Originally scheduled to premiere on the Death by Podcast site but not published yet, I figured I’d do it here on this site. So, with that, I’ll promote everything I did for the film American Mummy‘s release with a copy of the review below as well as a link to the interview I conducted with director Charles Pinion at the bottom of the article.
After more than two decades away from the director’s chair, director Charles Pinion finally returns once again with a brand new effort to his resume. Initially a visual artist and director who made the punk-rock zombie/skateboard movie Twisted Issues (1988), the post-Cinema of Transgression witches in the snow movie Red Spirit Lake (1992) and the gritty San Francisco-set cannibal movie We Await (1996) and designed to be the first instalment in a new franchise, this new film offers a decent-enough if still flawed take on the mummy premise.
After the discovery of a strange artifact in the desert, a university research team heads out to investigate the findings. Puzzled by the strange condition and placement of the artifact, an Aztec sacrificial statue in flawless order out in the American southwest, the team starts to investigate the object and how it ties into their research when a strange rash of incidents befalls the team. They come to find they have unleashed the murderous spirit of an ancient warrior who is killing off the team one-by-one and must find a way to stop the deadly rampage.
For the most part, this one wasn’t all that bad but still had enough going for it. Among the more enjoyable aspects here is the fact that there’s some decent enough work here at building the world away from the typical Egyptian variety. The move to the American Southwest offers a slightly more original take here where it’s a more recent vintage that still performed somewhat similar enough actions to make a mummy appearing there plausible. Tying that into the original idea of the blood sacrifice sequence in the caves which features some strong and startling attempts to raise the creature inside which starts this one in earnest, the fact that it utilizes some rather familiar concepts of Aztec lore into the creatures’ rebirth and actual reappearance is quite an intriguing move here.
As well, once this one gets going in the later half with the possessed going on all sorts of great rampages the action is quite fun and makes this a little more engaging, with the discovery of the dead colleague moving around the camp, the brawl with the second victim crawling around, the ceremonial offerings in the cave system or the final battle with the possessed followers inside the camp which all makes this one seem far more engaging than it really is by bringing in some solid action and plenty of gore to help liven this one up. This is what helps make for a fun time here.
However, while it does have some solid positives the flaws here are far more detrimental. Hardly anything is more damaging here than the rather low-budget throughout here, which is quite obvious and really does this one a disservice. The fact that it doesn’t have the budget to bring out an actual mummy is a big issue, rarely featuring anything about the actual creature coming back shuffling around killing people and being more about the return of the curse driven by the creature and it rarely provides much to discount that feeling. Everything looks too closed in and confining which is typical of the style, and added together with the stilted performances from the cast who seemed to sleepwalk through everything as well as the slow, drawn-out pacing here that really lowers the first half really tend to lower this one.
American Mummy will arrive on 3D and 2D DVD and Blu-ray May 9, 2017 from Wild Eye Releasing.
And here’s the link to the interview with the director Charles Pinion