Ancient Evil: Scream of the Mummy (1999)
AKA Bram Stoker’s Legend of the Mummy 2
Starring Jeff Peterson, Trent Latta, Ariauna Albright, Russell Richardson, Michele Nordin, Brenda Blondell, Michael Lutz, Christopher Cullen, Anton Falk
Directed by David DeCoteau
Expectations: Low, but hopeful it’s at least better than Bram Stoker’s Legend of the Mummy. Seeing how that was the worst movie ever, I think that’s a fair expectation.
On the general scale:
On the B-movie scale:
When a movie is so infuriatingly bad like Bram Stoker’s Legend of the Mummy was, a normal person wouldn’t seek out the film that in some territories is billed as a sequel. This type of marketing bait and switch is an odd one in this case, because it implies that somewhere out there in the UK (where this film is known as a sequel), Bram Stoker’s Legend of the Mummy did enough business that billing a completely unrelated — and much better — movie as a sequel was seen as a good thing! It boggles the mind, but thankfully that’s where the bogglin’ ends as Ancient Evil: Scream of the Mummy is a whole hell of a lot better than Bram Stoker’s Legend of the Mummy. It also has nothing to do with Bram Stoker’s Jewel of Seven Stars, so the naming is even more misleading for those few actually hoping for a sequel.
This mummy is of Aztec origin, and it’s the subject of a college class dig or something during the summer break. As you’d expect in a horror movie about college kids all living together in a house for the summer, a total horn dog dooms the entire group by stealing the mummy’s jeweled bracelet to impress a girl he’s been lusting for all season long. At least that’s what appears to be going on, until the scorned nerd reveals himself as the last in a long line of Aztec high priests! He resurrects the mummy for some purpose I don’t remember and the killing begins!
Before you get too excited, you should probably know that roughly half of this movie is just people wandering around the house with flashlights looking for someone that’s gone missing. But the other half? Oh, it’s rather fun, enough fun in fact to make Ancient Evil an altogether enjoyable B-Movie experience for anyone willing to overlook some basic “flaws” like overacting and a story that doesn’t matter. And if you’re like me, then that overacting is sweet like a cherry pie, delivering great experiences time and time again.
My favorite actor in the film is Trent Latta who plays the scorned nerd, Norman. I hate the phrase “chewing through the scenery”, but this guy rips through it like Godzilla rips through miniature Tokyos. It’s really fun to watch him spout all kinds of meaningless lines in an ultra-serious tone, but even that doesn’t match the fact that they cast a skinny white kid to play the last Aztec high priest. Oh, how the mighty have fallen. I literally laughed every time he came on-screen just thinking to myself about it. But then the movie takes it a step further when Norman comes on-screen wearing the “traditional” garb of the Aztec priest. It’s a ridiculous stroke of brilliance, and I couldn’t stop laughing at the leopard-print bracers he wore, like a scrawny, wannabe wrestler.
But not to be upstaged in his own movie, the mummy himself is actually quite present throughout the tale, and does a nasty bit of killing too. He carries around a jeweled blade made specifically for the occasion, as the story reveals that he was mummified alive to be resurrected later as an assassin for the Aztec high priests. I know that doesn’t make a lot of sense, but it means that there’s a mummy wielding a dope, curved knife so logic shouldn’t enter the equation. To add to my enjoyment, the mummy is a little more stout than most mummies usually look, and as my girlfriend said, “He looks like he hasn’t missed a meal since he died.”
Ancient Evil: Scream of the Mummy is quite the enjoyable little movie, so it’s all the more surprising for me to learn that it once spent some time at the #1 spot of IMDB’s Bottom 100 list. I can think of another movie that’s much more deserving of that designation! Anyway, if you let yourself go and just have fun with it, Ancient Evil is a very fun B-Movie that consistently delivers good quality lines such as, “My Grandma’s dead and buried too, but I’m not about to dig her up and put her on display.” Oh, and because it wouldn’t be a David DeCoteau film without them, there’s also a few dudes in their underwear sprinkled throughout the film. Enjoy!
Next week on Full Moon Tuesday, I will once again not be reviewing a Full Moon movie! I know, I know, but soon I will return to their devious catalog. First, I must make it through the sequel to this film, Ancient Evil 2: Guardian of the Underworld! Third in a trilogy of completely unrelated movies brought together by low-budget studios looking to profit off another’s success! See ya then!