Studio: Phase 4 Films
Director: Patrick McManus
Writer: Joanne Spring
Producer: Ray Haboush
Stars: Stuart Rigby, Lauren Bronleewe, Bailey Gaddis, Sarah Schreiber, Alena Savostikova, Elizabeth Friedman, Jessie Paddock
A father and daughter lead an archaeological team on an expedition to uncover a cursed Egyptian tomb.
The cover art for “The Mummy Resurrected” tries its damnedest to confuse potential viewers into thinking it has something to do with the Universal series starring Brendan Fraser and The Rock. In actuality, “The Mummy Resurrected” is the second installment in Halcyon International Pictures’ low-budget “Still Night Monster Movies” series. (The first was 2012’s “Dracula Reborn.” - review here) The upside to the knockoff image is that it so blatantly mirrors the style of Universal’s movies that there is a good chance the filmmakers will be preoccupied with a lawsuit, and thus unable to make good on the threat of three more entries to come in their classic creature revival series.
At the center of “The Mummy Resurrected” are the five most attractive archaeologists to plunder an Egyptian pyramid since Lara Croft raided her first tomb. If the performances were only as easy on the eyes as the actresses giving them, seeing past their barely thought out characterizations might not be such an insurmountable task.
Multilingual Sara is the team’s translator, although she perplexingly refers to hieroglyphics as “heirowhatever.” Then there is Geri. She is easy to take seriously as a professional academic because she wears a pink t-shirt that reads, “I run like a girl – try to keep up” in shiny silver letters.
Did I say five women? I meant six. Virtually from thin air, an additional blonde with a Russian accent suddenly joins the expedition without introduction well after the movie is underway. Confused, I rewound the film and re-watched the scene where protagonist Professor Tralane greets the women comprising the dig team and confirmed that this person is nowhere to be found. I would wager that her addition to the roster was a late one meant to pretty up the screen with model Alena Savostikova and reshooting the earlier scene with her in it was simply not an option.
With backpacks and ball caps, but without a shovel or a pickax, the group sets off for the hidden tomb of Anankotep. Hidden should not be taken as a literal adjective, since their SUV engine has not yet cooled down when they walk right up on a cave mouth big enough to drive a truck into. In what has to be history’s easiest archaeological discovery of all time, it takes all of ten seconds before the team stumbles upon of bevy of glyphs, stones, and museum pieces not ten feet from the entrance.
I’ve heard more emotion from Siri when asking my iPhone to find a sushi bar with a good happy hour than these girls offer after anyone in their friend circle dies. Without shedding a tear, the girls disinterestedly mutter “oh no,” shrug their shoulders, and limp listlessly into the next scene.
“Oh no” is actually among the movie’s more sensible dialogue. Other conversational gems include, “I loved her more than life itself, which means I will love you even more.” Another girl says, “he’s my dad.” To which someone responds, “let’s hope so. You can never really know for sure who anybody is.” Let’s hope he is your dad? What does any of that even mean?
Taking the cake is the girl exclaiming, “three of our friends already died in there.” It is incredible that her math is so accurate since that third friend died only four minutes earlier while this girl was in a completely different location, making it impossible for her know what even happened.
Wait, isn’t there supposed to be a mummy in here somewhere? There is. Except it doesn’t show up until 50 minutes into a movie that only runs 72 minutes long. Aside from the women, the mummy is the best looking thing in the movie and its relatively few scenes probably add up to less than two minutes of collective screentime.
Hilariously awful animation fills in for empty shells ejecting from assault rifles. A thin sheet of drywall bouncing like rubber as hammers hit it is supposed to be centuries-old brick. At best, it looks like “The Mummy Resurrected” was filmed against the fabricated sandstone walls inside the “Revenge of the Mummy” ride at Universal Studios. At worst, the attempt to shoot Los Angeles for Egypt is utterly laughable.
Critics of low-budget horror open themselves up to their own fair share of criticism from defenders of underwhelming films who ask, “why do you have to be so hard on a movie?” Arguments are made that indie filmmakers are only doing the best they can given the circumstances of little money, little experience, and little talent in front of or behind the camera.
Well, if you happen to be that type of indiscriminate viewer who overlooks a script only doing the bare minimum to constitute a plot, who forgives poorly conceived visual FX because the animators had limited resources, and who gives the director credit simply for producing a completed film, then maybe you will find “The Mummy Resurrected” to be tolerable. But if you demand at least some modicum of relative quality no matter the budget, scope, or production’s backstory, then you will have a hard time mustering any respect for a movie that refuses to respect you back.
Review Score: 25