Sunday, 14 October 2012

5 Movies with Mummy Issues

I have always enjoyed the mysteries that surround ancient Egypt.  The building of the pyramids, the fascinating deities and the sophisticated burial rituals.  Organs removed, dehydrated, wrapped and symbolically reanimated so the spirit can pass through into the spiritual realm sounds way more interesting than what we do now.

I was never really interested in Mummy movies, even after the whole Brandon Fraser, Mummy franchise exploded, I always thought that it was just another zombie knock off but after watching a few, I can say that it certainly has it's own niche.  I found that most of the time, the Mummy character isn't a ghoul looking to feast on flesh but rather a sympathetic character who is trying to reclaim his love from his past or that he is seeking retribution for being wronged. However, sometimes he or she is just evil and wants to suck the soul out of someone's butt, which can be pretty fun too. Watching it not, ahhh, you know what I mean.

With that in mind, here are 5 Movies with Mummy Issues: 

5. Wrestling Women vs the Aztec Mummy (aka Las Luchadoras Contra La Momia) (1964) - The Black Dragon and his evil gang are killing scientists all over the place.  After giving them the slip, a scientist reaches an arena where ladies wrestling is being enjoyed and slips into the women's dressing room. Pervy. When the match concludes, the female tag team of Gloria Venus and Golden Rubi go back to their dressing room and are confronted by the scientist.  He explains that he needs the help of the fiance of Gloria Venus, who's uncle is Dr. Trelles, who he's worked with and is in great danger. It seems as though, the Black Dragon is killing the scientists that were collecting codecs of a Aztec nature and has almost deciphered the code, but doesn't know who has the code, so he's killing them all until he finds out. Makes sense.  He tells the brawling beauties that he and the professor are the last two and he doesn't know anything!  And then he is shot.  They tell the fiance and race back to the professor's house to warn him.  Professor Trelles devises a plan to give hide each piece of the codec and that way the two lady wrestlers and his nephew can each take care of a piece of it.  The plan fails and the Black Dragon, ends up with all the codecs except for one.  So, the fiance, puts a winner takes all bet on a match where the wrestling women must defeat the Black Dragon's Judo sisters to win the codecs.  In the most bizarre, best out of seven (?) falls match ever, The women wrestlers win and get the codecs.  The Black Dragon excepts defeat and decides to keep an eye on the gang to see what the codecs will bring to them.  With 20 minutes left in the movie, let's bring in a mummy.  Professor Trelles deciphers the codec and discovers that there is a tomb with a mummy, who has a awesome necklace.  The gang goes to retrieve the necklace and awakens the (wait for it) The Aztec Mummy!  Now they have to stop not only the evil, but fair and reasonable gang of the Black Dragon but The Aztec Mummy as well!  This movie is pretty ridiculous and when I saw Rene Cardona (Santa Claus, Night of the Bloody Apes)was directing, I knew what I was in for.  As you probably read the story is all over the place and the acting is terrible.  The Mummy can turn into a bat and it does not venture out during the day, which makes it the weirdest mummy ever.  However, the make up for the mummy is pretty awesome and the wrestling is ok, if you like lady wrestling.  If you like looong, weird movies, it can be fun.  If not, maybe try to avoid.

4. The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb (1964) - Professor Dubois is murdered in the night, over his team's discovery of the ancient tomb of Prince Ra.  His team consists of Egyptologist Sir Giles Dalrymple, John Bray and his daughter, Annette, who is devastated by his death.  Their benefactor, Alexander King has changed his mind and has decided to tour the the artifact instead of leaving it in Cairo, which does not sit well with the local government but fuck it, Alexander King is gonna make so money.  Once in London, during to rehearsal for the first showing, Mr. King opens up the sarcophagus for the first time revealing the mummy.  Annette makes a new friend named, Adam Beauchamp and he speaks of an evil curse for opening the coffin but everyone thinks that's a bunch of mumbo jumbo and they set up for the show for the next night.  The big show opens up and when Mr. King opens the sarcophagus and the mummy is missing.  Not only is the mummy missing but that night their team is stricken with a number of unexplained murders! Can Annette Dubois solve the mysteries of the murders and find her mummy?  Good movie, lots of unexpected twists and a little mystery to boot.  Although this is a Hammer Film, it didn't have many of the Hammer regulars and it wasn't filmed at Bray but Elstree Studios but it still had the elaborate settings and the magic the Hammer was known for.  Again, not a lot of blood but some good kill scenes.  Worth checking out.

