Director: Johnny Tabor
Written by: Garry Charles
Starring: Danny Glover, William McNamara
Running Time: 80 mins
In order to get his hands on a precious diamond, the mysterious philanthropist Carl (Glover) hires infamous Egyptologist Jack Wells (McNamara) to join a group of archaeologists and explore the newly discovered tomb of the cursed king Neferu. Little do they know that an ancient evil awaits them there.
I will tell you this straight away; Day of the Mummy is not scary. It’s not tense; it didn’t fill me with a sense of dread and it didn’t unnerve me at any point. It’s not particularly gruesome or exciting or thrilling either and it certainly isn’t intentionally or even unintentionally funny. It’s just rather dull to be honest.
William McNamara plays our hero, Jack Wells, a discount Indiana Jones. He’s a rebellious Egyptologist with a dark and mysterious past and an eye for the ladies. Yep, he’s a walking talking cliché! He’s a protagonist we’ve seen dozens of times before, although in this film we don’t actually get to see him all that much.
You see the gimmick here is that we see everything from Dr. Wells’ perspective. At the start of the film, his employer Carl (Glover) makes it clear that he doesn’t trust our hero and so sets him up with a pair of glasses containing a camera and an earpiece. This way Carl can see and hear everything that is happening from the comfort of his green screen studio– I mean office! It’s a twist on the found footage genre and one that doesn’t work particularly well. You see it’s rather distracting and often disorientating (it gave me a headache), combine that with tonnes of clunky exposition and it’s rather hard to care about the story or the other characters.
Speaking of the other characters, they all seem to be as ridden with clichés as Jack Wells maybe even more so. Eric Young plays the films token arsehole Dr. Jeremy Cooper. Pompous and uptight, he’s Jacks’ rival and someone we want to see get killed just to shut him up. Andre Monier plays the only female among the group Kate Alvarez, who comes across quite feisty and independent at the start only for her to fall for Jacks’ charms and thus introduce a rather unnecessary romantic sub-plot. Robin Steffen plays Marty Timor, the well-meaning young nerd who eventually becomes a bit of a magnet for disaster. Philip Marlett plays young archaeologist Greg Baptiste, who is kind of just there. He doesn’t really contribute all that much.
The main draw for most people though will be the inclusion of Danny Glover playing Carl, the rich and mysterious philanthropist. I assumed Glover’s role would be merely an extended cameo, something that would potentially boost interest and sell more copies of the film but he’s actually in it throughout and trust me that is not a good thing!
The camera glasses and the earpiece work as a two-way link and so Carl often pops up in the corner of the screen to talk to Jack (although he has little to say that’s actually interesting), a bit like a guide in a video game. It’s incredibly distracting and a stylistic choice that just takes you out of the film completely!
Not all is bad though, the locations are pretty effective, especially the tomb of the mummy which is dark, eerie and claustrophobic. The practical effects, make-up and props are also impressive although the computer-generated effects are generally poor in comparison.
And so we come to actual Mummy itself, I bet you thought I forgot about it eh? Well I thought the filmmakers had forgot about it too since it doesn’t actually appear in the film until nearly an hour in! The Mummy itself though is pretty cool looking and has an interesting design, like a cross between a mummy and the more traditional zombie. The only problem is though it’s not scary and it’ not imposing! It looks like a Doctor Who villain and it moves like a very drunk old man.
Day of the Mummy isn’t offensively bad, or even laughably bad, but it’s not that good either. The film drags, it’s incredibly slow and the build-up doesn’t create an ounce of tension but rather leaves you feeling bored. The climax doesn’t pay off at all either leaving you pretty disappointed by the time the credits roll.