Saturday, September 4, 2010

Blockbuster Trash: Ancient Evil- Scream of the Mummy

Another David DeCoteau film, huh?  Yeah, the guy's got a twenty-plus year career, so it's no wonder that I run into another one.  In fact, it's one of two films this month in a series.  Oddly, the second one is not directed by DeCoteau.  Unfortunately, this one is.  The film involves, well, a mummy being brought to life.  Since it's a film by DeCoteau, it also features numerous, pointless scenes of men shirtless.  Of course, 'the truth remains to be seen' folks.  Since this is low-budget, they have about three locations, ten people in the cast and almost no CG.  It's also one of the few films involving mummies and/or their lure that didn't show people in Egypt/Mexico/The Yucatan.  Remember that stupid Italian movie Dawn of the Mummy?  They shot on location in Egypt.  Hell, even that dull Fulci movie about a gem from Egypt had scenes shot there!  So now that the bar is set appropriately-low, let's check out the film.  Get out your deus ex machina bracelet for my review of...
The movie begins with a teacher talking to her students about a mummy brought in from Mexico.  See- I told you!  They talk about the lore a bit, but it's mostly just filler.  We get to see our cast of nobodies and, boy, are they ever generic.  We get nerdy guy (who's definitely not evil), jock guy, other jock guy, black guy, nerdy redhead, the blond and the teacher.  The latter's role is so small that it barely even merits a mention.  We get to see that the nerdy guy is weird and awkward here too.  That should go without saying, but, whatever.  We get some random banter between the characters to establish their motivations and all that, but, again, it's mostly just filler.  What's important is that the jock guy steals the amulet off of the mummy as a gift for the blond.  She's impressed, but also a bit miffed at his theft.  He still gets a date with her, so infer from that what you will.  That night, the teacher is looking into the mummy lore a bit more before leaving for the night.  The nerdy guy shows up and awakens the mummy, leading to it killing her in a throat slitting with very little blood.  You can't even give me decent gore, huh?  How sad.
After all of that, we get more banter between our heroes, who have since split up into their respective dorm rooms.  Basically, the three guys (minus the nerd) are whining about being stuck inside, since some unseen guard may catch them if they do anything.  This sub-plot amounts to nothing, by the way.  Eventually, Jock Guy decides to throw a party in the main building and invites Blond Girl to go with him.  The rest of them get upset when they find out about this, although they mostly just bitch about it.  Meanwhile, the mummy is loose and has hidden the teacher's body on the slab.  Nobody ever uncovers it for the obvious 'reveal shot,' so why include this?  The pair are inside the building and uncover the mess left behind by Nerdy Guy when looking for information, but do nothing about it.  Aftetr more wandering around and padding, the mummy finally kills Blond Girl.  Wow, I called her as the 'Final Girl,' so it shows what I know!  We get even more padding as the rest of the group
The blood finally begins to flow in this movie, although it's another case of far too little, far too late.  Jock Guy gets killed by the mummy, but only after some long, lingering shots of his abdomen.  We get it, David!  The rest of the cast just about gets offed in the successive time, leading us with just Nerdy Redhead, Other Jock Guy and Nerdy Guy.  The latter has revealed his evil plan: to sacrifice a virgin and bring about the end of the world.  The movie has made a point about saying that the Redhead is a virgin, so she's the obvious victim.  By the way, watch for the cameo by her boyfriend that's so important he dies off-camera!  Other Jock Guy is left to stop Nerdy Guy from carrying out his goal.  It's just a shame that he's too busy being choked by the mummy.  By the way, Nerdy Guy is doing the ceremony because he's a descendant of the ancient Mayan priests.  The only thing whiter than you is the actual color itself, so I find that a bit dubious.  After a lot of stalling and posturing, our hero smashes the amulet, causing Nerdy Guy to loose control of the mummy.  It slashes him in the back and just sort of dies, setting up The End.  Hurray for that!
This movie is crap- pure and simple.  It's a mummy film where the thing looks dumb, is clearly fat and just stabs everyone.  The cast is about ten people and they clearly couldn't afford more than their tiny number of locations.  The direction is alright, but nothing special.  It bears another mention of just how much exposed male torso there is in this movie.  I mean, is it really a secret about David DeCoteau and his personal longings.  For all the flack that Bryan Singer has gotten over the years for hiring good-looking, male actors for his *alleged* side-interests, DeCoteau is pretty shameless about it.  Considering that the one shirtless guy from Witches of the Caribbean was bad enough, imagine three or four of them and you've got the leads for this movie.  Is it too much to ask for the movie to have more than two major roles for women?  On top of that, one of them dies very early and the other is made out to clearly not be a sex symbol in any way.  As for the actual movie, it's dull, shoddy and does nothing interesting.  If you want to see a fat mummy wrestle with a Twilight-wannabe, this is your movie.  For everyone else, don't bother.
Up next, a horror anthology film that has gone overlooked for nearly 20 years.  As a bonus, it was almost another film entirely!  Stay tuned...

1 comment:

  1. This is one of your most hilarious reviews in weeks dude, very nice! Makes me want to become a mummy and start stabbing everyone, because that is the mummy's natural defense mechanism