Forgotten Films: The Robot Versus the Aztec Mummy (1958)

It's got a mummy, it's got a robot; what else ya need?

By Scott A. Cupp

This is the 135th my series of Forgotten, Obscure or Neglected Films

Some three and a half years ago or so, I reviewed The Aztec Mummy as the 16th Forgotten Film in my series of reviews. TCM recently broadcast the third in the series so I decided, “What the heck? Let’s do the third one this time. Nobody will know the difference, particularly since the second one ignored a lot of the continuity anyway.”

The film begins with a lengthy recap of the first film where Dr. Eduardo Almada (Ramon Gay) and his wife Flor (Rosa Arenas) reprise their roles as a scientist who hypnotically regresses his wife to relive her life as an Aztec priestess Xochitl who defied the gods with her lover Popoca (Angel Di Stefani) in defiance of the gods. Popoca is turned into a living mummy who guards the tomb of Xochitl and her golden breastplate and bracelet, which tell people how to find an ancient Aztec treasure.

In the original film, the evil Bat, a murderous pseudonym used by Dr. Krupp (Luis Aceves Castañeda) tries to steal the treasure but is defeated by the mummy. Well, here he is back again, having escaped certain death just as if he was in a ’30s serial. Here he hypnotizes Flor and has her lead him to the mummy because she can mentally “hear” him. She runs around in a nightgown while leading Dr. Krupp, of course.

The Bat is intent on building a human robot (Adolfo Rojas) with intelligence to fight the Mummy and handle the theft of the breastplate and bracelet because he knows he cannot beat the mummy by himself. The robot looks like a large silver box and some pipes thrown together with a human head inside. Or, as one reviewer said, something a couple of grips threw together on their lunch break.

When you're hankering for something truly bad...

They find the mummy in a mausoleum and bring about the fight promised in the tile when the breastplate and bracelet are removed. The fight is somewhat short since the mummy doesn’t talk and the robot doesn’t either.  The robot doesn’t stand a chance against Aztec magic and Flor gives the goods back to the mummy and tells him to guard them well and go back to his sleep.

Thankfully, the film is short, clocking in at 65 minutes. Short but not too sweet. It was the perfect thing to watch after seeing my beloved Texas Longhorns lose another game in the final minute to a special team’s kicking error.

While the film was made in Mexico and in Spanish, it was brought to the U.S. by entrepreneur K. Gordon Murray, where it was dubbed (badly) in English. The dubbing apparently had little to do with the original story. The dubbing led to this story being presented by the Mystery Science Theater 3000 crew in 1989 as their second offering in their first season on the Comedy Channel.

I love movie soundtracks but this one is intrusive and annoying so you can skip this.

So, if you’re in the mood for a bad movie, this is one. It’s got all the cheesy parts of the first film as well as a robot and extended flashbacks. The films are pretty readily available either individually or as a collection. The set of three are under $20.

Try them. You may like them. If you do, please consult your mental health professionals.

Series organizer Todd Mason hosts more Tuesday Forgotten Film reviews at his own blog and posts a complete list of participating blogs.