Tuesday, February 15, 2011

In short: La Momia Azteca Contra El Robot Humano (1958)

aka The Robot versus The Aztec Mummy

It's five years after our last visit to the land of the Aztec Mummy. Good old Doctor Almada (Ramon Gay), who is by now married to Flor (Rosa Arenas) and still keeping Pinacate (Crox Alvarado) as his secret lover or assistant, informs two visiting Doctors of what happened in the first two Momia Azteca movies - though in a version peculiarly different from what movie one and movie two in the series showed - through the power of endless flashbacks. But his tale doesn't end with the malevolent Dr Krupp aka The Bat (Luis Aceves Castaneda) being thrown into his own snake pit by an angry mummy. It turns out that Krupp was able to escape the pit through a secret escape hatch (note to other supervillains: always have an escape hatch in your death traps - there's nothing that could go wrong with that), and was in action again just a few nights later.

Krupp used his powers of remote hypnosis to get the living Mummy detector that is Flor to show him where the Mummy strolled off to with her breastplate and her bracelet (the ones that should lead him directly to the treasure of the Aztecs, remember?). Krupp still really, really wants to steal the Mummy's stuff and use it to steal even more stuff, but he's now quite afraid of the dead guy. What to do in a case like this? If you're a professional mad scientist like the Bat, you decide to just disappear for a few years and improve your Tampering in God's Domain skills. Almada is convinced that Krupp has returned now, and does his best (that is, not much and getting himself caught) to obstruct Krupp's plans.

Krupp hasn't returned alone, though. The mad scientist now comes with his new secret weapon against mummy-dom - a half-human/half-bicycle-headlight/all-hand-made radioactive robot. Whatever could go wrong?

In the beginning, Momia Azteca vs. Robot Humano puts up quite a fight, actively hindering even a tolerant viewer like me from enjoying it. There's not much that can stop a film dead in its tracks faster than a twenty minute flashback (including one whole musical Aztec number) to its two predecessors, closely followed by another twenty minutes of Ramon Gay and Crux Alvarado playing detective by talking not very interesting nonsense at each other. Up until that point in the proceedings, it was a bit difficult not to drift off into the land of sweet, sweet dreams for me, with Krupp's Extreme Scenery Chewing™ the only thing that kept me awake.

But then, very suddenly, the films final twenty minutes turned into everything its title promised: a mad science lab full of adorable mad science stuff! Gay and Alvarado getting manhandled (yay!)! Krupp turning into the perfect serial mad scientist! A guy in a robot suit of the most boxy degree! Monster wrestling that looks a lot like hugging, only with a bit of steam coming out of the robot (who might have teakettle parts inside, as far as I know)! It's psychotronic movie perfection.

Of course, it's twenty minutes of psychotronic movie perfection that follow forty minutes of dullest dullness, so I'm not sure how much of a recommendation this actually is.

No, wait, who am I kidding? Of course it's a recommendation! If you're the kind of gal/guy who is going to watch a film called The Aztec Mummy versus The Human Robot, you're not the sort that can be held back from pure bliss by the threat of a mere forty boring minutes. I certainly wasn't.


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