Starring Ben Stewart, Erica Kruz, Colette Claire, Hollie Overton, Elissa Downing
Directed by Max Nikoff
I vowed after suffering through Diary of a Cannibal that I would never again ever subject myself to a movie by prolific hack (and calling him a “hack” is putting it mildly) Ulli Lommel. Anyone who ever dares to rag on Uwe Boll should be strapped to a chair and forced to watch any of Lommel’s recent output; they’ll come away thinking Boll is Robert Altman by comparison. Lommel doesn’t just give filmmaking a bad name; he even gives bad filmmaking a bad name.
Yet Lionsgate keeps slapping eye-catching artwork on his no budget, no talent, no script, shot-in-a-week-if-that-long shitfests; and because of that artwork and Lionsgate getting his movies on shelves in all the major chains and because not enough viewers have caught onto this trend, Lommel’s cheapie’s keep turning a tidy profit. It’s too the point now that Lionsgate is having the guy churn a new one out on a monthly basis. It’s become quite shameful really.
As I said, after his artsy fartsy Diary of a Cannibal robbed me of 90-minutes of my life I vowed never again. So why am I reviewing Mummy Maniac? Well, it turns out that Lommel didn’t actually make this one himself. I don’t know if the grind of churning out these worthless non-movies so quickly is catching up to him or if because he just wants to give his friends a taste of that Lionsgate money, but Mummy Maniac was directed by a guy named Max Nikoff, who could probably be described as a protégé of Lommel’s after having served as an actor and producer in some of Lommel’s past films. Lommel has truly become a cockroach: we can’t seem to get rid of him and now he’s begun multiplying.
Looking up Nikoff on IMDB, I found myself floored by the bio he submitted to butter himself up. Keep in mind that the guy studied in Moscow to be a rocket designer when you read this actual passage from his own self-submitted bio:
“In his work as a filmmaker Max often applies principles he learned during his engineering study as a rocket engine designer as he believes that art of Motion Picture is an ultimate fusion of creative art and technical ingenuity and skills perhaps as none other form of art it’s so precise as rocket engine yet is so sensual as an artist’s creation.”
The only thing Mummy Maniac has in common with rocketry is that I’d love to blast it into space along with him and Lommel.
Nikoff parrots Lommel’s filmmaking style to the point that you’d never know you weren’t watching one of Lommel’s piece of shit movies if not for actually seeing Nikoff’s name listed as the director. Everything you expect from a Lommel production is evident: concept very loosely inspired by an actual murder case, non-story, non-acting, poor improvised dialogue, minimalist sets, excessive use of voiceover and montages, pseudo-artsy fartsy fades and edits, lousy audio quality, and just a general overall sense that either nobody involved on the production side of this movie either had a clue or gave a rat’s ass. Or, more likely, they realized what a great scam they’re pulling on Lionsgate and decided to not even attempt to give the impression they’re trying anymore. Wouldn’t shock me in the slightest to find out Lommel was skimming off the top of the money Lionsgate keeps fronting him to keep cranking out this garbage.
What’s with the mummy aspect of the movie killer’s M.O. besides the movie being loosely based on a real-life New York murder case where the killer wrapped a naked dead woman’s head in packing tape in a mummy-like fashion? Well, the movie killer’s mom told him stories of 1,001 Nights as a kid and he got so obsessed with the mummy parts of the story that now he’s decided he wants to become a mummy when he dies. That’s as deep as this film ever gets. This is why he wraps their heads in a mummy-like fashion. Though technically, given what a sloppy job he does wrapping their heads, a better name for the film might have been Darkman Maniac.
Mummy Maniac is the tale of a serial killing fat ass in a cop uniform whose primary personality trait is staring off into nothingness. He keeps abducting young women, taking them to this bathroom painted black where 85% of the movie is set, lets them plead for their lives or tell him that God will punish him, kills them with a knife or a saw or a power drill, wraps their heads in Ace bandages like a mummy, sometimes pulls up the woman’s shirt and fondles their breasts, and then dumps the clothed body on the street. This process repeats seven times in a row and then the movie ends. Seriously. That’s it. This process will repeat itself seven times. Seven. Long. Times. If you watch the first ten minutes of this movie then you’ll have seen everything there is to see for every ten minutes to follow until the 75-minute movie time limit expires and the miniscule credits crawl across the screen for to pad out another six minutes.
The whole thing seems to have been done with some misguided mentality that they were making a serial killer character study, yet all we ever learn about him is that apparently he’s got domineering mommy issues and murdered daddy issues and sexual hang-ups when it comes to getting laid and is obsessed with mummies. Our killer also seems to have audio issues because most of the time you can’t even hear what in the hell he’s saying.
We don’t actually see the kidnappings – just him loading the women into the back of his moving van. This is followed up with often lengthy driving montages while the women in the back weep. Ooh, suspenseful.
You’d also think cutting one’s throat or power drilling one’s head would generate a good deal of blood – you’d be wrong. Sorry, gorehounds.
All of these horrendously acted murder vignettes are interspersed with shots of the guy’s ugly mom, who looks like Miss Balbricker from the Porky’s films, looking on in the bathroom mirror. In between murders we’re also treated to the killer’s pointless therapy sessions and dream-like sequences involving his mom done in the style of a first year film student with delusions of being an expressionist filmmaker. Let’s not forget the montages of the city at night and our killer walking down the street or standing atop a roof with binoculars looking for his next victim. Riveting stuff.
Some cheap nudity, even cheaper gore, and a plotless, repetitive serial killer movie with delusions of artistic merit … This, folks, is torture bore.
The other day I harshly panned an utterly atrocious Army of Darkness rip-off by the Sci-Fi Channel called Harpies with the lowest rating possible: no knives. That one now looks like the work of Sam Raimi when compared to Mummy Maniac. I wish we had a rating even lower than zero knives for movies that aren’t just terribly made on every conceivable level, but that really aren’t even movies at all. This is not an actual movie. I don’t know exactly what to classify this as other than to just call it was it is…
The worst movie I’ve ever reviewed for Dread Central!
Yes, I’d even rather sit through Not Dead Enough and Curse of Halloween again than watch Mummy Maniac ever again.
I don’t blame Lommel anymore or any of his equally untalented sycophants for the movies they’re making. The blame now belongs squarely at the feet of Lionsgate for enabling Lommel and company to keep cranking out bullshit wastes of time and space like Mummy Maniac and giving their worthless productions wide distribution. I’m through being nice so I’ll just come right out and say it…
FUCK YOU, LIONSGATE!
0 out of 5
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