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DVD Review

DVD cover

Day of the Mummy


Starring: Danny Glover, William McNamara and Brandon deSpain
Distributor: Image Entertainment
RRP: £12.99
Certificate: 15
Release Date: 20 October 2014

Jack Wells is a loveable rogue archaeologist who is sent by a businessman (to whom he owes a big favour) to join a new expedition to seek out the tomb of King Neferu, in Egypt. Neferu is a mythical pharaoh who was said to be so steeped in evil and violence that no one would speak his name – or even mark the symbol that represented him. The businessman has his own motives for sending Jack: The Codex Stone, a large and perfect diamond of priceless value, which was rumoured to hold great power. The stone was supposed to have been entombed with the king. There proves to be many conflicts to surpass even to the point of discovering access to the tomb, but once inside matters come to a head when a rock fall traps them within a series of passageways and awakens the age-old mummy of Neferu...

The title of this film recalls those which were made between the 1950s and 1970s. Admittedly, it’s somewhat cheesy and unimaginative. Not to mention, misleading – as the mummy of the title isn’t seen on-screen until more than 50 minutes into the running time, and then initially only fleetingly. The entire movie only runs to 77 minutes, and most of those are spent traipsing through sand or being confronted by local bandits or rebels. Nevertheless, having said all that, I found it rather compelling in a non-intellectual, pure entertainment way. The vast majority of the film is imaginatively seen through the camera lens of fake glasses given to Jack. The corrupt businessman, played charismatically by Danny Glover, pops up regularly in a little box, so that he can make comments and otherwise instruct Jack as to what he should be doing (or not doing). Jack doesn’t like being told what to do, and promptly decides not to play ball.

Jack is seen as a charismatic playboy rogue, that it seems no woman can resist. So, it’s rather strange that a beautiful young woman who knows of his shady past, and who isn’t going to fall for any of his lines, then jumps into bed (or at least, sleeping bag) with him at the earliest opportunity.

Riddle me this: If the mummy has lived (or existed, I should say) in complete darkness for many hundreds of years, why does he need candles in his burial chamber? This is obviously to showcase the mummy which, I have to say, is very well realised. The fact that it isn’t a man in a suit means it can be seen to bend at unnatural angles. The CGI creation avoids the common pitfall of a cartoonish aspect; even standing-up to close scrutiny – although the director is shrewd enough to have this creation constantly on the move.

I can imagine the revitalised Hammer studios making an updated mummy film like this. It is rather quirky and enjoyable and, with a short running time, doesn’t outstay its welcome. Just avoid seeing the after-credits snippet, which is awful and predictable.


Ty Power

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