directed by G.W. Lawrence (Gary Whitson)
runtime: 85 mins
As we waited for our Pizza Hut to arrive one night when I was six, my dad and I talked about monsters. I was obsessed with drawing them, so odds are I was sitting on the floor drawing a one-eyed alien with a turtle shell for a helmet and perhaps something questionable between its legs, when my dad eventually piped up, saying “you know what monster always scared me as a kid? The mummy.”
Needless to say I was puzzled. How could a toilet paper man inflict fear upon anyone, let alone enough fear for it to stand out in the mind as something terrifying. When I asked him why, his response was “It is impossible to get away from the mummy. He never stops advancing toward you. You can hide, but he knows where you are. It’s just a matter of how long it will take to reach you.”
Okay, so that is pretty horrifying. It’s the plot of It Follows without the stupid STD ghost bits. I don’t know where my dad got this particular mummy lore—perhaps some old TV serial or radio program. Who can say? If you have any answers, help a brother out. With that preface out of the way, let’s talk THE MUMMY’S DUNGEON.
In this W.A.V.E. feature, Sal Longo plays a photographer who runs ads in the paper. Only female models need apply. They show up at his house where he takes them into his basement, asks for the stupidest fucking poses, photographs them for a while, and then tortures them with the help of his mummy monster slave. This same scenario repeats itself many times, and then the film ends.
The mummy in question has a great look to him, and is wonderfully played by Dave Castiglione, but is more of a horny henchman than anything— nothing like the Boris Karloff or Lon Chaney Jr iterations, and nothing like my father’s tormentor.
There are many questions to ask along the way. Why is this mummy obeying a man that looks like my uncle Gary? Is this mummy related to Imhotep, Ramesses, or Tut? Was this mummy just shoehorned into a generic plot about a pervy ole photographer a la Scum of the Earth? Where is Brendan Fraser at a time like this? As it so happens, it doesn’t really matter, because this is a W.A.V.E. feature, which, as I stated before, is my comfort food. But please note that this isn’t nearly as good as the likes of Sleepover Massacre or The Vampire’s Curse. THE MUMMY’S DUNGEON leaves something to be desired solely for the fact that it had the potential to be absolutely bonkers.
If you allow it, THE MUMMY’S DUNGEON will put you into a trance that blurs the edges of reason. Imagine if Orgy of the Dead was shot with a camcorder in your elderly neighbor’s basement, except the camcorder was actually a tub of sour cream and your neighbor’s basement was actually a rerun of “So Weird” that was left on a loop and became sentient.
Recommended for anyone who doesn’t require a plot to have a good time, or for anyone looking for something to play in the background while they beat it to 90’s music videos on their laptop.
And the search for the fabled dad mummy continues.
Stay slime, and be rad at all times.