When Francis Ford Coppola released BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA – there was good reason for putting Bram’s name in the title. Although there was plenty of artistic license taken in that film, it largely stayed true to the original story. Soon a whole industry of low budget movies only tangentially related to Bram Stoker's stories emerged, yet somehow they were able to put his name in the title. Case in point: BRAM STOKER’S THE MUMMY, a humorously bad adaptation of Stoker’s “Jewel of the Seven Stars.” Now, I can’t speak to the book, because I haven’t read it – but I have read other work by Stoker and they tended to be of high quality. Which is why I suspect this film had little to do with the source material.
BRAM STOKER’S THE MUMMY begins in an Egyptian tomb in the 1940s – and when I say Egyptian tomb, I mean the basement of the director with some fiberglass attached on the wall. Something happens involving a red jewel, and a young black kid. I couldn’t really tell what it was about, but as the plot continued, my lack of understanding didn’t really get in the way.
Flash forward to present day, in which an elderly Egyptologist suddenly receives a piece of a broken tablet in the mail. He combines it with another piece and reads the hieroglyphics which, of course, releases some sort of a curse and he collapses and goes into a coma. His daughter frantically calls in an ex-flame to help her find out why. Of course, they don’t take him to a hospital, because “he hates hospitals,” according to his daughter. I hate hospitals too, but people, if I ever collapse and go into a coma, please get me proper medical care.
I won’t go into too much detail in the plot because – well, it’s boring and at one point I got distracted by a piece of lint in my belly-button so I missed much of it. Needless to say, there is a mummy involved – a sarcophagus in the old man’s basement contains a pretty evil mummy who amazingly is able to do much of his killing from within the tomb. Before long they need to bring in back-up to deal with this mummy, and the only guy who knows what he’s talking about is Louis Gosset, Jr. Now you may know Gosset, Jr. as the guy from the IRON EAGLE movies, but believe it or not this man actually won an Oscar back in the day for AN OFFICER AND A GENTLEMAN. I think he may just miss out on one of those little golden guys for BRAM STOKER’S THE MUMMY.
So, Gosset, Jr. arrives on the scene to spout some mumbo-jumbo. The red jewel makes an appearance, but the budget is so low they couldn’t even manage a fake to sparkle. This one looks like more like a frozen piece of jello than an actual emerald. And best of all, there is a ridiculous supporting turn from Richard Karn (best known as Al from HOME IMPROVEMENT). Yes, chunky Richard actually scores some hot looking women in this movie, but ignores them in the middle of sex to talk about Egyptology.
There are some unintentional laughs to be sure, but they are far and few between – and there’s not nearly enough gore or nudity to keep you waiting around. Don’t be fooled by the author’s name in the title, the only pedigree in this movie is dog food.
RATING: * and a half (out of four)