Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The Secret of the Mummy

Director - Ivan Cardoso (The Seven Vampires, A Werewolf in the Amazon)
Starring - Joel Barcellos (The Naked Man), Rubem Barra, and Carla Bayton
Release Date - 1982
Genre - Horror
Format - DVD (Personal Collection) (Screener)

Rating (out of 5):
     I love horror comedies.  I don't care who made them or when they were made but I want to see them all.  My favorite are the campy 80s horror comedies like Killer Klowns from Outer Space and Night of the Creeps but I have a soft spot for the late 90s horror comedies like Boltneck and the 2000s like Dead and Breakfast. When I get the opportunity to watch a horror comedy I have never seen before I often meet it with great optimism.  A few wees back I was sent the A Werewolf in the Amazon four film set from my friends over at Alternative Cinema.  This collection had four films from Brazilian director Ivan Cardoso.  The first film in the set is the 1982 horror comedy The Secret of the Mummy.  I can't think of another horror comedy centered around a mummy other than the Disney channel original movie Under Wraps.  Sadly, the film was not what I was expecting.
          The film follows an archaeologist who claims to have found the the secret of life.  He attempts to back up his theory and spends most of his time putting together an ancient map that has been torn into 8 parts to deter others from seeking it's treasures.  Once he solves the puzzle he sets out to find the elixir of life but in turn finds an ancient mummy.  He brings the mummy back to Brazil to put on display.  The professor accidentally brings the mummy back to life where it goes on a murderous rampage killing anyone that reminds him of a dancer that hurt him.

      I went into this one with a lot of excitement and curiosity.  A horror comedy about a mummy really suckered me in but once the film started I immediately knew I would not be enjoying myself.  The film was very poor quality.  When I say poor quality I want you to imagine recording a film on VHS and then taking that recording and recording it onto another VHS.  It so dark in spots that I had no idea what was going on.  Also, the film had hard coded sub-titles so during the black and white scenes some of the words were unreadable.  A little care in this release would have been nice.  The acting in this one is campy, bold, and fun at times.  The scenes all seem colorfully acted but a lot is missed when you are forced to try and read the dialogue with some of the words missing due to the fact that bleed in with the white background.  The story for this one is hard to follow and leaves the viewer wondering what the fuck is going on.  The reader misses some of the story with the missing dialogue along with the way the scenes are cut together.  It really is a mind fuck.  Finally, we do get a kill or so but the deaths are nothing amazing nor are they memorable.  The effect we do get are rather weak and almost laughable.  If we could get a glimpse at the story these effects could have added to the humor but in the context they are a miss.  Overall, The Secret of the Mummy felt like a waste of time.  I love Alternative Cinema but this release felt like it was under prepared.  The film was not the best quality which makes it a difficult watch.  Skip this one and check out some of their other amazing films.

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