Bram Stoker's Legend of the Mummy 2 AKA Ancient Evil: Scream of the Mummy
Director: David DeCouteau
Screenwriter: Matthew John Walsh
Starring: Jeff Peterson, Trent Latta, Brenda Blondell, Ariauna Albright
Release details: DTV (Kremlin Films), USA 2000, 80mins
Full details: IMDb
Genre: Horror (allegedly)
Rating: 0 out of 10
First off, Bram Stoker's Legend of the Mummy and this film are unrelated. The only link is that both have a mummy in them. In fact, the US title was Ancient Evil: Scream of the Mummy and the UK title is probably only so they can be bundled together in cheap DVD sets. Of course, you'll spend more on buying it than they obviously have in making it.
The plot? Six of the world's least-likely archaeology students have the opportunity to do a little work on an exhibition relating to the Aztec rain god, Tlaloc. Tlaloc's mummy carries an ancient curse. Students start dying, although - sadly - not quickly or violently enough for this reviewer's liking.
It's hard to capture just how risible this film really is. The six brain-dead students are played by the six least talented actors ever to appear in a single movie together. The cast of your average pre-school nativity play could out-act any one of them. Steven Seagal could out-act them. I can think of no earthly reason, other than cheapness or the casting couch, as to why anyone whould hire one member of this cast, never mind all of them.
Special scorn should be saved for Trent Latta, though, as the geeky one who's clearly a few sandwiches short of a picnic. Although supposedly possessed of ancient evil, he manages to convey all the threat and menace of a Beanie Baby. Oh, that's unfair. There are at least a dozen fierce creature Beanie Babies which are a lot scarier than Trent Latta, who seems to mistake juvenile scowling for brooding malevolence.
There aren't really any plot holes, as there's not really any plot. Yet the poor writer, Matthew John Walsh, has been forced to waste a good five minutes of the mercifully brief running time trying to crowbar in an explanation for the very existence of their McGuffin, Tlaloc the Aztec Mummy (mummification being an Egyptian tradition).
To stretch your shredded credulity even further, the Mummy and all the supposedly priceless artefacts are kept in a building with all the high-tech security features of a ripped tent whose door-flap won't stay shut. Tlaloc's ancient reign of terror appears to have been presided over by High Priests who dress like very camp members of Ali Baba's 40 Thieves - knee-length, lamé MC Hammer pants, jazzy little cape and cheap jewellery.
I would rather spend the next milennium listening to the scream of a mummy than sit through a single second of this again. Easily, far and away, hands down, no doubt about it, the worst film ever made.
Image credit: Eroded pyramids of kings and queens of the 5th Dynasty. Kenneth Garret, National Geographic Channel