DAY OF THE MUMMY

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DVD REVIEW: DAY OF THE MUMMY / CERT: 15 / DIRECTOR: JOHNNY TABOR / SCREENPLAY: GARRY CHARLES / STARRING: DANNY GLOVER, WILLIAM McNAMARA, ANDREA MONIER, PHILIP MARLATT / RELEASE DATE: OCTOBER 20TH

Fifty years. That’s how long it’s been since The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb (1964), the last half-decent proper mummy-flick. Has the curse finally been broken by a straight-to-DVD movie? [Not very likely – Ed] Could Day of the Mummy (2014) be the Chosen One?

Well let’s see. There are certain rules to mummies; some can be ignored (in fact, it’d give them a kick up the arse if they were) while others must never be broken otherwise your movie is in the most perilous peril. Firstly, acceptable locations include Egypt, England (fog-bound) and absolutely nowhere else. This one’s in Egypt, so that’s fine. There shalt always be a suspicious-looking bloke in a fez. Oh well, we can probably skip that one. There shalt be a woman who is the exact double (the same actor, in fact) of the mummy’s former one-true-love. Never mind, that one’s pretty tired anyway. Bit of a tricky one, but very important: Mummy movies are actually a sub-sub-genre of the sub-genre known as Colonial Horror (tm). You know the kind of thing: Haitian-style zombies, Fu Manchu, anything with pith helmets. Therefore, it's understood that they need to be set pre-WWII when some of the world was still regarded as mysterious. No points there then. But all this can be overcome if one simple rule is obeyed: Mummies are shit-scary. Oh...

So what can DotM offer? Well, what about Danny Glover? Whatever happened to him? Here he is, in a cheap-looking study (he must have spent a whole afternoon on this) linked to William McNamara by way of McNamara’s glasses so he can find Glover the film’s MacGuffin. You see this is the other gimmick: It’s shot entirely from the point of view of McNamara. Of course, that’s not actually that new as it was done (rather better) as long ago as The Lady in the Lake (1947) but at least it’s a change from found-footage (which looks exactly the same). Actually, the main thing you notice here is that Danny Glover isn’t really in the film at all, he just pops up in the corner of the screen like a dodgy FPS training tip (“use Q to lean”) and nor, it would appear, is McNamara, who is only seen when his glasses fall off and is a not-very-well-edited voice the rest of the time. Oh well...

So after a bit of excruciatingly dull running round the desert our protagonists get improbably lost in the three tunnels of some tomb or another and then (after our fifty-year wait) a mummy pops out at around the 57-minute mark (of a 76-minute movie). The sub-sub-genre is slightly updated as this is a “fast-mummy” (not fast enough) but it’s still rubbish and not in the slightest bit frightening.

Early in the film, Glover sums it up pretty well when he says, “Cursed kings had a habit of rising from the dead... and doing all sorts of bad stuff”. They’re not the only ones Danny.


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