Wednesday, January 23, 2013

TALOS THE MUMMY (aka TALE OF THE MUMMY) (1998) movie review

Talos the Mummy (aka Tale of the Mummy) (1998) d. Mulcahy, Russell

As some might have gathered at this point, Christopher Lee had no problems picking up a check for a day’s work and featured billing. Here, the venerable actor exits the scene at the eight-minute mark, having fulfilled his duties via a fateful 1948 excavation scene (that includes some truly horrible CGI). Flash forward to 1999, where Lee’s granddaughter Louise Lombard returns to recover the sarcophagus for display in the London Museum.

This original but silly take on the mummy legend has the bandages themselves become the monster, scrambling around London car parks, tube stations, laundry chutes and gay bars in search of seemingly random victims, extracting their internal organs in order to restore Talos to life...with a cockamamie interplanetary alignment “ticking clock” in place for good measure.

Decent cast includes Michael Lerner, Sean Pertwee, Lysette Anthony (of Krull infamy), Shelly Duvall, a very young Gerard Butler and the unintentionally hilarious supercool Jason Scott Lee as a U.S. embassy detective. Shorn of nearly 30 minutes for its US release, from 119 to 88, though I can’t help but feel a little grateful.


  1. Have you ever seen the uncut version? It's not Mulcahey's masterstroke, but it's entertaining. I mean, you could take CITIZEN KANE and hack out a third of it's running time and very few would be impressed with it.
    I agree with the critique of the laughably top-billed Christopher Lee. I kinda dug the complete "cockamamieness" of the plot though. If they did a regular old mummy-shambles-around-clutching-collar-bones routine, it would have been pilloried for it.

    1. I have not seen the uncut version, but I guess my feeling was that it was hard to imagine how more was going to be better here. I never felt like it was the story that didn't make sense, just the concept and execution of it. But I've heard others make the same comment about the extended cut, so maybe I'll give it another shot at some point.

      But c'mon, Jason Scott Lee is so completely unflappable no matter what gets thrown at him - it's like every line is a one-liner delivery...or maybe that's just my memory of it.

      I'm not saying it was a total disaster (Okay, I am saying that about the CGI), but it wasn't an idea that really felt grounded enough for me to invest in.