Cinemagraphe

You will see Amazon links on this web site because I am an Amazon affiliate. I earn from qualifying purchases.

Amazon FreeTime Unlimited Free Trial

Dawn of the Mummy - 1981

Dawn of the Mummy - Released December 11, 1981. Directed by Frank Agrama

An American fashion photographer with models in tow travels to Egypt for a photoshoot, coming across another American - this one being a treasure hunter - who has uncovered an Egyptian Pharaonic tomb. The photographer decides the subterranean tomb would be a great place to photograph his models, and naturally the mummy buried in the tomb rises to action to put a stop to all the nonsense disturbing his sleep.

This low budget film is truly an "international" feature, with shots in New York City and Giza, but there is some absolutely dreadful dubbing (Americans dubbing their English lines and still somehow not in synch). The dialogue seems to have frequently been made up on the spot and is repetitious to a very high degree, to the point that actors simply repeat their lines in rapid succession, apparently to try and emphasize their excitement, greed or bewilderment.

The tale tries to borrow from the George Romero zombie epic Dawn of the Dead, but instead looks more like a bland, sub-TV movie production suddenly becoming a darkly-lit gore fest before turning back into the bland sub-TV movie. The prelude to this film also borrows from the 1932 The Mummy with Karloff and possibly Hammer films Mummy from 1959, if not from any other dozens of Mummy films made over the century since George Melies began using the movie camera to perform tricks and illusions.

The art direction in Dawn of the Mummy is pretty good in consideration of what looks like minimal production dollars utilized, and the titular Mummy isn't a white-bandaged Karloff clone, but a heavily and darkly lacquered monster that looks 7 feet tall and is rather impressive standing still. Moving is a different issue and doesn't make sense in the classic physics of bad-monster-movies where a fast-footed girl appears on screen to be breaking a land speed record while running in terror, but somehow the slowly-shuffling monster is always ten feet behind her.

Is Dawn of the Mummy a terrible movie? Yes, and if everything was backwards in the movie awards business, after a few of these overheated acting scenes I would want someone to hand the cast a couple of golden Academy Award Oscars. [Z]


Lugosi in Person

Amazon - Bela Lugosi in Person - 420 pages

Amazon - No Traveler Returns: The Lost Years of Bela Lugosi - 346 Pages

Amazon - Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff: The Expanded Story of a Haunting Collaboration, with a Complete Filmography of Their Films Together - 701 Pages


Bride of Frankenstein - 1935

Frankenstein Created Woman - 1967

Frankenstein Island - 1981

Frankenstein meets the Wolfman - 1943

Young Frankenstein - 1974


Original Page February 2017 | Jan 2018

This Was Hollywood: Forgotten Stars and Stories

From former screen legends who have faded into obscurity to new revelations about the biggest movie stars, Valderrama unearths the most fascinating little-known tales from the birth of Hollywood through its Golden Age.

This Was Hollywood: Forgotten Stars and Stories (Turner Classic Movies)


What's Recent


Mankiewicz

Winner of the 2020 Peter C. Rollins Book Award

Longlisted for the 2020 Moving Image Book Award by the Kraszna-Krausz Foundation

Named a 2019 Richard Wall Memorial Award Finalist by the Theatre Library Association

The Brothers Mankiewicz: Hope, Heartbreak, and Hollywood Classics (Hollywood Legends Series)