Monday, February 9, 2009

7 Mummies (USA, 2006)

At what point does a B-film become a Z-film? Is the qualification based only on budget, or is it based on the end product? 7 Mummies must have had a big enough budget, for it could afford a relatively large cast of actors with contemporary B and horror film heritage – most of whom actually manage to come across as if they at least think they are in a real film – and a shitload of extras, but the final product is, well, pretty insipid. Indeed, you know that scene in Austin Powers (1997/trailer) in which the bad guys do that stereotypical maniacal laugh so long that it becomes funny? The same thing happens three times in this film, and the last time it happens, at the end of the film – a replay of the first laugh scene, actually – the viewer really gets the feeling that it is (s)he who is getting laughed at for having sat through the whole film.
7 Mummies
starts off with an Old West scene of what looks to be two mentally deficient cowpokes dragging a coffin through the desert under the heat of the midday sun. A bump over a stone and the coffin-end breaks open, spilling gold coins. As the two cowpokes stand there gleefully giggling as if they just successfully impregnated their cows, a sword-wielding cowboy rides in from somewhere and beheads the in-breds (off-screen).
Next, we see a flipped prison transport van at the side of the road in the middle of the desert. Once the male guard is offed and female guard (Cerina Vincent as Lacy) over-powered, the six escapees – the good guy of them all is obvious 'cause he's the tall, good-looking, strong and silent type (Billy Wirth as Travis – Come to me, baby!) – wander off towards the Mexican border, with Lacy in tow. Along the way they first discover a golden medallion and then stumble upon an old Apache (Danny Trejo, obviously hard up for cash), who promptly tell them of a hidden treasure in a close-by town. The greedy college grads that they all are, the convicts change directions to go to town. Reaching the town, not one of them finds it odd that it is inhabited by refugees from a Spaghetti Western and, instead, hit the local saloon for a couple of free beers. Soon the sun goes down and for about ten minutes 7 Mummies becomes a really lousy imitation of From Dusk Till Dawn (1996/trailer) as everyone in the bar except our cons turns into flesh-eating ghouls. (The ghouls in the bar make nary an appearance after the bar fight.) The rest of the film is spent following the last survivors as they run around the town trying to escape the town’s sheriff (Billy Glide) – the cowboy with the sword – and deputy (played by Thadd Turner, a true Ol’ West fanatic, who is also responsible for the flick’s asinine script) and also find the treasure. Which they do, in an underground room located at the end of a tunnel they discover in the town church. But, hold on now, partner! That there treasure be protected by seven kung fu fighting Jesuit mummies, so in no time everyone is kick-fighting and flying through the air in true Hong Kong fashion. The survivors decide to skedaddle, and soon the last two (guess which ones) are zooming out of town on a Harley, the now mummified sheriff in hot pursuit on his horse, his sword a-swinging...
Adjectives that fit the movie? How about: Derivative, inconsistent, illogical, idiotic, dull, predictable, ridiculous, cheesy, laughable, irritating... Get the (Z-)picture? About the best thing that can be said about 7 Mummies is that unlike the general trend of U.S. American B-films, the film actually shows tits: Humongous, silicone-engorged love pillows that look like they could knock you unconscious with one swing! Regrettably, they are shown but briefly and are badly lit, so even that short-lived highlight doesn’t do much to save the film. Nor, for that matter, do the occasional gore highlights, like the nifty decapitation scene and the scene with the poked-out eyes. To say the film could have been better is as obvious as it is an understatement; the real crunch would be to say how it could have been better. In this regard, much like the equally retarded tax write off Museum of the Dead (2004/trailer), which evidences about as much talent but a smaller budget, this reviewer is of the opinion 7 Mummies would have been a lot better had it never been made.

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