3-D: Waxing Nostalgic

Geek Culture

So, this 3-D thing is kind of a big deal, right? Change the world! Bring you into the movies! Feel like you’re right there!

Happy fifty-seventh birthday, House of Wax.

Image: WarnerBros.comImage: WarnerBros.com

Image: WarnerBros.com

Yes, on April 10, 1953, Warner Bros. unveiled its “NEW WONDER of the ENTERTAINMENT WORLD!” (And you want to talk a teaser, go check out the original trailer – not a single scene from the movie: Just two solid minutes of brassy suspense-type music and classic hyperbole like “A Kiss that Kills – and You Actually Sense Its Chilling Menace!” Honestly, I love this type of thing.)

So, as we go on pondering and pontificating and poking fun at the 3-D hype wave of the moment, it’s worth remembering that the debate of the technology and its impact on a good story is an old one, too.

This Cinefantastique retrospective includes a great quote from none other than Vincent price, which begins with his noting that director Andre de Toth, having only one eye, couldn’t even film with the 3-D effects in mind: “When they wanted a director for [a 3-D] film, they hired a man who couldn’t see 3-D at all! Andre de Toth was a very good director, but he really was the wrong director for 3-D. … It didn’t mean anything to him. But he made a good picture, a good thriller.”

House of Wax helped launch the mid-1950s “golden era” of 3-D – which, Wikipedia reminds us, lasted all of about four years.

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