Thursday, October 27, 2016


The Robot vs the Aztec Mummy (just the good parts)

For my million and one loyal followers: you're already aware that this blog is extremely gif-heavy. Ever since I learned how to make a decent 15-second gif a couple of years ago, I've decorated my blog with them, watching the action run in perfectly-executed little circles. I particularly like to boil down a movie to its bare essence, and never is this more effective than in the case of poorly-dubbed, low-budget Mexican horror films. 

Can you guess which one I have in mind? 

Since I'm bringing you just the good parts, and I hope these don't run slow and jerky for you as they do when the net is a little busy (they straighten out after one cycle), I'll need to explain that this movie is about a robot vs an Aztec mummy. It eventually comes down to a cage match between the two of them, and I won't tell you who wins - you'll figure it out, I think. In between all this feverish activity, there is an unbelievable number of reaction shots. People also spend a lot of time tromping through graveyards, but I left most of that out. As with most films in this genre, it's incredibly slow-moving: believe me when I tell you, this really IS the best part of it, and it comes in under less than two minutes.

This mummy kicks ass. This mummy wants revenge. He has come back from the grave to get some goodies stolen from him by some greedy archaeologist (or something like that). Something about a breastplate and bracelet, though who knows why? Must be because he's Aztec and all.

This is an action scene. There aren't that many of them. People fall down a lot, and cover their faces and scream, and one guy gets real scarred up because the mummy touches him (or is it the robot?)

Sorry this one is so long, but this guy kills me! He looks like Orson Welles, or a crazed opera singer or something - and the human heart, which I guess ends up inside the robot, is straight out of Frankenstein. But the special effects are a tad simpler. That old heart just kind of sits there stewing.

This is a great example of endless, tedious reaction shots. I suspect a good many of them are repeated, a common trick in the low-budget horror industry where recycling footage saves cash. It takes forever for the robot to actually DO anything, and until then all we can do is watch a lot of flashing lights.

At last, the beast is on his feet! This is a magnificent construction which appears to be made from a large spray-painted cardboard box and some furnace ducts. I'm still puzzling out why there is a thing like a mail slot in his chest. My favorite part of the ensemble is the remote control, wielded with fiendish glee by The Bad Guy.

This is really unfortunate. It's just some Mexican guy with a serape on, hanging out in the graveyard, and look what happens to him! Orson Welles just pounds on that remote, and look what it makes the robot do. I'm not sure what it does, but like a lot of people in this movie, the Mexican guy runs away screaming.

CAGE MATCH! Here is where it gets good, and it happens in the last two minutes and thirty-eight seconds. The robot is smokin' by now, and is reducing our poor mummy to pulp. Things look pretty grim for the Aztec guy.

But just when you think - ! Once more, the mummy kicks butt! Could there be hidden symbolism here, i. e. ancient spiritual tradition beating out shallow man-made technology? Or is that robot, when you think about it, just a piece of shit anyway?