Ancient Aztec EVIL in the Heart of U.S. “American Mummy” review!


A group of anthropology university students discover the remains of a mummified corpse in a New Mexico desert. A dig site is erected and weeks go by as they unearth the entirely wrapped skeleton out from a shallow grave inside a small cave. The work week wraps up and only the weekend crew stays behind to maintain a presence of study and security at the excavation area, but when one of the students, obsessed with notorious legend of Lord Tezcalipoca, performs a primordial blood ritual with the mummy, the student releases hell on Earth when blood tainted by Lord Tezcalipoca become his blood hungry servants and willing acolytes. The skeleton weekend team has to piece together the carnage before rendering themselves helpless against the vehement and poisonous blood of an once almighty Aztec autarch.

Based off the factual historical figure, Tezcatlipoca, that’s TezcaTlipoca which is left out in the film, who was one of the deities in the Aztec religion. In Charles Pinion’s “American Mummy,” Tezcalipoca has a backstory that reflects the “smoking mirror” God as evil divinity and will one day resurrect from his resting place to lay claim to all. Though listed as a 2014 film, the San Fran cannibal “We Await” director, Pinion, actually shot “American Mummy,” also known as “Aztec Blood,” back in 2011 in California and wasn’t released until approximately three years later in 2014. The director pens the script with “Adventures in Pornolands'” Greg Saleman and, together, the duo bring the inverted Aztec lore soiled in blood and wretched with horrible havoc on the land of the free.

“American Mummy,” from the beginning, conjures up, through perhaps it’s own ominous blood ritual, the final girl trope used in many previous horror films prior to, but Pinion and Saleman do their due diligence in building in many other characters who could, with a sliver hope, be the ones left standing by the end of the ordeal. However, from the beginning like mentioned, we can all count on Becca being the survivor to tell the tale of the Mummy madness. Played by “Dick Night’s” Jennifer June Ross, Becca is an obvious shoe in for saving as she bares the least skin. That’s right. “American Mummy” follows all those slasher rules laid out by Randy Meeks in “Scream.” Those who give a little peek-a-boo to their private parts, Carmen (Esther Canata of “Hired Gun”), Connie (Erin Condry), and even the faculty staff who sits around in a mini-kimono for lengthy scenes, professor Jensen (Suziey Block from another Aztec horror – Aztecsploitation? – film “The Aztec Box”), all put their I’m a survivor of an Aztec deity cards into question. The male cast, well, no a lot of hairy backsides to speak about, but their blatant cowardice and slow-witted qualities might as well put them out to pasture. They round out the cast with Aidan Bristow (“All American Zombie Drug”), Aaron Burt, Jack Grimmett, Rudy Marquez, Peter Marr, Rigo Obezo, and even Greg Saleman as the Russian scientist Dr. Lobachevsky in his best Russian language.

In continuing my reign of beating dead horses, I’ve sure I’ve mentioned that mummy films are few and far in between. These types of undead ghouls, though classic, are not the it undead go-to films. Zombies and vampires reign supreme in that department, churning a feature film out every 10 seconds or something like along those lines. To put in simply, “American Mummy” was an anticipated treat from a genre teeter on the edge of literals mortality, but Pinion’s entry is about as desiccated as the genre itself for at least the first two acts that drown out in heaps of abysmal performances, an effortless progression, and a first act that’s peppered with nudity, which is not necessarily a bad thing. No? However, by the climatic end, I ended up enjoying “American Mummy’s” schlocky and immensely gory posture in a very zero to 60 in 1.8 seconds way. I’m not talking infinitely bloody, but Pinion has a splatter third act that can spellbinding despite the obvious technical goofs that give his movie magic secrets. Also, a healthy amount of background research offers a bit of positive authenticity. The burial mask is beautifully faithful and Tezcatlipoca was an Aztecan God.

“American Mummy” comes courteously from Wild Eye Releasing, Tom Cat Films, and MVDVisual onto a not rated, limited edition triple formatted DVD, Blu-ray, and Blu-ray 3D release! Despite being listed as an all region Blu-ray, the playback is locked on region A for those will region adjusting players. Perhaps the first 3D picture to be shot with a pole cam, the image, without 3D glasses, will be an eyesore. Unfortunately, “American Mummy” does not include a pair, you’ve been warned. If by chance you don’t have a stockpile of 3D glasses, have no fear, the 2D version is available on both formats. The lossy English language DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 frailly packs little punch. The uncleaned dialogue suggests bad mic placement and the distortions run rampant through the dialogue mix while the losing much girth muffled by the soundtrack. Topped with shameful cheap foley, the audio expectation was little more than just a simple let down for a film shot in 3D. Bonus features include a miscellanea behind the scenes, a few outtakes, promotion videos, and the official trailer. I think the lack of 3D glasses is the stinger here. Simple bloodshed gratification saves “American Mummy” from being a widely cursed dreck dumpster fire of a film, but don’t embalm, dry-up, and wrap Charles Pinion’s film for entombment in haste, the filmmaker does have some blood he’d like to spill.

