The Movie Archive

Bram Stoker's Legend of the Mummy 2

US Title: Ancient Evil: Scream of the Mummy

Movie Poster of Bram Stoker's Legend of the Mummy 2

Directed by: David DeCouteau
Screenwriter(s): Matthew John Walsh
Starring: Jeff Peterson, Trent Latta, Brenda Blondell, Ariauna Albright, Michele Nordin
Genre: Horror
Country: USA
Year released: 1999
Running time: 1h 20m
Rating: 0 out of 10

First off, Bram Stoker’s Legend of the Mummy and this film are unrelated. The only link is that both have a mummy in them. In fact, the US title was Ancient Evil: Scream of the Mummy and the UK title was no doubt changed so the two films could be bundled together in cheap DVD sets.

The plot? Six of the world’s least-likely archaeology students have the opportunity to do a little work on an exhibition relating to the Aztec rain god, Tlaloc. Tlaloc’s mummy carries an ancient curse. Students start dying, although - sadly - not quickly or violently enough for any viewer’s liking.

It’s hard to capture just how risible this film really is. The six brain-dead students are played by the least talented ensemble cast ever. I am sure they are absolutely lovely human beings, but the cast of your average pre-school nativity play could out-act any one of them. I can think of no earthly reason, other than cheapness, as to why anyone whould hire one member of this cast, never mind all of them.

Special scorn should be saved for Trent Latta, though, as the geeky one who’s clearly a few sandwiches short of a picnic. Although supposedly possessed of ancient evil, he manages to convey all the threat and menace of a Beanie Baby. Oh, that’s unfair. There are at least a dozen fierce creature Beanie Babies which are a lot scarier than Trent Latta, who seems to mistake juvenile scowling for brooding malevolence.

There aren’t really any plot holes, as there’s not really any plot. Yet the poor writer, Matthew John Walsh, has been forced to waste a good five minutes of the mercifully brief running time trying to crowbar in an explanation for the very existence of their McGuffin, Tlaloc the Aztec Mummy (mummification being an Egyptian tradition and not remotely Aztec at all).

To stretch your shredded credulity even further, the Mummy and all the supposedly priceless artefacts are kept in a building with all the high-tech security features of a ripped tent whose door-flap won’t stay shut. Tlaloc’s ancient reign of terror appears to have been presided over by High Priests who dressed like very camp members of Ali Baba’s 40 Thieves: knee-length, lamé MC Hammer pants, jazzy little cape and cheap jewellery. The deaths are risible and lacking in any tension or horror.

Apparently shot on location over four days in Mexico, they could have saved the bus fare and shot it in Southern California because the action takes place across one building and some spare ground. It has also all inexplicably been set at night, but shot during the day with a really weird filter, which contributes further to the uneasy feeling that you’re hallucinating this film, rather than experiencing it for real.

I would rather spend the next millennium listening to the scream of a mummy than sit through a single second of this again. Easily, far and away, hands down, no doubt about it, the worst film I’ve ever seen.