Legion of the Dead (2005)

Rating: D

Dir: Paul Bales
Star: Courtney Clonch, Rhett Giles, Claudia Lynx, Chad Collins

Contrary to the sleeve, the “legion” here actually means only six mummies and a rather upset high priestess of Set (Lynx). But in low-budget flicks, size doesn’t matter as long as you have spirit, wit and imagination, right? Ah. Better count those mummies again… For this is disappointingly lacklustre and forgettable, never mining the potential in having said priestess run amok in modern-day California [how her tomb ends up there is explained, though I’m not sure they should have bothered]. Clonch plays hieroglyphics expert Molly, called in to help with an archaeological dig. But when the mummy is resurrected, and the doctor in charge (Giles) becomes her minion, aiding her quest for six souls and a virgin, Molly is all that stands between humanity and, er, some not very nice stuff, I’m sure.

It starts well enough, with a couple of cool deaths, but Clonch is short of plausible as a scholar – Bales seems to think that dorky glasses is all it takes to make a convincing Egyptologist. Lynx does look the part, and occasionally comes close to Lifeforce territory, as she stalks around naked, sucking her victims dry. However, she finds a mysterious source of clothing (Gap For Pharaohs?), and this coy approach sharply decreases the Exploitation Interest Factor. It doesn’t help that the characters are forgettable: Bruce Boxleitner and Zach Galligan, the only name actors, are little more than extended cameos. Harsh though it is to say this, I’m prepared to bet that most of the others will now be back clearing tables in Denny’s. Bales, too, needs to learn a lot more about what makes a movie entertaining, before he tries to create another one.