May 31, 2017 American Mummy (Movie Review)
History is constantly being reviewed. Archaeologist work all over the world to try and unearth the mysteries that have been lost over the years. Sometimes, though, what is found should have been kept buried. This is the case in the film American Mummy. Also known as Aztec Blood, American Mummy, written/directed by Visual Artist Charles Pinion, was originally released back in 2014 and now, thanks to Wild Eye Releasing, is brought to viewers on 3D + 2D Blu-ray and standard DVD as of May 9, 2017.
The story follows a group of college kids who are out in the desert working on an archaeological dig site where remains were found. It is the weekend so the dig site is mostly empty, save for a few stragglers who stayed behind. Everyone is off to their own devices, and the site is not being tended to.
Carmen (Esther Canata: Hoodrats 2: Hoodrat Warriors 2008, Hired Gun 2009) is completely obsessed with the remains. She believes they are of an Aztec god, Tezcalipoca. Tezcalipoca is one of the central gods of the Aztecs who rules over many things, such as judgment, the smoking mirror, night, and war. Professor Jensen (Suziey Block: The Pact II 2014, The Shickles 2016), who is over the dig, does not believe this to be true.
Professor Jensen states that it does not make sense for it to be an Aztec god because the location has nothing to do with Aztec history and is too far from Mexico. Still, she calls in a Russian colleague to help analyze the remains. He clearly has his own agenda, and often speaks Russian without any subtitles. Somehow, Carmen gets her hands on the ancient codex that explains how to bring the god back to life and begins the process.
Chaos and bodies start to fall after she performs this ritual. The mummy itself is a background character. It is seen as the cause of all of the carnage, but it does not actually partake in any of it. The remaining students now have to find a way out of the desert alive. There are several issues with this film. Even as people are dying, there is no sense of urgency in any of the characters. They all say they want to get out of there, but no one acts like it is really a life or death situation. The pace of their movements still stay the same. Even as bodies that were clearly dead suddenly come back to life, the shock and terror does not exist with any of the characters. Instead, they decide to go to sleep and just wait until the morning to leave. This is not a normal reaction to danger and the unexplained.
None of the characters are fleshed out in a way that is logical or memorable. They just seem to be there for the body count. Carmen, the entire cause of the film’s trajectory, never explains at all why she wants to awaken this god so badly or why she is willing to sacrifice for him. Knowing her true motivation might allow the film to come together. Without that piece of information, this film is just a bunch of random people being killed for shock factor alone. The gore is fun and cringe-worthy, though. But, gore for the sake of gore without a reason loses its appeal after the first kill.
American Mummy moves fast through the action, but it does feel as though the film is much longer than it is. There is not a real meaty plot to follow. God is awakened and coming to enact revenge on anyone around. It is simplistic, but severely lacking. With characters that seem to be more of a rough draft or an afterthought, American Mummy is best suited to be playing on a screen in the background of a party where close attention will not happen. There is enough nudity and blood to attract some interest, but not as the main event. It is for these reasons that CrypticRock gives American Mummy 2 out of 5 stars.