22nd Feb2021

‘Rise of the Mummy’ Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Abi Casson Thompson, Megan Purvis, Stephanie Lodge, Amanda-Jade Tyler, Antonia Johnstone, Kate Sandison, Barbara Dabson, Rui Shang, Mya Brown, Zuza Tehanu, Wiktoria Wabnyc, Marcus Brooks-Henderson, Arthur Boan | Written by Shannon Holiday | Directed by Antonia Johnstone

Well surprise, surprise. Who knew that 2019’s The Mummy Reborn would get a sequel? It has and it’s Rise of the Mummy (aka Mummy Resurgence). But hold on, this one’s not from Proportion Productions, rather instead its credited to Jagged Edge Productions… What’s going on? Oh… wait a minute… We’re all good, it turns out Jagged Edge Productions is yet another Scott Jeffrey company… phew!

This time round Jeffrey hands the directorial reigns to Antonia Johnstone, who we last saw in front of the camera as a cop in The Leprechaun’s Game. Who not only directs but apparently also did make-up and costuming on the film, and is credited was a runner too – it looks like we’ve got another British female genre filmmaker stepping up to the plate, and its most welcome.

What’s also welcome is a sequel to The Mummy Reborn. Whilst many of my fellow “critics” reviled that films mix of comedy and horror, I found it to be a hell of a lot of camp, 4th-wall breaking fun… The Deadpool of mummy movies if you will. This time round however the humour has been pared back somewhat, going for a more subdued, yet still camp, underlying tone of humour and upping the horror aspect; making Rise of the Mummy feel more like a more traditional “British” mummy movie than its predecessor.

The films script comes from Shannon Holiday, their twelfth since 2017 (talk about prolific!), and opens with a group of people being chased through the woods by the titular mummy before performing a ritual to stop it in its tracks – and, thanks to a nice bit of exposition explaining the situation, also stop the “time loop” the mummy’s awakening seems to have created. Jump forward a few months and the army – who killed all those involved with the mummy’s escapades in the prologue – have apparently given the now placid mummy to a university to study (why?). cue someone trying to steal the mummy’s necklace and it rising from its slumber once again…

What then follows is a stalk and slash affair, very similar to last years Cupid, with the mummy pursuing and killing anyone trapped inside the university building. Though there’s a nice twist to this particular mummy’s tale… Those the mummy kills come back to life as possessed servants of the monster, creating a army of the undead! Oh and no one can escape because the “time loop” prevents them from leaving. Only it’s not really a time loop (time has frozen but its not a loop), it’s something we’ve seen plenty of times before in supernatural horror – the kind of spacial manipulation where people exit one room and enter another, always ending up back where they started.

Eventually our heroine figures out – with a little help from yet another Shawn C. Phillips “vlog” (are ALL low-budget horrors going to feature Coolduder in this way now?) – that the mummy only has 24-hours to kill everyone or perish himself. So all they have to do is stay alive until sunrise… Which means that Rise of the Mummy ends with a whimper rather than a bang, as our survivors literally run out the clock on the mummy’s rampage.

With things left open for a possible third film in the series, I can see Scott Jeffrey and co. milking this particular monster for all he’s worth. And if they keep going at the same pace – changing tone, upping their filmmaking prowess, getting better budgets – we might just end up with a Hammer-worthy film in the end.

Rise of the Mummy is out now on VOD in the US. A UK release is scheduled for April 3rd 2021.

2 Responses to “‘Rise of the Mummy’ Review”

  • Scott Jeffrey? “Whew!” More like cripes. There are some genuine low budget filmmakers out there who love the genre and do their best with what they have. Jeffrey and co seem content to churn out as many movies as they possibly can and sod the quality; they exist to simply make as much money from gullible fans who are drawn in by the artwork (which is usually pretty good). This one mentions a university (with about five students who all refer to their lecturer as “sir” – has anyone involved even visited a university?) and yet it’s clearly shot in a school – the production, which was probably shot over a weekend – is SO shoddy they left a visible shot of the school’s name – Archbishop Tenison’s Church of England School. Leprechaun’s Game has a leprechaun – one of the “little people” who is normal adult size. But, again, sod that. Just churn it out. Cheap as chips and no-one will care. It could be “Hammer-worthy” one day. Assume you’re joking?

    • Phil Wheat

      I’ve actually enjoyed a lot of Jeffrey’s output – it’s why I keep reviewing the films he produces/directs etc. If you look at how he started and where his films at right now there’s some real progression, which is why I’m hopeful we’ll see something special (I used the term “Hammer-worthy” as that’s the bar EVERYONE seems set UK horror at) from his company/companies in the future.

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