Tuesday, August 17, 2010

In short: Dawn of the Mummy (1981)

An obsessed fashion photographer drags a group of stupid models out into the Egyptian desert, far away from the usual tourist centres. There, they stumble into the territory of three stupid grave robbers hard at work plundering the hidden tomb of an especially nasty mummy.

How stupid are those grave robbers? So stupid that they can't prevent a fashion shoot from taking place in the tomb they're working in. Why a fashion photographer would want to shoot in the shabby thing is beyond me anyway. My thoughts about the art of fashion photography notwithstanding, there will be photographing.

The opening of the tomb had already woken up the mummy guy, but he's getting more active as soon as more potential victims arrive.

I don't think the mummy likes fashion photography. At least, it is always oozing stinky looking fluids when the shoots (and those take days) take place, possibly in an allergic reaction to the stupidity cooties floating all around it.

Anyway, after hours and hours, the mummy begins its mandatory killing spree, teleporting hither and yon. And it is not alone - it has a small army of (also teleporting) zombies in its service who are very useful when the time comes to attack a nice, Egyptian village.

Dawn of the Mummy belongs to the especially dreadful type of movie that is intensely boring and uninteresting for much of its running time, but jolts a awake for short bouts of excitement. It's neither a very useful film to sleep by, nor one that's bound to keep enthralled and excited.

Most of the film belongs to the (very 80s) scenes of a boring guy photographing bored looking women who can't act, said boring persons who still can't act emoting some relationship stuff most soap operas would realize in a more exciting way and good Cthulhu, is this stuff tedious! Then, when you think you can just pop the DVD out again and watch the Weather Channel instead, the mummy dispatches of someone in a gory and ridiculous way while its victim makes some of the loudest, yet most preposterous sounding dying noises ever committed to screen or tape, after which it's back to the soap operatics for the quarter of an hour.

And suddenly, for the last fifteen minutes or so, the movie transforms into a ridiculous but neat zombie attack. First they drop in on a wedding and then visit a whole village in scenes full of spirited gut-munching, more screeching, and dynamite-throwing models. In other words, Dawn of the Mummy becomes absolutely fabulous, as if director Frank Agrama had suddenly remembered that he a) has quite an (un)healthy macabre imagination or b) can steal ideas from other, better movies to make his own less sleep-inducing.

Oh yeah, the zombie and mummy make-up looks quite neat, too.



Todd said...

I'd like to watch this, but I think I'd need you there to operate the fast forward.

houseinrlyeh said...

What, a veteran of Sompote Sands like you?

Todd said...

Well, see, now with that experience under my belt, I can hire myself out as a FF operator for those who want to experience all of the man-in-suit monster action of Sompote Sands' movies without all the ponderous water buffalo footage. I don't come cheap, though.