ATTACK OF THE MAYAN MUMMY (1964)
Article #1436 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 2-18-2005
Posting Date: 7-18-2005
Directed by Rafael Portillo and Jerry Warren
Featuring George Mitchell, Rosa Arenas, Ramon Gay
A scientist discovers a woman who responds to his experiments with hypnosis and reincarnation, and this leads him to a Mayan temple.
Though both of its sequels made it more or less intact to this country through the courtesy of K. Gordon Murray, THE AZTEC MUMMY was not so lucky; it ended up in the hands of Jerry Warren, who used chunks of its footage for FACE OF THE SCREAMING WEREWOLF as well as this little atrocity. For those of you not familiar with Warren’s technique for bringing foreign movies to us, here’s a brief description. From the original movie, he would only keep scenes that required minimal dubbing which he could then run along with voice-over narration. He would then write his own story around these scenes and shoot his own footage. This footage usually consisted of two characters sitting across from each other and engaging in long-winded and painfully boring conversations. He would shoot these scenes with a flat, static style that merely underlines the dullness of the conversation. It takes phenomenal willpower to actually sit through these scenes, much less pay attention to them. And as a writer, Warren is one of the worst; rather than have his characters quickly move us to the next plot point with an efficient exchange of information, he would have them engage in extended conversations in which they would talk about almost everything else in the world except the story.
This is probably his worst effort in this regard. There’s not much of the original left, and Warren’s footage takes over. It is, in fact, one of the most droningly dull movies ever made. The only scene of Warren’s that has a smidgen of interest is the one where a scientist visits a soda shop with dancing teens to meet a girl who is his connection to the boy in the footage from the original movie. It’s not really any better than his other scenes; the conversation tells us nothing. However, you won’t be listening to the conversation; the scene is full of girls in tight pants wiggling their butts for the benefit of the camera. Yes, it’s distracting, but it’s also the only thing of Warren’s in the movie that catches your attention.
The very last shot of this movie before THE END pops up is a closeup of a wastebasket. I think this speaks for itself.
P.S. Since this review was first written, the original version of THE AZTEC MUMMY has come to light. I will be covering that one at a later date.