Michael Delahoyde, PhD

Professor of English

The Mummy Theme Park



Notes: Italian, 87 minutes.
Daniel Flynn: Adam O’Neil
Julie: Holly Lanigham
Sheik El Sahid: Cyrus Elias
Nekhebet: Helen Preest
Also: Monica Kiss, Peter Bloom, Paola Real, John Gayford.

Produced and Directed: Al Passeri
Screenplay: Al Passeri and Anthony Pedicin

Summary: An Egyptian Sheik — okay, already, wait up. (“Do the Egyptians even have sheiks? I thought that was an Iranian/Pakistani title … yeah, I just Googled ‘Sheik and Egypt’ and got a city in Northern Egypt but no one who has that label. Unreal. I get this is a low budget slasher, but they had to have some room in that budget to do a little fact checking. Or maybe not.”) The Sheik is eager to learn of excavation progress. Anglo Professor Mason info-dumps basic Egyptological blab at him and others, pontificating about a culture they themselves are supposed to be part of. Pointing at hieroglyphic inscriptions, the Sheik asks, “What does all this mean?” Mason says that these are “stories” and legends, but somehow they are stories about “rituals,” rituals “to bring back life to things that were lifeless.” Unfortunately, the Professor reads these clearly up-and-down hieroglyphs from left to right. And the “seal” on the tomb looks like Silly Putty.

Workers do not want to break into a tomb and run away. The guard decides to start shooting them and the Sheik says either, “You didn’t have to shoot to kill!” (“Honestly, what else would you do with a gun if not kill them?”) or “You’ll just have to shoot to kill!” (“As opposed to?”). Resuming the violation, someone spears another worker and is shot. Before expiring, he claims to be Anubis, guarding the tomb, but he doesn’t have a jackal head (“and this god and protector of the underworld is a regular guy who can die from a bullet”). The workers break into the tomb and the Sheik sees a white light. He is ecstatic.

“One week later.” The Sheik calls a photography studio claiming, “I need the best there is.” The middle-east accents sound eastern European in this dubbed film, including that of an Egyptian sorceress (“because she’s mystical and evil… duh”) who incants at an idol: the jackal head of Anubis with an occasionally glowing green jewel eye. The sorceress’s name is difficult to discern. Macbeth? Nutbag? (It’s Nekhebet.) Photographer Danny Flynn is recommended to the Sheik, while at the studio models pose topless. (“I find it really odd there is so much unnecessary nudity. The ‘bowchicawowow’ kind of music is also unnecessary during these scenes. It does not fit into the plot whatsoever, although, what is the plot? I have no idea.”)

Co-worker Julie accompanies Danny to the Sheik’s apparent palace residence, a luxury hotel near his enterprise: the underground Mummy Theme Park. He tends to ogle Julie as he blabs about the ancients: “They could transform a dead being into a living creature through their eyes and mouth.” Danny is baffled, or skeptical, or indignant: “A themepark? … tourists? … visitors? What the hell are you talking about?” (“Um, a theme park.”)

Nutbag shows Julie and Danny to their separate rooms, and Julie is condescending towards the conservative traditionalism and towards Egyptian culture in general: “Do you people still believe in those ancient superstitions? … We in America prefer the wild ways of the world that spawned us! … Don’t tell me you’ve met the Pharaohs!” Nutbag icily tells her, “You people should not judge other[s] … superficially.” And she remarks that she has indeed met the Pharaohs. She seems able to dematerialize. Julie takes what seems like a hologrammatically-produced bath.

Nutbag has a session with her jackal head, bitching that “infidels” are “offending.” Darth-Vader noise approaches a sleeping Julie. She awakens and runs frightened through the hotel to Danny. But she soon insists, “Listen, I’m not lusting after you,” and leaves, panting through the hotel again.

The next morning involves manicures. A scan through the harem includes one woman pondering, “You think the Sheik will like my boobs?” But the highlight of today is a tour for Danny and Julie with the Sheik through the theme park, starting with what several times is identified as the “master computer” in the “control room” — information one generally does not want to blab about — where dozens of workers stare at monitors (for a park that’s not up and running yet). Next, a train-ride through the park proper, where we will in effect travel in time to meet the Pharaohs and then come back from “death.” At first the train ride footage involves a toy train set and doll houses, but soon we’re looking out the windows at diaramas: colorful liquid technology in a Jekyll-like laboratory (that “looks more like a meth lab”), a “medical office” (that “looks more like a Spencer’s gift shop”), a reanimated skeleton. All the while, the Sheik is yammering about security bars and gratings and the processes: “We replace any crumbling bones with steel pins.” In response, Danny says, “That would make it half human half machine.” (“First of all, replace bones with ‘pins’? Really? And how is that making it a robot? Note that this is said a few minutes before it is mentioned they are controlled by microchips. Of course! Microchips. Well, that explains everything.”) Much is made of the winter solstice also — December 21st — and solar panels and jewels and the sun and microchips. (“Why are they using DNA and CAT-scan machines to bring the dead back life, when the temple they discovered already brings the dead back to life every December 21st? This logic doesn’t work either since they are building a theme park which has a main attraction that can only be viewed once a year?”)

