Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Dawn of the Mummy (1981)

Beginning at roughly 3000 years ago, the pharoah Surferman (or something along those lines as it was hard to tell the exact pronunciation) has died and is entombed into his memorial spot with his slave laborers buried alive beside him. I don't care how good the dental plan was, their union really dropped the ball with that one. Anyway, as was the custom at the time, a high priestess sets a curse on the burial spot that would ensure that if it was ever desecrated, then Surferman and his army of the undead would rise again and kill any that cross their paths.

Fast forward to present day where an arrogant white American treasure hunter, who is clearly unconcerned about the rapidly disintegrating world viewpoint against arrogant white Americans, decides to blow the hell out of Surferman's tomb in search of the gold buried within. This seems odd as the monument is not exactly majestic; amounting to little more than a dank pit entered through a hole in the side of a hill, but then I would guess those pyramid-shaped ones were likely cleaned out years ago. The treasure hunter and his resident assistants are warned by an old woman of the curse, but presume she must be crazy as someone has obviously blackened out some of her teeth with a Sharpie.

Naturally, this all leads to a random 80's NYC montage though it is in the daylight ensuring that the ratio of drug dealers and prostitutes to normal people is decidedly low. Here we meet a variety of lovely ladies all rushing to catch a flight to Cairo for a fashion shoot. It would seem like someone was playing fast and loose with the budget on this one as not a single stationary scene takes place here which may just account for the meandering first hour of the film where practically nothing happens.

And this is where the complaining begins as Surferman and his minions take freaking forever to wake up. Admittedly, there is fun to be had as one ponders the fact that the model's Jeep gets a flat and they are shown fixing it, but then in the next scene are all suddenly riding horses...that they found the middle of the desert. Later, they will run afoul of the treasure hunter and his pals and after being shot at by them, will immediately barge into Surferman's tomb and insist that their photo shoot take place there. Because strangers with guns who just tried to kill you are easily intimidated by anorexic women and their equally feminine photogs. Credit, however, to the lone male model who inhales a truly heroic amount of weed via a hookah found in town.

Eventually, Surferman (resembling one who has had their flesh torn off and is then dipped in milk chocolate) does shake off the cobwebs and seek his due vengeance. The last half hour is an eye gouging, skin ripping, mutilating and eviscerating good time and yes, most definitely worth the wait. I am even willing to ignore the fact that Surferman and his friends are able to almost simultaneously be in town and at the fashion shoot campground despite the fact that there was clearly a huge distance between the two as set early on. The gore really is just that satisfying.

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