You know that old cliché line, where have been all my life? That’s how I felt recently when I watched my first Aztec Mummy flick. How did I, a devoted Monsterkid in his forties, manage to *not* experience the glory that is the Aztec Mummy franchise before now? If ever there was a movie, a character, a franchise seemingly custom-made for me, it is this one. Oh, Aztec Mummy, if only I had met you years before!
The Aztec Mummy trilogy began in 1957 with THE AZTEC MUMMY, a Mexican production that told the story of Popoca, an Aztec warrior who was embalmed and entombed alive after he was caught having a fling with a temple priestess. The latter becomes reincarnated, and Popoca rises from the crypt to seek out his former love. And if you’re thinking this sounds EXACTLY like the plot for the Universal classic THE MUMMY, that’s because it IS the plot for THE MUMMY. They just replaced Egypt with ancient Mexico and Boris Karloff with Popoca. Add melodrama and stir.
Two more Aztec Mummy movies were filmed in immediate succession, THE CURSE OF THE AZTEC MUMMY and THE ROBOT VS. THE AZTEC MUMMY. I actually saw the last one first, but it hardly matters, since half the plot for that movie consists of flashbacks recapping the first two! Glorious.