The train takes them into a mountain. Julie is totally like in awe: “and you can find all that deep inside a rock!” We see white dinosaur bones, proving the Jurassic Park plagiarism. If there were a disaster, “The earth would once more swallow what it vomited up.” [“That’s beautiful :)”] “You have an extra dose of feminine intuition I see.” At a central hall of the Pharaohs, one statue steps forth and, in English, sketches his life. (“How does the mummy know that he is 4000 years old? Who does he think he is talking to? Also, why does he mention he fathered 107 children? It seems to be going along with the extremly sexual undertone in the movie, which also has no bearing on the plot.”) (“Actually along the Terminator lines, they haven’t created a mummy, they’ve created a robot. This thing is run off a computer chip; isn’t that how a robot does its thing? This is a classic B-movie failure.”)

Meanwhile, prompted by Nutbag’s incantations, a human (worker?) undergoes a bloody transformation into a serpent-headed monster. (“The only part I did like was the huge snake crawling out of the human; it was sick and disgusting but that’s what a monster is supposed to do!”) Back aboard, we see some artifact polishing before a rest stop at a souvenir shop where Dan gets a $5 iced tea, Julie popcorn, and the Sheik a $10 beer.

Later at the palace, the Sheik phonecalls for a dance: “You can have my palace if you dance for me.” But the woman says, “I want the Mummy Theme Park” as payment. “Damn you!” A fight breaks out in the harem over whether the Sheik prefers blondes with blue or green eyes. A concoction with lizards and a smoking skull creates a phantom dancer, but the Sheik wants a real woman, and when he tries to grasp the phantom it disappears. “Vermin! I gave you all that money, and I can’t even touch the girl!” This wizard is sent to the serpent death-bath.

Dan decides that Professor Mason must explain the paperweight that was thrown through his window last night: “I’d like to know a little more.” Mason reads that the park offends the Pharaohs, according to these hieroglyphs. Dan goes to Julie to tell her that “If we stay here, they’ll kill us!” Someone obviously thinks the park is “just a commercial venture.” Tomorrow we go. Julie’s bath is monitored. Nutbag animates a mummy, and we hear dinosaur sounds as the creature sword-fights guards, lopping off an arm and a head. The mummy scurries away.

The next day, Dan prepares to take Nikon photos in the hall of the Pharaohs, and tells Julie, “Get ready to record.” “What if something happens?” Nothing will, and “besides, the mummies have solid chains on their feet.” (“If they can go through walls, how can they be chained up?” “If the mummy can walk through walls than how is it possible to restrain it with an ankle bracelet?”) The semi-animated mummy begins reciting its résumé, but the photo flashes faze and then enrage him. Dan and Julie run as doors close, and the train is gone. “Sons of bitches!” The trouble is picked up on the monitors. “Shee-it! Da mummy’s outta da tomb. How da Heall did it do dat?” The Sheik commands that the two be shut in if necessary. As the grate gates shut down, one wonders, “Where’s the way out of this goddamned labyrinth?” And how does one kill something that’s been dead for thousands of years? The mummy knocks their two heads together. The park people try to shoot an electro-power surge into the microchip, and the mummy experiences a momentary headache, but the microchip falls to the ground. (“I’m no mummy expert, but didn’t they pull out the person’s brain before he was mummified? If so, what exactly is the microchip attached to and how would the flash affect the mummy’s brain if he doesn’t have one?”) Now the mummy is the bandages variety, and Dan and Julie continue running. “I can’t take anymore.” Hiding behind a rock, Julie notices the Jurassic water bowl vibrating. Chaos breaks out with trains crashing through rock walls and fires everywhere. The mummy appear atop a train, but soon is approaching. “Why is he looking at me like that?” asks Julie. Aha! Breasts! “The only thing that will slow him down.” (“Boobs are a mummy’s Kryptonite.”) As Julie lowers her blouse slightly, Dan finds a Gatorade bucket of acid and pours it on the mummy. It glitters and burns the creature into bloody rot. But in a moment, the bloody rot monster is up again. “That’s it! I’m tired of this shit! It’s time this skeleton went back in the closet!” Dan stalks the creature and beats it to a pulp. (“I guess they can only walk through walls, not a stick or a rock.”) But in another moment a skeleton is up. When a pillar is pushed on top of the skeleton and the thing crashes to pieces, a skeletal hand is still animated and grabs Julie’s neck. Dan pulls it off before park guards show up and take them back to the palace. Dan snots off at the Sheik for treating them like Guinea pigs. The Professor speculates that, like Kong, the flash-photography enraged the mummy’s adrenaline and he “blew his top.” (“So the mummy doesn’t like having its picture taken when used in conjunction with cheap laser sound effects? What about a camera without the sound effects? And if that is the case than why didn’t they take more pictures of it to keep the mummy from chasing them?”)

