Wednesday, 9 September 2009

The Robot vs. the Aztec Mummy (1958)

I’m quite a fan of the Mexican Aztec Mummy movies of the 1950s but it has to be said that The Robot vs. the Aztec Mummy (La Momia azteca contra el robot humano) hardly qualifies as a movie at all. More than half of the movie’s 65-minute running time consists of flashbacks to the first two Aztec mummy movies!

Once we get to some actual new footage it has to be admitted that there’s enough high camp silliness to satisfy devotees of such things. The robot of the title is not just a human robot, it’s an atomic human robot! Because only a nuclear robot is capable of defeating the dreaded Aztec mummy. This is, even for the 1950s, a remarkably silly if rather entertaining robot. The mad scientist’s laboratory is fun as well. The budget for this movie must have been virtually nil.

It also has to be said that Luis Aceves Castañeda as Dr Krupp is one of the greatest of all movie mad scientists. He is still determined to get his hands on the fabulous Aztec treasure, which is of course guarded zealously by the Aztec mummy. And the dedicated scientist Dr. Eduardo Almada, his daughter Flor (who had been destined as a sacrifice to an Aztec god in a previous life) and his faithful if not overly brave assistant Pinacate are still determined to foil his evil plans. Since there’s so little in the way of new footage and new plot it’s not really possible to say a great deal about this movie.

Interestingly enough the first three Aztec Mummy movies were apparently shot simultaneously, which would have been a neat way to keep production costs very low indeed. The producers were obviously confident they had a winning formula on their hands, and they were correct.

This title is included in BCI’s Aztec Mummy boxed set which also features the first two movies in the series, The Aztec Mummy and The Curse of the Aztec Mummy. Both of which I highly recommend. All three movies are in Spanish with English sub-titles and there are also English dubbed versions for two of the films. The prints are quite good.

I’m a fan of Mexican horror in general, but I’m especially fond of the Aztec mummy movies because they were a genuine attempt to include some actual Mexican legend and folklore, albeit mixed with a good deal of campy fun with diabolical criminal masterminds.

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