Although perhaps a childhood fear existed, these days the finely wrapped “monster” image of mummies is a bit questionable. Stay with me on this one even if you as a child wrapped yourself up in TP pretending for a moment to be one. This is mainly directed at the world of cinema as something recently brought the mummy flicks of old to mind.
Why is it that mummies became the focus of horror films? Or were made to be monsters? Don’t get me wrong, I could totally see the curse stuff being a fear factor, but that doesn’t make the mummy itself something to be frightened of. This is the way I look at it: It’s a slow, decrepit, almost dusty, old man wrapped in clothes probably not suited for poor weather. When was the last time you saw a movie where one of these guys was barreling down the hall at you? Is there a situation where they really are terrifying? I have a had time picturing one. Part of me thinks they’re after you to make you sit down and be friends. They just want to force you to play Scrabble with them (but given that I’ve never seen a Hieroglyphics edition, they might be cheating).
So given how silly the idea of running from mummies is, I give you this pitch. I feel like this is on par in the level of absurdity in these films.
A recently married twenty-something couple decides to visit the wife’s aging grandmother. Of course it won’t be in the same state they live, forcing them to have to travel a good distance to get to the nursing home in which Gamgam resides. Once they arrive they soon meet Gamgam, who on this particular day happens to be quite tired. She quickly tells the couple how glad she is to see them but unfortunately she needs to rest. Gamgam then asks the young woman to come back tomorrow, if possible, so they can catch up on old stories. She has wild tales of what distant cousins, aunts, and uncles have been up to. The next day comes and the couple soon notices a lack of nurses and orderlies as they make their way to Gamgam’s room. After the stories ensue they attempt to leave but alas, things have gone awry. Someone has wedged their locker securely in the exit doors preventing our young couples escape. It’s just them and the residents. Frantically they make their way through searching for an exit and avoiding the slow moving droves of elders. They know not what will happen if caught but they know there’s an urgency in escaping. Of course there’s a daring scene as they sneak through the cafeteria using the sounds of rustling hard candy wrappers and coughing to mask their footsteps. It’s heart wrenching when they get separated and the wife stumbles upon her husband exiting a bathroom. He’s donned high waders and thick rimmed glasses as well as a healthy amount of pomade in his hair. Upon hearing him ask if anyone caught last night’s Merv Griffin Show, she breaks into tears. However, like a true heroine, she doesn’t lose hope in escaping. Soon as dawn breaks she finds an unlocked window and drives home to safety. Roll credits and cue applause. Seriously, if you put them in Egypt and replaced the residents with mummies, it’s still the same film. I do feel that mummy movies are this ridiculous but then again the plots of many horror films are absurd. That being said, they can be ever so entertaining as well.
So everyone, do yourselves a favor and have a fine viewing of The Monster Squad this weekend.