Thursday, March 3, 2011

Lock Me Up!: Legion of the Dead

Do you get it?  Do you get it?  This 2005 film by The Asylum was released in conjunction with George A. Romero's Land of the Dead.  Oh good- The Asylum is doing a zombie film!  At least I expect nothing but sub-par writing and effects from that genre to begin with.  Naturally, this company finds a different way to disappoint you.  This film is about mummies.  Sure- why not?!?  The plot of this movie involves an Egyptian Princess becoming reincarnated and trying to bring her old army back to life.  What 'star that at one point could do better' do they get?  A couple, actually.  This film features Bruce Boxleitner, Zach Galligan and former sitcom star Andrew Lauer (from Caroline in the City).  That actually brings me to a thesis of which I now have more proof.  I think that The Asylum films multiple movies together.  Case in point: Rhett Giles stars in this movie (May 2005), King of the Lost World (December 2005) and Bram Stoker's Dracula's Curse (January 2006).  Boxleitner also stars in King and Lauer has a cameo in that too.  Coincidence?  I think not.  So yeah, here's the movie.  Get out your not-Asia Argento as we join the...
The film begins with a pair of guys driving around in dirt bikes.  They eventually crash into a tomb and get killed by the traps within.  This is the Tomb of a an Egyptian Princess.  What's it doing in what appears to be Southern California?  That's a good question!  It's at this point that we meet Galligan (the archaeologist), Boxleitner (the Sheriff) and Lauer (the crime scene tech).  You just put all of your star power in one shot...and boy is it sad.  I mean, wow.  We meet the film's lead character- a woman who is going to help with the excavation.  She has some back-story with both Galligan and one of the other men in the group.  Translation: she's a whore.  When you have an illicit affair with Zach Galligan that doesn't take place in the 1980s, you need help.  Some CG lightning and crap happens randomly, causing the Princess to rise from you grave and come to life.  She wanders around for a bit and kills some of the people near the site.  Amongst the victims is Galligan.  It can't be- you found a way out of this shit-hole of a movie!  Good for you, Zach- I take it all back.  The remaining people look into the event until the back-up guy in charge (Rhett Giles) runs into the Princess. He agrees to become her servant and bring her men to sacrifice.  Yes, this has now become The Mummy.
We have to something else other than horror to pad this movie out, so what do they go with?  Lost love?  Family drama?  Sister-sister interaction?  If you went with 'all three,' you would be right.  We get a sub-plot involving our heroine trying to get back together with the guy from the dig site.  The problem: they broke up after her one-night stand with Galligan.  Thank God he's dead, huh?  The other two ideas are shown via the arrival of our heroine's sister.  This is a bit confusing, so try to keep up.  Our heroine is a straight-laced and her sister is a free-spirit, so there is conflict.  Oh, I guess that was actually pretty simple.  While all of this is going on, the naked Princess wanders around and eventually meets up with our heroines.  In a very important scene, we see our heroine speak a number of different languages- including Spanish, French and Italian- to determine what the woman understands.  She finally stumbles across it- Ancient Egyptian.  If you think that the idea of her speaking Ancient Egyptian is the dumb part, just wait.  Giles covers for the Princess in a really flimsy way, but nobody questions it...until the plot needs them to.  She kills a couple more men, using their blood to resurrect another Mummy.
All of this is building up to one thing: Mummies gone wild!  The Princess gets the final kill she needs, bringing all six people to life.  Our heroine's love interest escapes her attack by throwing acid on her...which has to hurt.  He meets up with our heroine and they discuss what to do.  The mummies attack the Hotel and kill some people we never knew, while Boxleitner and Lauer investigate.  The pair are attacked by mummies, leading to the death of the latter.  The Princess captures our heroine's sister, since she needs to sacrifice the blood of a virgin.  I bet you feel bad for interrupting her chance to drunkenly score earlier, huh sis?!?  The pair go to the dig site and confront the Princess, the woman speaking to her *again* in Ancient Egyptian.  Of course, this contradicts a scene earlier where the Princess and Giles talk in Ancient Egyptian right in front of her, prompting our heroine to go 'What did she say?'  Ugh!  The Mummies chase the sister around and one of them kills Boxleitner.  Speaking of ludicrous moments, Giles throws an axe at the boyfriend, who catches and throws it right back- the object going through his skull and sticking in the wall.  Who are you- Superman?!?  The Princess goes with Plan B and tries to sacrifice the boyfriend.  She stabs him, but gets killed.  Through magical Deus Ex Machina, however, they bring the boyfriend back.  The End.
I'd rather see you run over zombies in a super-car!  The plot of this movie is basic enough, but muddled down with filler.  Most of the stuff with Galligan early on, the stuff with the boyfriend and the stuff with the sister is pretty much meaningless.  So much of it is forced in via bad screen-writing.  Why does the sister need to visit?  Well, um, the heroine didn't bring enough clothes, I guess.  No, really.  This is an odd rip-off plot-wise as its build as a rip-off of Land of the Dead, but actually rips off The Mummy.  Here's a question: why six Mummy guards?  That's a strange number to pick, right?  The acting here is alright, but nothing special.  Boxleitner is good, but barely appears in the movie.  Everyone else here- meh.  The big problem is that this movie is full of silly goofs or errors.  For example, the ladder at the top of the dig site is shown to be wooden, but the part inside is always metal.  Can you buy ladders like that?  There's another bit where a woman is killed as brunette, but her dead body is found as a blonde.  Wow- just wow.  The movie has a bit of nudity and gore, but it's hardly enough to make this movie that interesting.  Fans of schlock horror can have some fun with this, but most people will just find it either dumb or boring.
Next up, The Asylum rips off the remake of a movie made in 2006.  The Hills are alive and full of flesh-eaters!  Stay tuned...

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