Thursday, May 27, 2010

Mummy's Curse, The - 2/5

By the time The Mummy's Curse got released, the shambling mummy figure of Kharis had become a joke. The plot elements of tana leaves and the princess Anaka had become self parodies and audiences where getting sick of and tired of characters unable to outrun our shambling zombie. I for one was growing tired of the same old gimmicks and actually couldn't wait for this fifth entry into Universals Mummy franchise to be over.

Typical in Universal horror fashion we get one major continuity error right at the beginning. The end of the last film The Mummy's Ghost had our cloth wrapped foe took his princess Anaka into a watery grave in northern New England. The swamp he walked into surprisingly moves to Southern Cajun country. Was this an attempt by the filmmakers to breathe some new life into the faltering franchise by giving the Mummy the ability to terrorize a new environment? Perhaps or otherwise it's just a royal fuck-up on the writers part. The absolute most asinine plot element the writers incorporate is the same Mistake the Mummy's Tomb made by making this film take place 25 years after the events of the last picture. The Mummy's Hand took place in 1940. The Mummy's Tomb took place 30 years after those events and The Mummy's Ghost took place 5 years after that. Those added to now another 25 years makes this film take place in the year 2000. Like the Mummy's Tomb the filmmakers make no attempt to make this film look like it takes place in some sort of future and the audience is stuck in a film that looks like it takes place in... well 1944. What an alternate universe this series takes place in as human beings make no progress and 60 years in the future it still looks like the 1940's!

The swamp Kharis and his princess are in gets drained due to the land being prepped for building. In comes some archeologists to pester the construction contractor by telling him that a two mummies are in the swamp. Kharis of course awakes and finds yet another Egyptian priest to give him orders. Anaka also awakens and she changes back to a normal looking woman who seems confused, like she is "living two lives in two different times." The film finally shambles to an ending that easily leaves the door open for another sequel... a sequel that thankfully didn't arrive. Universal did revive the mummy in the comedy spin-off Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy. It would take 15 years after these by-the-number Universal films about Kharis the mummy before the character would gain any sort of horror respect again when Hammer studios remade The Mummy's Hand and The Mummy's Tomb in 1959 simply titled "The Mummy."

At a mere 1 hour and 1 minute, this connect-the-dots sequel to a connect-the-dots sequel seems too long. By this time our cheap sequels were just becoming carbon copies of each other and with each copy the image got blurrier and more faded. It was time for the Mummy franchise to die and like it's walking monster, the films were becoming desiccated husks that seemed single minded as the series villain himself. If you loved the previous films then there is no reason you shouldn't find something to like here otherwise you're not going to find anything remotely new.

Written By Eric Reifschneider

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