Yet another gory shocker made to cash in on post-Dawn of the Dead zombie fever, Dawn of the Mummy has the distinction of being one of the few Romero rip-offs that didn’t originate in Italy. It’s an American/Egyptian co-production, shot in Egypt, but despite a late attempt to inject some excitement into proceedings, remains a largely tiresome affair.
A pre-credit prologue introduces the legend of Seferaman, an Egyptian king who was mummified and entombed 3,000 years ago. A batty priestess places a curse upon the tomb, ensuring that anyone disturbing Seferaman’s slumber will feel the wrath of his resurrection. And what d’ya know, 30 centuries later a gang of treasure hunters blow open his tomb, and before long the place is swarming with models and photographers who’ve decided that the inside of a pyramid would be a great spot for a fashion shoot. Soon Seferaman is up and angry and heading into town for a bite to eat.
Those expecting a whole army of rotting mummies emerging hungrily from the ground will be mightily disappointed here; director Frank Agrama only manages to serve up a single bandaged baddy, the rest of Seferaman’s gang (hilariously described at one point as a ‘legion’) comprising a few bog-standard zombies. And even they take a good hour to turn up – in the meantime we have much interminable bickering amongst the fashion models and their asshole photographer, and some jaw-droppingly bad acting from George Peck, playing the leader of the tomb raiders.
Those who stay the course are rewarded with an entertaining sequence in which the mummy’s posse attack a wedding party (it’s never explained how Seferaman and co flit so easily between town and desert without being spotted), as Agrama serves up the requisite quantity of gut-munching and eyeball-poking. But it’s all a bit late in the day frankly. With terrible ‘scary’ music from Shuki Levy.