7 Mummies (2006)
Starring Matt Schulze, Andrew Bryniarski, Cerina Vincent, Billy Wirth, Billy Drago, Danny Trejo, Martin Kove
Directed by Nick Quested
By low budget b-movie standards, 7 Mummies is a great looking film. By low budget b-movie standards, 7 Mummies has quality make-up f/x work. By low budget b-movie standards, 7 Mummies has a solid cast of actors. By low budget b-movie standards, 7 Mummies is still a complete failure. In the past week I've suffered through utterly worthless no budget dreck like The Damned and Mr. Jingles, indefensible bad films made for no money with little talent involved either in front of or behind the camera. 7 Mummies is every bit as bad as those two yet its badness is even more inexcusable because the film was boasted technical competency and a cast that composed of seemingly worthwhile b-movie actors. Worst of all, 7 Mummies is absolutely boring. So what the hell went wrong?
My personal guess is that the bulk of the blame falls on the shoulders of director Nick Quested. I'm of the impression that the guy is a music video director. That would make a lot of sense seeing as how the film looks good but far too much of it is composed of montages and scenes that are set to the tune of blasting heavy metal and/or hip hop music that feels completely incompatible with the tale that's trying to be told. Of course, there's really not much tale being told anyway. Quested might be technically proficient with a camera but as a director the man doesn't seem to have a clue when it comes to generating suspense or thrills or even composing a coherent narrative. Uwe Boll could actually teach this guy a thing or two about putting together a storyline.
Much of the film's first quarter is composed of characters walking about the desert, usually in montage form. They'll stop for a few moments to bicker or to meet with Danny Trejo's character and then its right back to the montage trek. The movie opens with a shot of a tarantula wandering about the desert, footage director Quested recycles repeatedly throughout the montages that compose the seemingly endless first act. By the time they reach the town at about the 25 minute mark, 7 Mummies is already dead. D-E-A-D. And keep in mind this film is barely an hour and fifteen minutes in length. I don't know if the producers gutted the film in post-production or what, but it feels like it takes the film an eternity to even reach the town, and once they do, yet more time is killed before the obvious finally occurs, and even that proves to be as uninteresting as humanly possible.
Following their prison transport vehicle wrecking in the Arizona desert, six foul-mouthed convicts escape, take a female corrections officer hostage, and begin making their way by foot to the Mexican border and freedom from incarceration. Along the way they'll come across a strange medallion and Danny Trejo as the wise native that lives out in the middle of nowhere so that he can tell people that find themselves way out there about the legend of the lost gold of Tumacacori. Despite being fugitives from justice, these cons decide to go in search of the gold. This leads them to a Wild West-looking town in the middle of the desert that looks like it's been stuck in a time warp. Of course, that's probably because it is, and they will soon come to learn that the cursed town is in a state of purgatory and that everyone residing there is a ghost, zombie, vampire, or all of the above. The film is never really clear about exactly what they are. Then again, the movie isn't all that clear about a lot of things. Gibberish would probably the most fitting word to describe the screenplay.
But the escaped convicts and their female hostage won't learn this for a little while longer since they don't seem all that puzzled that they've suddenly found a town out in the middle of the desert, or that this town looks like something straight out of the old West, or that everyone residing in the town is dressed like they just walked off the set of Gunsmoke. No, they just want to head for the saloon and get a drink, and, later on, maybe have sex with undead hookers. Keep in mind that these cons have Cerina Vincent with them as a hostage walking around in a mammary-hugging, almost see-through white shirt drenched in sweat to make it cling that much more to her heaving bosoms, but at no point do any of these hardened felons do as much as eyeball her in an unsavory manner. But the moment they see those saloon hookers, it's on. In actuality, she probably would have already have been raped and murdered shortly after they escaped and took her hostage.
Once the denizens of the town reveal their true nature, 7 Mummies goes from being a complete bore to being a completely boring recreation of From Dusk Til Dawn. But instead of just trying to get the hell out of wherever the hell they are, these idiots still insist on trying to find the gold. Never mind the fact that there are zombies, vampires, ghosts, or whatever the hell they are killing them one-by-one, they still want that damn gold. This nearly plotless dullfest even manages to turn all the monster attacks, running, hiding, and searching for the gold into an absolute chore to sit through.
Much like the threadbare plot, the characters in this movie have no development, no depth, and often are completely indistinguishable from one another outside of their physical appearance. Dialog on the part of the cons consists primarily of varying uses of the word "fuck". Most of the characters turn out to be damned in one form or another. The actors playing them don't fare much better. Let's run them down.
Matt Schulze - Basically plays the same villainous part he did in Torque but minus the camp value.
Cerina Vincent - If she had been replaced with a blow-up doll you probably wouldn't even notice.
Andrew Bryniarski - He should stick to roles that have him carrying a chainsaw and saying nothing.
Danny Trejo - Danny Trejo doesn't act. Danny Trejo plays Danny Trejo.
Martin Kove - Blink and you'll miss his 30-second cameo.
Billy Wirth - He plays one of the main characters and yet you often forget he's even in the movie.
Billy Drago - He's trying to make something out of nothing but 7 Mummies is absolutely nothing and nothing anyone does can make it into something.
As for the film's obtuse title, it's derived from the mummies of seven Jesuit priests assigned to protect the gold that during the climax spring back to life and engage in kung fu fisticuffs with the remaining characters. Yes, Jesuit priest mummies in the American Southwest somehow know kung fu. This all too brief altercation near the end is the only thing even remotely entertaining to be found within the 76-agony filled minutes of 7 Mummies. It's also the only thing that prevents me from giving this film the lowest score possible. There are few genuine moments of goofy entertainment; it's just takes over an hour to get around to and only lasts about two minutes. Everything before and after is utterly worthless.
Forget 7 Mummies - this film is all about the 7 P's: poor, pointless, plodding, putrid, pungent, punishing, and pathetic.
1/2 out of 5