Jared Padalecki’s demise. No one was hotter than a 2005 Chard Michael Murray. He had conquered both TV (One Tree Hill) and film (A Cinderella Story) by that point.
So Bo decides to keep Carly quiet by gluing her mouth shut with super glue. Chard runs into Bo at the gas station after being denied at the grocery store and asks if he’s seen Carly or Wade. Bo denies seeing anyone, which doesn’t sit well with Chard who actually shows a shred of intelligence by challenging Bo and insisting that he must have seen someone. Carly has managed to get one of her hands lose and is sticking her fingers up through the grate where Chard and Bo are standing, where she soon finds herself minus one finger, courtesy of Bo’s pliers.
Bo offers to go up to the house with Chard so he can use the phone or something, but at that moment Carly manages to pry her lips open and scream for help. Bo attacks Chard with a knife but he escapes and runs into the gas station garage. Chard runs downstairs and lets Carly out of the chair though they both lose track of Bo’s whereabouts. I’m going to admit this only once. I found Chard kind of hot during this whole sequence. OK. With my head hung low in shame, I’ll continue.
Dalton stumbles into the wax museum, which is probably the last place I want to go in a strange deserted town in the middle of the night. Teenagers or college aged twenty somethings are always going to stupid places at night, like wax museums, creepy circus tents in the woods, etc. Why can’t they just park their nosy asses in one safe, normal place for the duration of nightfall?
Dalton explores around the museum, calling for Carly and Wade and receiving no answer. He finds Wade sitting at the piano and soon realizes Wade is now a wax figure but still alive with moving eyes. He tries to peel the wax away from Wade’s face but it pulls away his skin too. Creepy long haired masked dude sees Dalton and comes after him, eventually catching him and pushing him down a flight of stairs. Dalton’s head gets cut off, with only four idiots left for Bo and Creepy Guy to destroy. Sorry Dalton. Next time, try a successful WB show and a film featuring a Disney tween if you want to last a little longer in a film.
Chard and Carly leave the gas station after they hear Bo’s truck pull away. They go back out into town in search of any living, breathing people and realize the entire town is made of wax with human bodies underneath. Carly tells Chard that everyone at the church was the same way.
Back at the camp site, I know Blake is about to come onscreen due to the R & B sex tunes that are now pumping out. It looks as though he and Paris are about to get down to business with Paris performing a strip tease. I guess she wanted to avoid tyepcasting from her previous film experience, thus decided to choose a role to really display her range.
So just after the stripping and cock teasing, Paige decides this is the best time for her to tell Blake about the possible devil spawn growing inside of her. He, however, gets distracted by the music abruptly turning off and goes back outside the tent to turn it back on before she can tell him anything. While outside, he notices a voicemail on his phone and hears a message from Carly with the attack on Carly playing in his ear. Paige decides to call it a night and goes to sleep.
In the tent, she wakes up to see this over her.
She runs out of the tent and sees Blake stabbed in the neck on the ground. Paige and her extensions run to a nearby warehouse where she sits and hides. As she walks along a grated floor, a knife pops up and cuts her in the heel. She picks herself back up and runs away, wielding a pole as a weapon. Finding an unlocked car, Paige jumps in and hides out, hoping to avoid detection, which I’m quite sure we all know how that’s going to turn out. Just as she pops her doe eyes over the hood of a car to look for her attacker, Paige gets a sharp pole thrown right through her forehead. (Side note: When this happened in the theater, my audience clapped. Anyone else?) The long haired masked face creepy dude uses Dalton’s camcorder to tape Paige as she sits bleeding on the ground. It’s unfortunate that Paris’s only real fame comes from her being videotaped in compromising positions but I’ll throw her a bone and own up to watching a season of two of The Simple Life back in the day.
So with everyone dead except Chard and Carly, I think it’s safe to assume that the movie is about 75% over with one blow out battle culminating in the last twenty minutes. Chard steals a crossbow from a hunting store with the destruction of the store front drawing gunshots from Bo. They run into a nearby movie theater showing What Ever Happened To Baby Jane, which is definitely awesome.