3. Blood from the Mummy's Tomb (1971) - Margret Fuchs is having strange dreams about an Egyptian princess having her hand cut off by priests and being stuffed into a Sarcophagus.  No matter, tomorrows her birthday and her dad, renown archaeologist Professor Julian Fuchs just gave her a fab new ring from an ancient expedition, that he never wants to talk about, he was on many years ago!  Her boyfriend picks her up, digs the ring and suggests to her to find out more about it from a friend of his, Geoffery Dandridge, who is an egyptologist.  They go to see him and Dandridge freaks out when he sees Margaret and the ring!  They leave, just in time to find out that Professor Fuchs has had an attack of some kind and must be put on bed rest.  They also find in her basement, where she is not allowed to go into, an Egyptian themed room which includes a sarcophagus and a half naked woman who resembles herself. Kinky dad.  Luckily, the evil Corbeck has let himself in and is going to explain everything.  Apparently, Professor Fuchs has been obsessed with Queen Tera for a while now and set up a party to find her tomb.  On the day that the tomb was discovered and they opened up the coffin, it just happened to coincide with the day Margret was born and her mother dying.  Professor Fuch brought the stuff home, divide up the relics so the evil queen couldn't get her power back and disbanded his archaeological super group!  But the the queen is mad from the grave and using her ghostly powers is collecting the relics and killing off the scientists!  Margret and her boyfriend have to try and stop her before she becomes too powerful!  This Hammer Film may have had a curse on it.  After five weeks on a six week shoot, director Seth Holt passed away and they brought in Mummy movie expert Michael Carreras (The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb) to finish the shoot.  Also Peter Cushing, Hammer regular, had to leave after the first week of shooting to tend to his wife who had fallen ill.  The film is good and led by 2 time Bond girl, Valerie Leon, who they stuff into the most revealing outfits, I've seen in Hammer history. Not complaining.  The story kinda jumps all over the place and some of the deaths, you shake your head, but it is pretty solid film and the ending is excellent. It's also nice to see and female mummy for a change to shake things up a bit.

2. Bubba Ho-Tep (2002) - Elvis is alive! And he's living in a retirement home in east Texas.  Apparently, he was tired of the hassle of fame and fortune and switched identities with an Elvis impersonator named Sebastian Haff.  Unfortunately, Elvis's contract with Haff blew up in an RV accident and Sebastian dying on the royal throne has left the once prominent singer stuck in this nursing home with a bad hip and a cancerous goiter on his penis.  However, that is the least of his problems because during the night a Mummy sneaks into the home, sucks the souls out of the residents anuses and shits their souls into oblivion.  Can he and J.F.K, who the government turned into a black man, stop this soul sucking son of bitch and save the nursing home, and maybe the world.  Don Coscarelli (Phantasm series, Beastmaster) does a terrific job putting together this horror comedy.  Bringing in Bruce Campbell to play Elvis and Ossie Davis to play John Kennedy creates an interesting dynamic.  I'd have to say that Ossie Davis really steals the show with his low key but at times hilarious J.F.K and Ella Joyce is can be very funny as the nurse.  It has some good kill scenes and the special effects are pretty great.  If you like Bruce Campbell or mummies, then you should check this out.

1. The Mummy (1932) - Archaeologist Sir Joseph Whemple and his assistant Ralph Norton have uncovered the mummified remains of Prince Imhotep.  From the damage done to the sarcophagus, they believe he was buried alive for sacrilegious reasons.  Also, the priests may have enclosed with him, a box that contains the scrolls of Toth, which are magical and can bring people back to life. Fingers crossed.  Whemple speaks with his buddy, Dr. Muller outside their tent about the ramifications of opening the box, while his idiot assistant opens the box, reads the scroll and awakens the Mummy!  The mummy takes off, completely blowing the mind of Ralph Norton and causing Sir Joseph Whemple to leave Egypt, vowing never to return again.  Ten years have past, the son of Whemple, Frank and Professor Pearson are visited by an odd man named, Ardath Bey, who has some information on the tomb of Princess Ankh-es-en-amon's tomb.  They find her mummified remains and donate them to the Cairo museum, but Ardath Bey seems to be hangin out after hours and is trying to use his magic on the mummy.  Strangely, while using his magic, he summons Dr, Muller's house guest, Helen Grosvenor to the museum.  When she arrives though, Ardath has forgetten to unlock the door for his ancient booty call and she collapses at the front door; only to be found by Frank and his father, Joseph "I'll never return to Egypt" Whemple.  Even though they just met, Frank eerily falls in love with Helen, not a lot of choices in the desert I guess, and they discover Ardath Bey is the mummy from ten years ago! He wants to kill Helen, mummify her and bring her back to life as princess Ankh-es-en-amon! What?! Now they have to find him and stop his evil plans for love!  Boris Karloff is fantastic as both the Ardath Bey and the mummy but the real star is make up artist Jack Pierce for transforming Karloff into his character.  Not a lot of blood but a classic horror tale filled with suspense and intrigue that Universal was known for back in the day.  Fantastic story, must see for any horror fan!

So, put away your Egyptian Book of the Dead, wrap yourself up in something warm and enjoy these classic Mummy movies.

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