Mummy movies can be a tricky bag. Looking back at cinema history, you may only find a few solid entries: Karloff’s The Mummy; Hammer’s The Mummy with Cushing and Lee; or, The Mummy from the late Nineties. Discerning what makes the creature tick can be an elusive mystery. With The Blood of the Mummy, writer/director Christine Parker has managed to find a rewarding way to approach this well-worn story – and make a fine film in the process. The credit must be shared with the strong performance from the lead, actress Laura Bridges in the role of Louise.
Blood of the Mummy finds Louise (Bridges) a resident of a mental institution. She shares stories of her past with her psychiatrist (Bill Mulligan) as she encounters a mummy (Terrance Watson and Treymayne Blair). As a child (Lily Cabrera), her parents uncover the mummy’s tomb. As a teen (Gill Hope Thornton), the creature appears at a pool party. As an adult, the beast intervenes when a rapist eyes Louise as his next target. When the mummy begins to appear once again, the mysteries begin to unfold and Louise questions the nature of the curse that has haunted her entire life.
By concentrating on Louise and focusing on the effects of the mummy’s curse on her life, her sanity, and her future, Parker weaves an engrossing tale. She interjects the film with terror (as the mummy attacks), gore (blood and spines splatter about), and humor (the psychiatrist and his orderlies do a grand – and welcomed – impression of the Three Stooges at one point). Parker makes the most of her locations from the hospital, to the sandy desert (brilliantly using a popular beach in North Carolina), to the tomb in ancient Egypt. For the latter, she was able to use a stylized escape room with great effect. Combined with solid camera work, the film is another entry into Parker’s filmography as she continues to grow. Especially good is a scene where she follows Louise from the street outside a night club in through the front door, snaking through the crowd, and arriving to take the stage to perform.
Speaking to the performance, both Laura Bridges and Gill Hope Thornton are provided the opportunity to sing during the film. Thornton as the teen at the pool party and Bridges at the night club, singing with the rock band Viva La Venus. Parker handles both scenes perfectly with each scene being a highlight of the film. In addition, Viva La Venus provides music for the film.
The real gem of the film is Laura Bridges. She brings both a vulnerability and a determined strength to her role. She is charismatic and elevates the film when on screen. Albert Guzman who plays Mehemet also shines in the film displaying his theatrical chops as a family friend who knows more than he lets on. Justin Z Cole is solid as a new found friend Louise encounters in the hospital, perhaps the only one who believes her. Tom Gore plays Carl, an orderly who is sympathetic to Louise’s plight in a role that is far more softer than Gore’s usual fare. Look for Sick Chick Flicks regulars in supporting roles throughout Carrie Jones, Shane Terry, Dina B., Alan Watkins, and more.
With Blood of the Mummy, Christine Parker has created a solid film festival find making the most of a small budget and a strong script and crew. The locations are spot on and the costuming is terrific. The cast is lead by Laura Bridges and her younger versions, Gill Hope Thornton and Lily Cabrera. Tremayne Blair displays strong chemistry with Bridges as Kharis. And the film features fun special effects from Bill Mulligan and Cierra Doll. Check Blood of the Mummy out when you get the chance.
Editor’s note: for complete transparency, the author is also a contributor to the film’s budget and cast member Bill Mulligan is a cohost of Decades of Horror 1970s.