Side note for a minute. When I was a kid, my parents showed me Watcher in the Woods, also starring Bette Davis. That is some scary shit, especially for a five year old.
Hiding in the audience full of wax figures, Bo searches and searches until finally spotting Carly. He shoots at her but she ducks just in time to avoid the shot. Chard shoots Bo in the chest with a crossbow as he comes out of the theater, and Carly kicks him a few times to make sure he is dead. She searches his body for identification but comes up with nothing. I thought for a minute they were smart enough to take the cross bow and shot gun with them but alas, I was wrong. The two Wonder Twins leave empty handed and decide to go back to Bo’s house where Carly has left her cell phone in the stuck pick up truck.
Unfortunately Carly’s phone is no longer in the truck where she lost it, so they decide to enter the house only to discover the phone line is out of order. Look guys, your friends are dead. Even if they weren’t dead, they kind of sucked anyway. Leave town and go find a phone elsewhere.
In the house, Carly and Chard discover some newspaper clippings and photographs of the two brothers Bo told them about earlier. Turns out they were siamese twins that were separated, resulting in the deformity of one of their faces.
While in the house, Bo busts in, as he has apparently managed to sustain a two sizeable crossbow wounds to the arm and chest and instead of going into shock, he walks a couple miles home. Kind of makes you wonder what all the fuss was about in Robin Hood if arrows only produce minor flesh wounds.
Long haired creepy mask guy shows up at the house as well with Blake and Paige dead in the truck bed. At this point Carly is hiding under a table with a baseball bat. Bo shows his verbally abusive, trashy side and yells some nasty stuff at the masked guy who is really just a sensitive ar-teest.
I’m kind of getting bored with this house scene so please excuse while I fast forward a bit. The next 8 minutes can be summed up as such. Carly and Chard discover a control panel under the house that runs the town lights and sounds. They turn them all on. They also find Dalton covered in wax. Fighting ensues between the two sets of siblings and Nick and Carly run away.
Somehow they end up in the wax museum, but since I fast forwarded, I’m just going to assume that Bo’s house is connected by way of underground tunnel. In the museum, a fire is raging on, starting to melt everything around them. Chard and Bo are fighting it out right now among the flames, and while in real life, I’m pretty sure I could beat Chard arm-wrestling, he holds his own against Bo. That’s because he’s a hardened prisoner, yo. And he’s got face stubble to boot.
Bo stabs Chard in the leg, giving him the upper hand in the fight until Carly beats the shit out of him with a baseball bat. Long haired creep shows up and is pretty upset about the death of his brother. So Chard calls after Vincent, who has never actually been referred to as Vincent through the whole movie, but I guess we’ll just go with that.
The whole museum is becoming one big slippery wax ball making it pretty challenging to maneuver in but also making me wish that for one season, Grodner and Chenbot would turn the Big Brother house into a wax building that melts slowly as the season progresses. The house would be the saboteur, unable to be voted out in the very first week. I’ve yet to subscribe to live feeds but if that were to happen, I would never leave my couch.
Chard makes his way up the disintegrating stair case to save Carly as she tries and talks some sense into Vincent. Chard rips off Vincent’s mask revealing his disfigured face. Carly stabs him in the back just as Vincent is about to kill Chard. His body falls through the wax floor, landing on top of Bo’s in the same manner that they were connected before. Ahhh, just when I think horror films are all about tits and ass, they surprise me with a little emotional symbology.
Carly and Chard claw their way out of the house just as the whole thing melts to the ground completely. For a crappy horror flick, I am totally grooving on the waxy special effects right now. So Chard and Carly live to see another day and get bandaged up in the back of an ambulance. Chard squint eyes at the police officer, showing that he’ll be on the mend soon enough. As the ambulance pulls away with Chard and Carly in the back, a voice comes over the radio informing the sheriff that the crazy wax parents didn’t have two sons. In fact, they had 3. The ambulance drives by Lester, who is waving, happy as a pig in shit. I always loved the need to screenwriters to throw in the requisite open ending to allow for a sequel in case the movie does really well. Actually they’ll make sequels even if the movie sucks too. And in my final pathetic admission, I’d go see this sequel too. In the theater. Opening night.