Ragdoll (1999)

ragdoll_1Starring Russell Richardson, Jennia Fredrique, Tarnell Poindexter, William Stanford Davis, Danny Wooten, William L. Johnson, Troy Medley, Frederic Tucker, Freda Payne

Directed by Ted Nicolaou

Expectations: I don’t expect much, but I hope it’s fun.

On the general scale:
onehalfstar

On the B-movie scale:
twohalfstar


Ragdoll is a pretty fun, voodoo/black magic themed horror movie, but I wouldn’t hold it against you if you didn’t make it past the first couple of minutes. The film’s lead character is Kwame (Russell Richardson), but Ragdoll starts with a flashback intro, showing us a moment in the childhood of Kwame’s grandma. Her mother — Kwame’s great grandmother — was a practitioner of the black arts, and apparently she made a bad deal with the Shadow Man. Due to this, Kwame’s grandmother witnessed her mother’s murder by an agent of the Shadow Man, in this case, a haunted dress. It’s as scary and convincing as it sounds; it looks like someone is just off-screen with a fishing pole waving the dress around.

I thought this traumatic moment might cause Kwame’s grandmother to live a life free of the dark arts, but no! When we flash-forward to the present day, we learn that dear ol’ Gran is indeed a dabbler in the occult, she just does so with a supreme respect and knowledge of what might happen if she isn’t careful with how she conducts her dealings with the other side. Kwame, though, has had no such trauma in his life, so when his up-and-coming rap group (called KT Bounce) is forced into a managerial contract with a ruthless gangster, Big Pere (William Stanford Davis), he seeks the help of the Shadow Man to fight his battles.

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Ancient Evil: Scream of the Mummy (1999)

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!

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