This week’s Pop Culture League Challenge is a fun one! Here’s the question:
House of Wax: The local Wax Museum is having a fire sale and you have the opportunity to add a life-size, life-like action figure to your collection. Who do you choose?
First of all, if I were to be put into such a situation, I would probably pass on having ANY life-size wax figure. I am terrified of my own shadow once the sun goes down, and there is no way I’d want a realistic figure of any sort looming around and scaring me half to death when I momentarily forget that it’s just a sculpture. For Pete’s sake, I just about peed myself when a buddy put our life-size cardboard Princess Leia in my bed when I was out late on a date. It just wouldn’t be good for my blood pressure.
Having said that, I’m going to go off the wall, and reach way back into the memory bank. When I was a tiny tot, back in the late 70s, McDonald’s gave out space themed rubber erasers in various colors in Happy Meals. I had several, including a cool flying saucer and a rocket ship, but my favorite was a strange alien. I recall it being blue or green, but may be misremembering. I dearly loved that little alien but he was eventually lost or thrown out to wherever cool old toys disappeared to.
Fast forward to the mid 90s. I was a big monster movie buff, and picked up a copy of the Encyclopedia of Monsters at a local bookstore. It was full of pictures and information on hundreds of old horror and sci-fi movie monsters. Lo and behold, I turn the page and there was an alien that looked almost exactly like my old rubber eraser. It was from a movie called “Invasion of the Saucer Men”.
A few years later, when Ebay became a big thing, I looked there for a copy of “Invasion of the Saucer Men” for sale. There weren’t any legit copies available, but there was a nice bootleg VHS tape that I gleefully overpaid for. My expectations weren’t really high for the movie, and it absolutely met them. It’s one of those that’s so bad it’s good. Frank Gorshin as an obnoxious drunk is particularly fun, and at one point a severed alien hand grows an eyeball and attacks on its own. The fingers are sort of like needles, and inject alien blood that affects humans like alcohol. Seems weird, yeah, but Aliens have acid for blood and that makes about as much sense, right?
So, without a doubt, if I were forced to get a wax figure for my collection, it would be one of the oddball alien Saucer Men. The look of them is iconic, in my opinion, and when you add in the C-movie cheesiness as well as the callback to a McDonald’s Happy Meal toy, you really can’t go wrong. BONUS: Invasion of the Saucer Men is on YouTube in its entirety. What a glorious time we live in!
Honorable mentions: a wax version of Godzilla or Optimus Prime.
Here are a few other entries that really stood out for me this week:
Collector’s Universe goes way back in time for a prehistoric amphibian.
Pop Rewind shared my trepidation for selecting a wax figure, because they are straight up creepy, really, seriously, they are.
And Cool and Collected chose my favorite actor that never wore a Godzilla suit.
You can read the rest of the Pop Culture League entries for this week here.