Bram Stoker's The Mummy

1998, Movie, R, 100 mins


BRAM STOKER'S THE MUMMY unearths a story familiar from classic Universal and Hammer horror movies; unfortunately, this straight-to-video rendition of the tale has few chills, and pales in comparison to the originals.

In 1947, a little boy witnesses a bizarre death in an ancient Egyptian tomb. In present day California, Egyptologist Abel Trelawny (Lloyd Bochner) falls into a coma after he speaks the words that will awaken a mummy. His daughter Margaret (Amy Locane) enlists the aid of her former lover Robert (Eric Lutes) to help him. Robert discovers that the Mummy is the cursed Queen Tera. After several strange occurrences, the mummy appears in Trelawny's basement and Margaret begins having odd dreams about the powerful Egyptian queen. Robert finds Abel's partner John Corbeck (Louis Gossett Jr.) who explains the ancient formula to resurrect Tera's mummy. When he sees Margaret possessed by Tera's spirit, it comes to him that Tera wants to live through the young woman when seven stars align. Claiming it will cure Abel, Corbeck prepares for the ceremony. Tera is unwrapped to reveal perfect skin and seven-fingered hands. Robert attempts to halt the resurrection, but Corbeck, consumed by his thirst for power, stops him. Queen Tera awakens and kills Corbeck. Her spirit then enters Margaret's body through the vehicle of a little girl.

Afterwards, Abel is healthy and Robert and Margaret take off for a vacation. They make love, and Robert is shocked to find a seven-fingered scratch down his back.

As evidenced by its plot, this film is rather confusing. What it comes down to is another generic retread of the well-regarded Boris Karloff and Christopher Lee classics. It is based on Bram Stoker's novel, The Jewel of Seven Stars. Director-writer-executive producer Jeffrey Obrow (DEAN R. KOONTZ' SERVANTS OF TWILIGHT) does a capable job on a low budget, but the film suffers as a result of his transparent screenplay. The few lame twists that are thrown in the mix become obvious far too early such as Margaret being a descendent of Tera's and Corbeck's evil nature. Special effects and Egyptian set designs are hokey, although a dream sequence involving Robert is effective with the mummy tearing off "Home Improvement" star Richard Karn's fingers. The mummy itself is never completely seen. Performances are generally poor despite some familiar B-level faces like Amy Locane (SCHOOL TIES), Lloyd Bochner (THE NAKED GUN 2-1/2: THE SMELL OF FEAR) and Aubrey Morris (A CLOCKWORK ORANGE) in a limited role. Louis Gossett Jr. takes the ham for his particularly comical turn as the nutty Corbeck, topping off his appearance by putting on a wacky-looking Egyptian helmet and uttering lines like, "Tonight, it will be my destiny to bring her back! Tonight, I hold the power!" Karloff's legacy can rest easy.(Extreme profanity, violence, sexual situations.) leave a comment

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