Dir: Russell Mulcahy. US. 1999. 119 mins.
Prod cos: Muraglia/Sladek Productions, The Carousel Picture Co, Seventh Voyage, KNB EFX Group, Imperial Entertainment Group. US dist: Dimension Films. Int'l sales: Buena Vista Film Sales (+ 1 818 238 1081). Exec prods: Tom Reeve, Romain Schroeder. Prods: Daniel Sladek, Silvio Muraglia, Jeffrey White. Scr: John Esposito, Russell Mulcahy, from a story by Mulcahy and Keith Williams. DoP: Gabriel Beristain. Prod des: Bryce Walmsley. Ed: Armen Minasian. Mus: Stefano Mainetti. Main cast: Jason Scott Lee, Louise Lombard, Sean Pertwee, Lysette Anthony, Michael Lerner, Jack Davenport, Honor Blackman, Christopher Lee, Shelley Duvall.
Russell Mulchahy has made a career out of slick cheesy B movies from Highlander and Highlander II to The Shadow, The Real McCoy or Blue Ice. Talos The Mummy aka Russell Mulcahy's Talos The Mummy is his latest opus - a trashy horror romp about an ancient Egyptian satanist on the rampage in contemporary London. It's a low-rent affair, with some bizarre plotting, unintentionally funny dialogue and a cardboard leading man in Jason Scott Lee. Nevertheless, aided by hammy supporting cast and slick special effects, Mulchahy keeps it brisk and watchable.
Talos actually preceded Universal's big budget blockbuster The Mummy from last year - it was completed in late 1997. Unfortunately it looks like a cheap, gory copy. The two share several plot points most notably the fact that the mummy in both films rebuilds himself bit by bit by sucking the life out of various hapless humans. This mummy however is destined for a healthy life on the video shelves.
The film starts with an archaeological expedition in the Valley Of The Kings in 1948 led by Professor Turkel (Lee). On opening the tomb of Talos, Turkel and his team are all wiped out. Fifty years later, Turkel's granddaughter (Lombard) re-enters the tomb and brings back the remains to exhibit in London. But Talos comes back to life and starts committing a gruesome series of murders across the city in order to assume physical form. Detective Lee leads the hunt for the mummy. High points are some amusing supporting turns from old favourites Honor Blackman and Shelley Duvall.