Thursday, November 12, 2015

The Robot vs. the Aztec Mummy - 1959

I'm feeling a little too lazy to dig into my past reviews to discover if this is my first Spanish language film dubbed into English.  Nothing springs to mind.  I was going to review a Santo movie a while back, I might have even finished it I really don't remember.  Anyhow, the point is that I haven't really touched the whole genre of "what the fuck was going on in Mexico in the 50's-70's?"  Yeah, that's a genre, deal with it.

It's a lot like a bizarre offshot of the superhero genre.  In Mexico, which was technologically behind America, but not by far, the entertainment of choice was wrestling.  Luchadore shows were very popular, kind of like going to the circus or going to the zoo...but cheaper, less of a "big deal" and since it was just sweaty men involved in the shows, you could obviously have more shows, and do them anywhere.  The stars of the wrestling world were elevated to almost superhuman status in the eyes of the common man, and they were among the first stars to be brought into movies to further their popularity.  I realize that what I've been describing so far is a lot more of the Santo type of movie, and this movie isn't really about wrestling....so, let's get to this film.

Robot vs Mummy is a dialogue heavy, slow moving film.  It's made from an era where, as established by directors like Corman, the film was mostly scenes of people talking about what happened instead of actually seeing what happened.  The film begins in such a fashion.  A bunch of smartly dressed men stand around, using unrealistic sounding phrases to discuss at great length what happened a while ago, which is in this case recapping what happened in the movies set before this, which was 1957's The Aztec Mummy and sequel, The Curse of the Aztec Mummy.

They recap the story of the mummy being risen, getting vengeance, and then being trapped again in his tomb.  The mummy is raised again in this film when evil Dr. Krupp takes the mummy's breastplate and scepter (I think the second item was a scepter anyways).  Dr. Krupp knows that the mummy's gonna come collect, so he decides to build a redonkulous looking robot to defeat the mummy.
In this scene, roughly 2 minutes before the end of the film, mummy and robot have their final duel.

The main issue at work here, and the reason why this is among the bottom 100 on IMDb is because the fight between these two doesn't take place until like 6 minutes before the end of the movie.  We don't even see the robot until like the 55 minute mark practically.  I did actually check, at the run time of the movie, when we saw the robot, but I was drinking too much whiskey and I don't remember.  Anyways, I kinda liked it in that low rent, extremely bizarre alternate reality feel.  It feels like a strange nightmare or some warped dimension we enter when we watch....to me it feels that way anyway.  

I dunno, I feel oddly positive about it.  2.5 stars.

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