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Curse of the Aztec Mummy, The

Entry updated 15 May 2023. Tagged: Film.

Mexican film (1957); original title La Maldición de la Momia Azteca. Cinematográfica Calderón S.A. Directed by Rafel Portillo. Written by Guillermo Calderon and Alfredo Salazar. Cast includes Crox Alvarado, Rosita Arenas, Luis Aceves Castañeda, Ángel Di Stefani and Ramón Gay. 64 minutes. Black and white.

Following on from the events of The Aztec Mummy (1957), Dr Eduardo Almada (Gay) and his cowardly assistant Pinacate (Alvarado) watch the police interview that film's villain, Scientist Dr Krupp (Castañeda) – who is also a criminal known as The Bat. Shortly after Krupp escapes a police escort with the help of his gang, despite the intervention of Angel, a masked wrestler. Later Angel turns up at Eduardo's house and hands over a wristwatch radio (see Technology), saying they can call him for help if Dr Krupp threatens his family.

Dr Krupp kidnaps Eduardo's girlfriend Flor (Arenas) then lures Eduardo to his hideout; he plans to Hypnotize Flor into leading him to the tomb holding a breastplate and bracelet, then have Eduardo translate their inscriptions, which give the location of an Aztec treasure alluded to in the first film. He explains he wants the wealth to perform an experiment that will make him Immortal. Angel arrives to free Eduardo but ends up captured and thrown into a room with a retractable floor and a pit of snakes below – ironically he is saved by calling Eduardo's teenaged brother on the wristwatch radio, having him come and rescue him. Angel now frees Eduardo and the pair rush to the tomb, arriving just as Krupp's theft of the artefacts wakes the mummy. In the confusion they are captured again and taken back to Krupp's hideout – Angel is now unmasked and revealed to be Pinacate. Knowing the mummy will appear to reclaim the artefacts, Eduardo buys time by agreeing to decipher their message – when he has done so, Dr Krupp reneges on his agreement to free his prisoners, instead ordering his men to shoot them: fortunately the mummy now bursts through the door, kills the gang and throws Dr Krupp into the snake pit, then departs with the breastplate and bracelet.

Whilst the first film was reasonably sober, this is a more melodramatic affair, both from Dr Krupp's performance being even hammier than when disguised as the masked and caped Bat, and the addition of Angel to the plot. Wrestling Superheroes are a Mexican tradition – see for example Santo the Silver Mask vs The Martian Invasion (1967) – though here the genre is probably being sent up, as Angel loses all his fights: he gets badly beaten, and puts a youngster in danger. If anything, the mummy is used even less than in the prior work, only appearing for a few minutes near the end, though there are a few other Horror elements. The brevity of the film – which includes a prolonged flashback from its predecessor – is to its advantage, making it a short but moderately enjoyable watch. The story continues in The Robot vs. the Aztec Mummy (1957). [SP]


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