Name That Trauma :: Reader Susie on a Wax Circus Killer

name that trauma


My sister and I have been searching for years for a movie or show we saw as kids. There were three parts to the film, each separate stories, but I really only recall one of them. It would have been on T.V. around 1990, I think on a main network.

The second story (which is the one I recall) was set in the early 1900s, I think. It begins with a boy, whose parents are circus performers. The mother is having an affair and the father catches her in bed with another man. He ends up stabbing her with a sword and the boy witnesses this.

The story then jumps to later in his life when he is an adult. He is a struggling artist. He becomes romantically involved with some woman and she tells him of a wax museum that will be opening and she offers to buy his childhood story from him to display there. They show him drawing up images of what happened while sitting at a desk with only candlelight. He cuts his hands on the blade he is using to sharpen his drawing utensil.

After they have created the wax sculptures of the death scene of his parents, the woman takes him to view the display prior to the opening. It is incredibly detailed with a statue of the child him standing mouth agape in terror. He and the woman begin to argue and he ends up accidentally stabbing her with the sword from the display. It ends with him standing by her body and the statue of himself as a child with the same terror struck expression.

Any help you can offer would be much appreciated!



name that trauma

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Nathan Arms
10 years ago

The story elements remind me of Jodorowsky’s Santa Sangre. But I don’t thInk that’s it.

Susie Balloni
10 years ago

Thanks for the feedback! Unfortunately, that’s not it. I’m pretty sure it’s an American film. But now I’m going to have nightmares about that Rocky Horror Picture Show looking circus freak! lol