Join or Sign In

Sign in to customize your TV listings

Continue with Facebook Continue with email

By joining TV Guide, you agree to our Terms of Use and acknowledge the data practices in our Privacy Policy.

Russell Mulcahy's Tale of the Mummy Reviews

This defiantly tacky mummy picture was released directly to video in the US, presumably out of concern that the mega-budget MUMMY had sucked up several years' worth of audience interest in undead Egyptians. 1938: Archeologist Sir Richard Turkel (Christopher Lee) uncovers a nameless tomb in the Valley of Kings, and determines that it was built for an ancient reprobate named Talos. Turkel and his team promptly expire in a whirlwind of unconvincing computer-generated special effects. Fifty years later, the tomb is opened by a new team that includes Turkel's granddaughter Samantha (Louise Lombard), and a sarcophagus is found. But surprise! It's empty, except for a pile of mummy wrappings. The artifacts are taken to London, and soon after they go on exhibit a series of grisly murders begins. It doesn't take Inspector Riley (Jason Scott Lee) long to learn that after the tomb was opened, most of the members of the archeological team went mad; he strongly suspects that team member Bradley Cortese (Sean Pertwee) — who's tattooed his head with Egyptian symbols and is given to dire mutterings about Talos and the coming eclipse — is behind the mayhem. Meanwhile, a flying heap of musty bandages is whizzing around London collecting body parts with an eye (stolen from an unfortunate American diplomat) to reanimating Talos. Credit where it's due: This isn't the same old rampaging mummy. But it's also not very scary, no matter how adeptly the raggedy wrappings slip under doors, down laundry chutes and through air conditioning vents in search of their prey. That said, however ridiculous many of the movie's plot turns are, they're not exactly predictable: How many times have you seen the police interrogate a dead man and actually get answers? Overall, it's goofy fun, as long as you keep your expectations suitably low.