Film Review - La Momia Azteca (Attack of the Aztec Mummy)

Starring - Ramon Gay, Angel Distefani, Crox Alvarado / Directed by Rafael Portillo / BCI DVD FF Not Rated 1957 80min

Review By Xmortis

This is the first film in the Aztec Mummy series and will showcase some great horror from South of the Border.

Dr. Eduardo Almada goes before a board of Mexico's higher ups to tell of his findings that he can hypnotize some one and make them give stories of past lives, and when they shoot it down due to some dangers that could happen he returns home a beaten man. His fiance Flora demands he try it on her to prove his theory will work. That night along he and his colleagues do just that. As they start a shadowy figure watches and learns the secrets of this test and more. You see Flora's past life was that of a maiden named Xochi who was to be sacrificed to an ancient god and must remain a virgin. But when the great warrior Popoca confesses his love the people deiced to punish them both by death. Popoca is driven mad with a potion and Xochi is still sacrificed. Flora snaps back to present day and is shell-shocked while Almada is worried about his love. The shadowy figure (The Bat) leaves and gives a call out to his thug henchmen to watch the doctor's house. Almada, Flora and a few others head to the run down Aztec temples to find the body of Xochi and take the breastplate off the corpse to prove that they were the same person, but the shadow man is also there and watches once more from the dark corners. Inside the temple they find Xochi's body. They remove the breastplate and the mummified remains of Popoca come alive! People speak of a curse of the Aztec that calls for them to return the plate, but Almada does not give in and wants to prove his findings true. The shadow man and his goons want to steal the plate that they think has a map to a hidden treasure. And when Dr. Almada views the walking Mummy with his own eyes he is confused to what to do, but when the goons break into his house and try to steal the breastplate they are beat by the Mummy who gets the plate and kidnaps Flora who it still sees as Xochi. Dr. Almada and his friends head to the temple, as do the Shadow man, his goons and two cops. Shadow Man is busted and taken to jail as Almada and his men go and rescue Flora. In the end the Mummy is blown up, and Almada and Flora live very happy.

I remember hearing about the Aztec Mummy films when I was young, and they always had a B-Grade appeal. Now for the first time on a crisp DVD comes the first in the series Attack of the Aztec Mummy and man was it a fun watch. The story line of a doctor with good intentions trying to get inside the human mind and manipulate it for good, only to cause more problems in doing so. It's the stuff classic Sci-Fi films are made of. The version of the film is subtitled and has the original Spanish audio track that helps add to the film's classic black and white horror appeal. The Mummy outfit is pretty epic as far as classic cheese films and looks amazing in some shots that highlight its decayed face. The downside of the film is that the lighting in some shots is too dark and which makes it very hard to see some of the action. The audio is also too low in spots, and I had to turn the TV up to hear it. But with those flaws I still found the film to be an entertaining masterpiece of horror cinema.

The DVD has some extras that include a photo gallery and subtitles. While I am sure there is not much left as far as extras for this film it was a nice effort. The DVD menu is nice with a thunderstorm soundtrack and a crypt like setting. The DVD cover art is also pretty cool with the original movie poster.

While this is not at all in the same league as Universal's Mummy or even Hammer's Mummy, this is a fun classic horror film from South of the border that adds some fun thrills and cheap chills to the Mummy folklore.

It should be noted that this came from the Aztec Mummy box set that has three classic films in it.