Tom Cruise Couldn’t Stop an Aztec Curse! Buy it over at Amazon!

All Evil Breaks Loose! “Mansion of Blood” review!

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Pretentious millionaire Mason Murphy hosts the largest and sexiest lunar eclipse party in the close knit community of River Ridge. Murphy renovates the old Mayhew estate, home to the mysterious disappearance of the wealthy Mr. Mayhew in 1926, as the party’s extravagant setting. One of the young party goers is also a practicing partaker of witchcraft and when she attempts to summon upon the spirit of her dead boyfriend to ask about whether he bought a winning lottery ticket or not just before his death, she accidentally aligns all things evil right as the eclipse takes place, trapping the oblivious guests in a nightmarish twilight zone that includes black bat demons, Civil War ghosts, lawn ornament zombies, bar tending vampires, and a slew of maniacal murderers.
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Director Mike Donahue’s “Mansion of Blood” is a horror-comedy of an ambitious narrative that was doomed during the middle of production, resulting in a shameless, mishmash heap of a film. From what I’ve read from various article sources, “Mansion of Blood” came to a screeching production halt due in part of a sexual assault claim from an actress or two. The complaint was against the film’s headlining star, Gary “Lethal Weapon” Busey. Are we really surprised here? Busey, who suffered permanent brain damage in 1988 after a motorcycle accident, has sustained from his wild and crazy, sometimes delusional, antics that raises many eyebrows through almost the last three decades. The film’s crew was so fed up with Busey that he was actually fired and massive re-cuts and re-edits caused the story’s downward slope. Aside from the Busey debacle, executive producer and one of the film’s stars Tom Tangen is rumored to have screwed over the film’s investors, leaving director Mike Donahue high and dry.
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Honestly, I strongly feel “Mansion of Blood” never came an inch off the ground. I get that the film is a horror-comedy in a slapstick sub-genre, but the story is in total shambles. Numerous characters and their individual stories are diluted to the point of being a suffering and aggravated attention deficit disorder. The severely choppy editing, the unbalanced dialogue and ambient audio tracks, and the oafish acting throughout only piles on top of an already high mountain of sadness. And even though I have a soft place in my heart for Busey and his sheer lunacy, in life and on film, his performance as the malicious party host Zachariah was, dare I say it, surprisingly stale. Only a few handful of scenes of Busey’s floating, grinning head faintly superimposed as a ghost or a spirit or as a something are uniquely guilty pleasurable. Not all has failed as the film’s other star, “Star Trek: Voyager’s” and “Innerspace’s” Robert Picardo, attempts and succeeds at a good performance as the party’s caterer who ends up almost being poisoned by his chef wife, played by Lorraine Ziff.
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Again, I’m well aware that “Mansion of Blood” is a horror-comedy, but the no budget special effects couldn’t be any more offensive to our intelligence. The “demons” were extras in black face and black leotards with a dark cape and plastered with exuberantly adhesive bat ears. The computer generated lunar eclipse was near 1950’s animated cartoonish. These effects bog down the quality of the film, turning a potential Sci-Fi channel movie spoof to a more of an obsolete, outdated, and cheesy and campy schlock that could be deemed worthy of being presented on Mystery Science Theater 3000. Instead of solidly funded practical and computer generated special effects, Donahue leans firmly on the hard bodies of young (and some slightly older such as Lorraine Ziff) actors and actresses. The naked bodies of upcoming scream queen Mindy Robinson and the industry versatile Dustin Quick are two to name just a few who pair up with the rock hard abs of Kyle Clarke and Frank Mora Jr. One would think Jennifer Tapiero, Sarah Alami, and Tegan Webster would be the group of main characters that would develop and expand throughout the duration since they’re stories begin in a diner, but their characters become junk roles that fizzle into into oblivion and tangents are created for non-setup characters.
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“Mansion of Blood’s plethora of characters is too much to handle, especially when the film tries to go in numerous directions that doesn’t give Donahue’s motion picture any direction. The story and script flounders as the legs are cut right from underneath both of them. I empathize that the Gary Busey and the rumored Tom Tangen issues might have derailed this project that categorizes this film into the scrap-to-salvage scenario similar to prior films like “Bad Meat” and “Old 37.” Tom Cat Films and MVD bring “Mansion of Blood” to retail shelves and I encourage those brave enough to venture into the film to remember this particular review because when the credits begin to roll and the popcorn is down to the last few underdeveloped kernels, you will know somewhere in the sands of time and space that I’ll be whispering in the ears of your mind, “I told you so.”

