Bram Stoker's Legend of the Mummy

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Director: Jeffrey Obrow
Screenwriter: Jeffrey Obrow
Starring: Eric Lutes, Amy Locane, Louis Gossett Jr, Mark Lindsay Chapman, Victoria Tennant
Release details: Goldbar Entertainment, USA 1997, 94mins
Full details: IMDb
Genre: Horror
Rating: 3 out of 10

Based on Bram Stoker's Jewel of the Seven Stars, Legend of the Mummy sees an aging archaeologist (Lloyd Bochner) feel the wrath of an ancient Egytian princess whose tomb he's raided. His daughter (Locane) is taken over by the spirit of the vengeful undead and it's left up to her fiancé (Lutes) to solve the mystery. He tries unsuccessfully to enlist the help of Bochner's former guide (Gossett Jr) and ends up having to battle evil all by himself. There's also a sub-plot about a crooked policeman (Chapman) who's after priceless artefacts that you just know is going to end badly.

Despite Gossett Jr's top billing, your main stars are TV's Eric Lutes (Del from TV's Caroline in the City) and Amy Locane (who starred in Jon Waters' Cry Baby). Gossett Jr has a glorified cameo, while the former Mrs Steve Martin, Victoria Tennant, rates merely a walk-on.

This is certainly no bad thing, as I am broadly in favour of making sure all Victoria Tennant's film work can be measured in seconds, rather than minutes. Those of you old enough to remember over-blown 1980s mini-series The Winds of War will recall that, no matter how bad that show was, it always got worse whenever Victoria Tennant was on-screen as (shudder) elderly Robert Mitchum's mistress.

But, my feelings aside, at least she's a name, which proves that they spent some money on the film. That's encouraging because everything else about this film feels tawdry. The cheapness permeates every scene, every prop, every deeply unspecial effect. It almost feels like it's a porn film, except that there's no sex or flesh on show to distract you from every short-coming of this weak effort.

And what is Best Supporting Actor Oscar winner Louis Gossett Jr doing belittling himself by appearing in pointless, tawdry DTV froth like this, anyway? Surely he could earn more - and maintain his dignity - by working at McDonalds? Or perhaps one of those stores like Asda (Walmart) where they have older employees as greeters when you walk through the door. I think he'd be quite good at that, actually.

The best you can say in favour of this movie is that it's infinitely better than its completely unrelated sequel, Bram Stoker's Legend of the Mummy 2.

Read the book instead.

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UK VHS | UK DVD | US VHS | US DVD

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