Totally whack low-budget chiller is as dorky as the title indicates. Star Anthony Eisley, who had one helluva 1969 (he also made THE MIGHTY GORGA and DRACULA VS. FRANKENSTEIN that year, and it’s a tossup as to which of the three films is the worst), later claimed 66-year-old director Oliver Drake was senile.
Eisley, who was a handsome, competent, likable leading man who gained fame as a suave private eye opposite Robert Conrad in the HAWAIIAN EYE television series, is miscast as archeologist David Barrie, the unhinged discoverer of two ancient Egyptian sarcophagi in a plane crash outside Las Vegas. He drags them back to his shack, where he falls uncomfortably in love with the 4000-years-dead Princess Akanna (Marliza Pons), who comes back to life and strikes David with a curse that turns him into a were-jackal during a full moon.
While Eisley’s stunt double in a ridiculous hairy jackal head stumbles around Vegas killing cops (Eisley said he was supposed to play the Jackal-Man, but talked his stuntman into it, and the director never knew the difference), the other sarcophagus reveals a hilariously fat mummy that waddles around like Fred Sanford and kills a stripper. Unpaid extras laugh as the mummy wanders the streets of Las Vegas—probably not the reaction Drake intended. Eventually, the two monsters meet in a climactic surf showdown that had me wondering what those moth-eaten costumes must have smelled like when wet.
Oh yeah, John Carradine shows up (of course he does) for a day and a quick buck for no reason the plot requires. Produced by the shortlived Vega International Pictures, MUMMY was never released theatrically and, according to Eisley, never finished. It stunk up a vault someplace until Academy Home Entertainment put it out on VHS in 1985 in a cropped, squeezed, murky-looking print. Drake, who bounced around Hollywood for decades as a writer and director of B-westerns and LASSIE episodes, had penned THE MUMMY’S CURSE for Universal in the 1940s. He went on to direct two sex films before retiring.
-Review by Marty McKee
fresh rip of the ACADEMY VHS, with the weirdest aspect ratio ever seen – it’s basically a square. color, mono, fullscreen (?) DVD-R comes packaged as shown in color DVD case, wrapped in plastic!