Starring Roark Critchlow, Jessica Lancaster, Osman Soykut, Kimberly Pfeffer, Tim Murphy, Kathryn Adams, Dana Lastrilla, Stephanie Gentry, Robert Buckley, Darrow Igus, Christopher Bergschneider
Directed by Charles Band
On the general scale:
On the B-movie scale:
With a runtime of only 70 minutes to tell its story — 59 if we take off the credit sequences — Petrified gets right down to business. The opening scene is a shady deal going down in what looks like a darkened corner of someone’s backyard. One party has a briefcase of cash, the other party has a MUMMY! Whoa! And I didn’t say shady for no reason, because as soon as the money has changed hands, guns come out and a man is down. He falls onto the mummy’s coffin, bleeding all over it. But unlike the deals for stolen mummies that I’ve brokered in my backyard, this one is in a movie so the blood brings the mummy to life… immediately! He bursts forth from his wooden box and stares deep into the eyes of those unfortunate to be near him. Like Medusa, the mummy’s gaze has a petrifying effect. With a high amount of hope and promise, the credits begin, but unfortunately that opening is easily the high point of the film.
The tagline for Petrified is “Hideous, Hungry, & On the Loose…” but I thought of some others that could fit just as well. “Petrified from Boredom!” is the low-hanging fruit, but I think “Petrified from Shock That There’s a Hospital for Nymphomaniacs Out in the Middle of the Woods” has more pizzazz. Maybe not front-of-the-DVD-box pizzazz, but pizzazz nonetheless. Anyway, Petrified‘s greatest flaw is that it’s just uninteresting as hell. I have to give them credit for throwing a lot of strange, disparate ideas together, but you’d think they’d amount to more than what we’re given. Which is a bunch of boring characters that have long, boring conversations and a few fun scenes where the mummy’s eyes glow red and he petrifies people. There are diminishing returns on that last one, though. It’s unfortunate because the FX for it look great!