Monday, October 15, 2012


Egypt, 1902. With unrest against the British mounting, Robert Quentin, who has taken an expedition to the Valley of the Kings, may run into trouble. Capt. Storm leads a small team, including Quentin's wife Sylvia, to find them and bring them back. On their way, they are joined by a mysterious native woman, Simira, dressed in a robe and wearing a cat god necklace, who is looking for her brother Numar, Quentin’s guide. Sylvia, it develops, is planning on leaving her husband and indulges in a little light flirtation with Storm. After they arrive at the dig, the men find the mummy of a high priest and as they make an incision into the mummy’s neck, Numar collapses. He begins aging rapidly, and we eventually discover that the spirit of the violated high priest has entered Numar's body, turning him into a vampire who begins feeding on the blood of members of Quentin's party. This hour-long cheapie is notable mostly for its unusual twist on the mummy theme; the monster's not a mummy but a wrinkle-skinned vampire doing the work of the mummy, trying to protect the tomb of the pharaoh from intruders. Everything else about it is so-so: the script, the sets, the atmosphere and the acting. Israeli actress Ziva Rodann is appropriately exotic as Simira, who is apparently supposed to be the embodiment of a cat goddess, though I was never clear about that. Mark Dana (pictured with Rodann) makes a decent B-movie hunk (and Captain Storm really should be the name of a superhero), and Ben Wright (the Nazi Herr Zeller in THE SOUND OF MUSIC) plays Quentin's translator. [Netflix streaming]

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