Pornstar Priya Rai Couldn’t Erect this Evil! “Isis Rising: Curse of the Lady Mummy” review!

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King Osiris and his black magic queen Isis rule ancient Egypt and were beloved by all. All except Osiris’s brother Set whose envy led to the murderous slain of Osiris. Isis, heartbroken and vengeful, tries to use her black magic to rise Osiris from the grave and seek revenge on all who wished their demise. In the middle of Isis’s ritual, Set interrupts and decides to dismember his brother’s body in order for the ritual not come to fruition and snaps Isis’s neck to ensure his will, but Isis’s vow to return and curse anyone who stands in her way. Present day, a college research group along side an Egyptian historian stay overnight at a closed history museum to study closely lost Egyptian artifacts. Isis’s spirit is accidentally released from her sarcophagus and seeks to finish what she began by taking the body parts from the research students in order to reconstruct the body her love Osiris and put the world into an eternal damnation.

“Isis Rising: Curse of the Lady Mummy” resembles the much loved late night Cinemax skin flicks without any of the nudity or the sex. All the elements are there: busty women, bad acting, and the underlined plot that is overshadowed by the soft core love scenes. From the DVD cover and the two well established porno industry actors in this film, one would, without a doubt, conclude that “Isis Rising” would fall right into the middle of that sleazy category. What the Lisa Palenica directed film is is a C-movie production that attempts to take itself seriously in the horror genre with completed results that are whole-heartedly felt in micro-budget, non-horrific, and non-stimulating, efforts.
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Priya Rai is a big busted porn star of Indian background and she headlines the film as the vengeful Isis and while Priya isn’t riding the big Egyptian camel hump, her role is severely limited in dialogue and in on screen appearances. Isis’s powers include turning into a digestible body inhabiting mist, fireball conjuring, and teleportation, but Isis’s real threats are her massive chest bombs – bigger and pointier than the great Egyptian pyramids themselves. To be technical about the film’s title, Isis isn’t even a mummy. Yet the film’s subtitle is “Curse of the Lady Mummy.” The definition of mummy is the preservation of the body by removing internal organs and treat the body with resins and wraps. Isis is more like a spiritual demon and this oil should ought to be bettered labeled and regarded as “Curse of the Lady Egyptian” rather than “Curse of the Lady Mummy.” That is, if you wanted to be technical.
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James Bartholet, mainly a supporting actor in all those XXX parody movies, makes his presence felt as the bumbling and perverted security guard Harry. The rest of the cast is rounded out with relatively unknowns with minor film credits to their names. Director Lisa Palenica also had a role in the film as Felicia, the goth girl who probably received one of the better death scenes in the movie. The characters are a rather stereotypical horror ensemble. There is the jock, the nerd, the hot chick, her goth-hipster friend, the nerdy asian girl, and pot head who ends up smoking the resurrection essence that awakens Isis from her slumber dooming all to savagry, as well as seductively, of detaching limbs and heads from the characters’ bodies. The only character that has girth and background value is Isis with her tragic backstory filled with treachery and black magic. Killing off characters is a lot more understandable when there is a motive.
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The special effects are truly shameful, especially in a time where CGI has been perfected to the point where anybody with a Mac computer can create stunning effects. “Isis Risings” doesn’t even seem to try by implementing seriously awkward post-CGI effects, Halloween prop store plastic severed limbs, and even going as far as adding in fake exhaled smoke from our essence-high smokers. Some of the Egyptian scenes in the beginning reminded me of how Mortal Kombat 1 and 2 looked on a Sega Genesis console with the still background and the engaged, superimposed fighters. Some of the more practical effects where encouraging, but only a few scenes had those types of effects.
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“Isis Rising: Curse of the Lady Mummy” resurrects another disappointment in the ever-failing Egyptian related horror genre. When will Brendan Frasier’s “The Mummy” ever be dethroned? Perhaps Alexandre Aja’s “The Pyramid” will be the next ruler of such said genre. Tom Cat Films, a production company much like Asylum Entertainment, develops the film into reality but “Isis” fails to wrap itself into a neat little mummified package of terror. I would rather have seen more of Priya Rai conducting ominously seductive measures in her quest of blood and resurrection and a little more effort in the effects, because if you’re going to have a porn star headline your film, you might as well go all Sasha Grey-out and make the experience worth wild. But don’t take my word for it and judge for yourself by heading over to MVDVisual and purchasing “Isis Rising: Curse of the Lady Mummy.”