Words: Andy Procter
Tomb of the B-Movie Horror
You can imagine the thoughts of screenwriter writer Garry Charles before he sat down to write Day of The Mummy. It probably went something like this…
“What type horror film hasn’t been done in a point-of-view/handheld format?…I know! Mummies!”
Day of The Mummy is filmed through the glasses of our ‘hero’ Jack Wells. Jack’s “robust” characterisation is immediately forced upon the viewer – opening with him engaging in an interracial threesome. The audience is forced to believe that Jack is a James Bond/Indiana Jones type sex symbol, but it doesn’t take much to notice that actor William McNamara is doing his best to hold in his stomach and is at least fifty-percent plastic. Thankfully, this is pretty much all we see of him as he jumps in the sound booth to earn his money for giving us the privilege of hearing his voice for the next hour and a bit – with the exception of maybe another thirty seconds of face time.
When I saw the poster for this film, I saw Danny Glover in big letters above the title. I knew that he’s pushing on in years himself, but I thought it’d be good for a few laughs to see him fighting mummies in Egypt. Instead what we get (like McNamara) is probably the easiest money he has ever earned; sitting in front of a camera for every bit of his screen time reading the lines written for him as he pops up in the corner of the screen every now and again.
Carl (Glover) is the antiquity obsessed rich guy willing to do anything to get what he wants, and Jack (McNamara) is the money obsessed adventurer guy who will do anything to get the antique. Needless to say, Jack is employed and sent off to Egypt to look for said antique (a cursed diamond). The way the film looked suggested it could be in Sharknado category, but as it went on it seemed as though the filmmakers were completely unaware – and unwilling to fully embrace – the campy low-budget nature their own movie.
Day of The Mummy drags on as the team stumble through the desert with an unconvincing relationship emerging between Jack and a much younger and much more attractive female member of the five person group (Andrea Monier). When they get to the tomb the film actually comes in danger of being on Blair Witch levels of freaky with extended shots of the explorers running down seamlessly never-ending tunnels. However, this is soon quelled by Danny Glover popping up in the corner and reminding you that this is terrible.
I have to admit that there were a few decent scares, with one standing out in particular. Like the air vent scene in Alien there is a point where you can actually see the mummy for a few seconds before it jumps out. You’re focusing so hard on wondering whether they would be so bold to put it right out there that it takes you completely by surprised. However, it soon turns into the predictable gore fest, with characters dying left right and centre, and no attempt to keep the mummy mysterious.
I’m the type of person who watches a horror film wanting an even number of laughs as scares. As a bit of light entertainment, it sort of works, but I can never forgive CGI blood…EVER!