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A Teenage boy with a passion for all things nerdy! Expect a lot of Doctor Who, Cult/Horror Movies, Literature and Novels, History, Comic Books and random thoughts. Posts published weekly on a Friday evening. DISCLAIMER: I do not own any of the items reviewed on this site and i also do not own of the pictures (unless stated so). If you own one of the photos and wish for it to be removed contact me at this adress: Super.pig@live.co.uk. However all of the written work is my own and is protected under copyright law.

Friday, 5 April 2013

Curse of the Aztec Mummy (1957)

Mexican horror has a reputation for being quirky, but immensely enjoyable pulp nonsense and of all of Mexican Horror Cinema’s icons; The Aztec Mummy is one of the most famous. The star of a trilogy of movies between 1956-1958 the Aztec mummy movies feature the supernatural, gangsters, robots and the traditional Luchador Superhero type character that is common place in Mexi-Movies. These films became known in America mostly for their third instalment, The Robot vs. The Aztec Mummy (1958) which was imported and dubbed by K. Gordon Murray. However K. Gordon Murray also imported and dubbed its predecessor Curse of the Aztec Mummy, sadly not gaining as much success as the former. For reasons unknown (to me anyway) the original The Aztec Mummy (1956) was never imported or dubbed and thus has remained a mystery to a great deal of monster fans. It was always my intention to try and watch the trilogy from the start but not wishing to buy a now out of print box set which I believe is the only way to get a copy, I went and watched this, the dubbed version of Curse of the Aztec Mummy. From what I’d read I wasn’t going to be missing out on much, the print in the boxset is apparently so bad that in several scenes people had trouble judging what was occurring and anyway plenty of footage was reused in this film. So despite being a direct sequel it shouldn’t be that hard to follow right? Right??

Unfortunately I was wrong. Since the entire Aztec Mummy Trilogy was filmed back to back using the same actors and sets, this allowed the plots to be closely connected. Admittedly this would be rather confusing for an American audience who had never had the opportunity to see the original but strangely once I’d got past this small problem I still found myself enjoying Curse. Super Criminal/Mad Scientist, “The Bat” Aka Dr Krupp, who I assume was arrested at the end of the previous film! Is free by several members of his gang and once again sets about trying to get his hands on the Aztec breast plate and bracelet that will reveal to him the whereabouts of a secret treasure. Little did he count on the interference of a masked superhero known only as the “Angel” or the curse of the Aztec Mummy...

Now I once saw the Aztec Mummy trilogy described as a trilogy of three different parts, the first as a horror, the second a action/adventure thriller and the third introducing science fiction elements. Curse would seem to prove this, the titular mummy doesn’t show up until the last 10 minutes or so and isn’t really vital to the plot at all. Indeed the film feels more like one of the old 30’s and 40’s republic serials than it does a horror picture. Now I like to think I know myself quite well, and I was expecting me to hate Curse because of this reason but admittedly, it was one of the most enjoyable viewing experiences I’ve had in a long time!

Now don’t get me wrong, Curse of the Aztec Mummy is bad, woefully bad. The acting is over the top, the characters are all stereotypes and every situation is a cliché. For example the villainous Dr Krupp, is so camp and over the top that he can never be taken seriously but you still relish in his eye rolling, hand rubbing and manic laughing. There’s also a shoot out scene in which several characters hold a machine gun and simply shake it whilst the bullet sound effects are put over the top. The film does appear rather cheap, but considering it was the second in a trilogy made in two months that is to be expected. The Aztec Mummy itself is rather nifty make up job although it really could have been involved just a little bit more than it is. Like many bad films though, it’s enjoyable to the extent that it had me laughing out loud and cheering for our heroes. Ok so The Angel is hardly the best Luachador and his identity is hardly a secret (Indeed this is the only one of the three he appears in,  apparantly only getting a passing mention in the Robot Vs the Aztec Mummy) but he’s a fun little addition to an already fun-packed movie. One does have to wonder what a 1960’s American TV audience would of thought of this but I bet behind the scoff’s and giggles they too were silently cheering the Angel on.

I had great fun watching this. Immense fun really, a lot more fun than I would have watching Romero’s original Dead Trilogy for example. Now please hold back from throwing your bricks please, I’m not even going to attempt to compare this to any of those. They are classics, some of the greatest movies ever made and Dawn of the Dead (1978) is one of my favourite movies ever. My point is however that those movies are emotional roller coaster rides, afterwards you feel shocked and disheartened with a sense of melancholy. You remember them and it’s one of those viewing experiences that you know will haunt you for a long time. Curse of The Aztec Mummy is of course nothing like that. You stick it in the player and no doubt you will probably forget it within a week of watching. For the hour it lasts though, its bloody fun and I will defiantly attempt to check out it’s follow up, Robot Vs the Aztec Mummy. Also if anybody knows where I can find a copy of the original Aztec Mummy or whether I should just go for the boxset please let me know!

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