Back in the '80s, Ed Wood's "Plan 9 From Outer Space" was widely considered to be the worst film ever made. Wrong! "The Mummy and the Curse of the Jackals" easily outdistances any Ed Wood or Herschell Gordon Lewis film in the bad movie stakes. The only competition it might have is from some of those wretched Andy Milligan productions. I ran across a copy of "The Mummy..." a few years back and snatched it up eagerly; it starred Anthony Eisley and John Carradine, had a goofy title, and was reputed to be one of the absolute worst movies ever. It had to be fun, right? Not exactly. First of all, the story makes no sense whatsoever, not even by el cheapo monster flick standards. As another reviewer has pointed out, Anthony Eisley commented that the film was unfinished as far as he knew--so it's possible that something more coherent was intended, but never achieved. At any rate, don't get frustrated when you watch it; it's total nonsense. Secondly, Eisley doesn't even look like he's having fun (which is odd for him). He wears a tense, incredulous look throughout the movie, as if he's thinking, "What the hell am I doing here?" Finally, John Carradine's contribution is minimal. I'm guessing that there were supposed to be more scenes with him and the cop...but, again, the film was never finished. There are a few interesting bits: the spooky, enigmatic face of Marliza Pons; the hilarious scenes featuring the Mummy and the "Jackal Man" rampaging through Las Vegas; and, of course, the amazingly catchy theme music. (Was it recorded specifically for the film, or was it just library music? It sounds a bit dated for 1969.) Unfortunately, none of these things makes up for the fact that this is a dull, wearisome film. I pulled "The Mummy and the Curse of the Jackals" out again the other night and actually watched the entire thing, but not without difficulty. It's one of those semi-legendary baddies that you go to a lot of trouble to track down...but when it's over you say, "What a waste!" Too bad. (RIP John Carradine and Anthony Eisley.)
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