Monstervision's Joe Bob Briggs Looks At

The Mummy (1999)

I want my mummy

This new version of undead mummy Imhotep (Arnold Vosloo, with an assist from rather extensive computer-generated effects), is a rag-clad Terminator who can turn hisself into a sandstorm, visit plagues of Egypt upon his enemies, command carnivorous scarabs and regain human form by sucking the life from those who desecrated his tomb. Of course nit-pickers might wonder why a 3000-year-old Egyptian priest would summon up the plagues visited upon Pharaoh by the God of Israel, but then again he's spent a lot of time stewing about it in that sarcophagus of his, so who knows what he's been thinking? Boris Karloff's gloomy Imhotep (in the 1932 original) may have been a more traditional monster, but the new model "kicks ass" (hey, it's not nice to kick donkeys).

1932 Mummy poster Then the movie grafts on a RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK-style adventure in which a dashing adventurer (Brendan Fraser) and a comely female Egyptologist (Rachel Weisz) go searching for the legendary Egyptian city of the dead and find themselves battling hoards of baddies at regular intervals (see Joe Bob's comments below). Many viewers may not mind that it's all somewhat hollow, formulaic stuff, or be troubled by the offhanded treatment of Arabs as buffoons, and verminous riff-raff. It's the usual summer movie: a noisy spectacular that may leave you hungry again an hour later. The supporting cast includes Bernard Fox, who you may remember as Doctor Bombay in Bewitched

120 minutes, Academy Award Nomination for Best Sound, Rated PG-13 for brief nudity & violence
Additional cast
John Hannah, Kevin J. O'Connor, Jonathan Hyde, Oded Fehr, Omid Djalili, Erick Avari, Aharon Ipale, Patricia Velasquez, Carl Chase, Stephen Dunham, Corey Johnson, Tuc Watkins, Mohammed Afifi, Abderrahim El Aadili
Director: Stephen Sommers


Dear Joe Bob Briggs:
I want to thank you for showcasing more zombie movies on TNT. I have evidence proving that this country has a serious prejudice toward zombies. It's not simply the abject stupidity of the living humans that offends us, it's the way that their reasoning offers aid and comfort to the new breed of living bigots, the one that tells us that living people are the true victims of the affirmative zombie action laws.

You have probably heard the rhetoric; "victimized by the zombie's need to feed on the living," "victimized by the zombie's hunger for brains." Heck, you have to find a dozen grown humans anymore just to get one good brain dinner! There are valid reasons for disliking zombies. We don't usually look well-groomed, although that is the fashion these days; we don't wash our hands before we eat; we are accused of never participating in politics - however, the politics claim is a misnomer, we actually have one very powerful figure in the White House at this writing (Al Gore). That individual will soon be a victim of certain starvation since the White House has never been a good source of our main diet, gray matter.
Respectfully zombotifized,
Neil Collins
Akron, Ohio

JB: You know, Neil, I gotta disagree with you
I think zombies are bigger than ever. Check out that movie from last summer, "The Mummy." What did you see in that movie? Alright, they called them mummies, but THEY WERE ZOMBIES! Hundreds and hundreds of employed zombies. So quit your belly-aching, Neil.
Assuming you have a belly.
From 9/11/99 MonsterVision Dragnet host segments, ©1999 Turner Network Television. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved

The Mummy (1932)

(From Joe Bob's Ultimate B Movie Guide)

1932 Mummy poster Boris Karloff stars in this fanciful, if not outrageous, remake of the "Dracula" story which had broken box office records the year before. This time he plays a gauze-wrapped zombie from ancient Egypt who tries to claim the soul of a young English girl and turn her into a mummy herself. Edward Van Sloan does a version of his previous Van Helsing role as the Egyptologist, and David Manners (ALSO from DRACULA) plays the insipid boyfriend. Zita Johann is the beauty in peril, but she would be more famous as John Houseman's wife than as an actress.
Directed by Karl Freund. 2 and a half stars

© 2000 Joe Bob Briggs All Rights Reserved.

For more of Joe Bob's non-TNT reviews from Grapevine, Texas, go to his Drive-In Reviews Archive over yonder at www.Joe Bob

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