All things considered, the cast destroyed the plot of this movie with their explanations of the events. I don’t know how a 4000-year-old mummy has adrenaline, but I have adrenaline and I don’t go on killing sprees after getting my picture taken. In fact the only theme that this movie has not destroyed is based on the idea that all evil can be stopped dead in its tracks when a white woman opens her blouse (and I don’t believe this was meant as a theme). Whether evil come in the form of “the shake” (as they call him) or a mummy, it seems that all you need to do to render evil defenseless is to find a willing white woman to bare all. Lesson learned, thanks for the info! (LB)

The Sheik dismisses Nutbag’s warnings: “What are you nattering about?” He decides they need to replace the destroyed mummy and get a “dummy mummy.” The Professor must go back into the tomb tomorrow and complete his work. Dan and Julie are locked in a luxury room but are prisoners. They have sex and Dan immediately calls their boss. Hmm. The outside world has heard nothing of an Egyptian earthquake. Nutbag tells a fire, “Go! And burn! their room!” but when Dan mentions the name Cleopatra — “What?” — she calls to the fire, “Come back!”

There’s another harem fight and a woman has a tooth knocked out. Julie is a virtuoso computer hacker and manages some kind of accomplishment: “I screwed them with my laptop!” When she accomplishes something else, she tells her computer, “That’s it. Good boy!” Danny takes photos of the Sheik, the Pharaoh mummy, and the Professor, then just the first two. Nutbag emerges, griping that they have offended the dignity of the sacred fathers. She claims to be Queen of Eternity, descendent of Cleopatra. The Theme Park spells the end of the Kingdom of Egypt. While being declared insane — “You’re crazy. A lunatic. Loony! Loony!” — she calls of the gods. Guards shoot her six times but when one stabs her the mask falls off; still she incants: “Sink everything down to the bowels of the earth. Make the land close up. Close up forever.” Doors close while the two Americans get aboard the train. Julie operates the thing with her laptop, initially going backwards. When the automated voice begins, Danny says, “Go to hell.”

Bandaged mummies awaken; gunshots are useless. The park begins to cave in. A mummy kills the Professor. Columns fall. A mummy stabs a decapitated head onto a column. Eyes pop out, and a head is split in two. The Sheik sneaks into a sarcophagus and tries to make a cell-phone call, but Nutbag curses him with automatic bandaging..

A boulder knocks one of the cars of the train into a ravine. There are explosions. Nutbag on a monitor tells the Americans, “Escape. Go back to your own country.” The crack in the earth closes, like at the end of Dr. Doolittle. “It’s like there never was a mummy theme park. Nature’s taken back what’s rightfully hers.” (?) Dan and Julie are lovey. We see Nutbag and the Pharaoh mummy together. Dot dot dot. Forever. Dot dot dot. ***

Commentary: Notes, quotes, and s[n]ide-comments were contributed by Logan Baudour, Jake Loney, Jordan Johansen, Samantha Bednark, Chelsea Sutcliffe, Kent Neidhold, Rand Stevens, Ashleigh Cheslek, Brendan Fejarang, Alex Tibbett, Alli Rowe, Rocky Lamb, Elena Mest, Kelli Braden, Jason Balera, Lynnea Braun, Dannial Huang, Dylan Sattin.
“It has horribly unreal graphics, tacky wardrobe, elementary over-the-top dialogue, un-realistic sets, and dreadful acting.”
“I don’t think the gong is Egyptian.”
“What happened to the snake monster?”
“I was also dissatisfied to find the only strong female presence (Nutbag, I guess) wants to kill everybody.”
“In short, this movie is a poor, however hilarious, excuse for some horny writer to watch his fantasy somewhere other than in his head.”

What happened to the crazy mummy that went on a rampage and was randomly killing guards in the palace? I guess that dilemma was solved off camera, or the editors felt that the random acts of violence did not deserve any further explanation. They might as well have dressed the guards in red Star Trek shirts before killing them because that made about as much sense as the green alien killing the extras off instead of first killing captain Kirk. (LB)

I can’t bear to keep talking about this movie like it isn’t the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever witnessed. I still am holding out hope that this is a satirical, sardonic, ironic, sarcastic work by some art college somewhere where some students created a movie as a study in anti-humor … or something. I don’t want to believe that the world could create something like this. I mean, I can at least understand terrorists, but this? This is the kind of thing that makes me fear it’s already too late for humanity. In fact, I think there’s something in Revelation about this movie…. (JJ)

Mummy Films