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New Escapist Column! On “The Mummy”, the Most Maligned of Movie Monsters…

I published a new In the Frame piece at The Escapist on Friday. With Halloween approaching, the column is going to take a little bit of a detour into some spooky stuff, and I’m very excited.

I’m thrilled that I got to write this piece about the Mummy, which remains one of the most interesting of the classic movie monsters because it seems to exist at odds with the rest of the classic fiends. There are plenty of classic Dracula and Frankenstein films, the Wolfman and the Invisible Man have been handled well over the years, but the Mummy always seems like the odd creature out of every wave of classic creature feature films. So I was thrilled to do a bit of a deep dive into it to look at how – and why – that is.

You can read the piece here, or click the picture below.

The X-Files – Teso Dos Bichos (Review)

This November (and a little of December), we’re taking a trip back in time to review the third season of The X-Files and the first (and only) season of Space: Above and Beyond.

It happens.

Every once in a while, there is a misfire. This is especially true when producing a genre television series churning out over twenty episodes a year. Inevitably, some of those episodes will fail; a few will fail spectacularly. Such is the way of things. It is hard to think of a twenty-odd episode season of anything that managed to maintain consistent levels of brilliance for a full season. All you can really hope is that the eventual and inevitable misfire is mostly technical.

No bones about it...

No bones about it…

Teso Dos Bichos is a terrible episode of The X-Files. It is a terrible episode of television in general. However, it is terrible in ways that are mostly banal. This isn’t a failure of overreaching ambition, like Fearful Symmetry. It isn’t a missed opportunity, like 3. It isn’t even a racist and sexist nightmare, like Excelsis Dei. Instead, Teso Dos Bichos is just bad television. It is an episode that probably didn’t work on paper, containing elements that were unlikely to work on film either.

Given how strong the third season has been, there’s a desire to brush past Teso Dos Bichos, and pretend it simply did not happen.

Cat people!

Cat people!

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Non-Review Review: The Mummy Returns

I will confess that I enjoyed The Mummy for what it was. It wasn’t ground-breaking or revolutionary, but it was a nice attempt to resurrect the old Universal Monster Movie for modern audiences, with Raiders of the Lost Ark providing a rather clear inspiration. Perhaps part of the appeal was novelty, as we hadn’t seen an old-style monster movie like that in quite some time. I remember being somewhat disappointed on seeing the second film in cinemas, feeling like it just didn’t measure up to the solidly entertaining original. Having caught it again this weekend, I find I’m in firm agreement with my younger self.

I'll stick my neck out and admit I enjoyed the first film...

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Non-Review Review: The Mummy

Maybe there’s a reason I’ve got ghosts and ghouls on my mind despite the fact that Halloween is approaching and the first Nightmare on Elm Street trailer was just released. I happened to catch The Mummy playing on Sky movies on Sunday night and it was one of those rare films that the family just dropped everything and started watching, despite the fact we’ve seen it before. Ignoring the law of diminishing returns that affected the sequels, The Mummy is solid action-adventure-horror romp that stands equally well as a companion to Raiders of the Lost Ark as it does as a subconscious herald of the coming wave of remade creature features.

Oh, mummy!

Oh, mummy!

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