Unwatchable #28: “Seven Mummies”Posted: May 11, 2010
Your fearless – and quite possibly senseless – movie janitor is watching every movie on the IMDb Bottom 100 list. Join us now for another installment of Unwatchable.
Long before I accepted my calling in life as your faithful movie janitor, it was my plan to write terrible movies instead of writing about them. I’m joking, of course – nobody sets out to write terrible movies, not even Seven Mummies screenwriter Thadd Turner – but I did spend my younger days toiling in the trenches of indie film, with limited success. One of my closest calls with fame and fortune came back in the late ‘90s, when some friends in the Austin independent film scene mentioned that a producer of their acquaintance was looking for a low-budget, action-oriented script that could be shot in Luck, Texas. You won’t find Luck on Google Maps; it’s a Western town set that was built on Willie Nelson’s property outside of Austin for the filming of Red-Headed Stranger.
Without giving away too much about the script I feverishly churned out, the basic gist involved a gang of modern-day criminals who hole up in a Texas ghost town and end up battling with zombies from the Old West. (It’s called Deadsville! The rights are available! Contact me, makers of straight-to-DVD horror!) I signed a cocktail napkin deal at the Broken Spoke with the producer and his shady British partner, they drew up a business plan and budget, Willie Nelson was allegedly on board for a supporting role…but it never came to be. (But it still can! Zombies are hot, right? Shoot me an email, shady producers of schlock!) Why am I telling you this? Because today’s Unwatchable entry concerns a gang of modern-day criminals who hole up in a ghost town and end up battling zombies from the Old West. I least, I think they’re zombies. They may be vampires. Despite the title, however, I don’t think they’re mummies.
Not that I’m accusing Mr. Thadd Turner of plagiarism…although I could swear I glimpsed a cameo appearance by Mr. Willie Nelson, or at least a Willie-alike. Whereas my modern-day criminals were bank robbers fresh from a job, the motley crew in Seven Mummies is comprised of prison escapees, most of them hulking and brutish, with the odd man out being scrawny character actor Max Perlich (Homicide’s Brodie). The convicts have taken a hostage in Lacy, a guard who is soon stripped of her uniform top in order that we might better appreciate her attributes. For if there is one thing I can say for Seven Mummies director Nick Quested, it’s that he certainly has an eye for large-breasted women. Russ Meyer would nod approvingly at the titty quotient herein.
Anyway, the convicts wander through the desert for a while until they stumble upon Danny Trejo sitting outside his shack, roasting up some rattlesnakes. Trejo relates the legend of a lost treasure of gold once guarded by seven Jesuit priests, but now waiting to be claimed in a nearby ghost town by anyone possessing the missing seventh medallion. Luckily, one of the escapees happened to find the medallion while digging for water. Unluckily, the town is still heavily populated by miners, gunslingers and whores with really, really enormous breasts.
Why is this unlucky, you ask? Well, when the sun goes down, the townspeople are transformed into…whatever it is they’re transformed into. Let’s just call them zombie-vampires. Or maybe they’re some variety of werewolf. Were-zombies? Vamp-wolves? It doesn’t matter, I guess; they’re creatures with a taste for human flesh, as Max Perlich learns when his tongue is eaten. Eventually the few surviving cons find the crypt of gold and use the medallion to open it, but their glee is short-lived as, finally, with ten minutes left in the movie, we have mummies. They aren’t particularly scary mummies, but I can’t say I’ve ever found mummies to be especially frightening, so I won’t hold that against the filmmakers. Everything else, though, right down to the Old West making-whoopie montage scored to an obnoxious hip-hop track, is all their fault.
But what I’ll remember most about Seven Mummies isn’t the vampires or zombies or mummies or even the large-breasted women…okay, maybe it is the large-breasted women, but the second thing I’ll remember is Danny Trejo laughing. You see, after sending the convicts to meet their fate, Trejo laughs for a long time. I mean, a really long time. He laughs for so long that the movie actually dissolves between a scene of Trejo laughing and a scene of Trejo still laughing…and then dissolves again to a scene of Trejo still laughing. That’s a shitload of laughing, but it’s still not enough, because after the movie has seemingly ended and the mummies have done whatever it is mummies do, right before cutting to the credits, Seven Mummies dissolves back to Danny Trejo, and yes, he’s still laughing. Dude, it’s just not that funny. Really, I wish it was that funny. Nothing has ever been that funny. But I guess there’s not much to laugh at when you spend most of your time squatting in the desert roasting rattlesnakes.
Previously on Unwatchable: