O Segredo da Múmia (1982)

Directed by Ivan Cardoso [Other horror films: O Lago Maldito (1980), As Sete Vampiras (1986), Um Lobisomem na Amazônia (2005), A Marca do Terrir (2005), O Sarcófago Macabro (2005)]

Perhaps better known, though not by that much, as The Secret of the Mummy, O Segredo da Múmia is the only Brazilian horror film I’ve seen not directed by José Mojica Marins. To be sure, The Secret of the Mummy is more a comedy/horror mix, but even so, for that one fact alone, it stands out.

And it is a unique movie. It’s not exactly zany, but the comedy here can feel a bit goofy at times. Some of the movie is in black-and-white, and other sequences are in color, and what’s more, there doesn’t seem to be a thematic reason for switching between the two. Some of the plot is ill-explained (why is the mad scientist locking up half-naked women and turning them into werewolf-like things?), and so while I do think the film is different, I can’t say I’ve ever cared for it.

I have seen this once before, some years back. I remember thinking it was a bit wacky, but fundamentally okay. Truth be told, I may have been too generous – not that The Secret of the Mummy is bad, but it’s really not my type of movie, and I probably thought more of it just because I’ve not seen many horror movies from Brazil (the only ones I have save this one would be At Midnight I’ll Take Your Soul, This Night I’ll Possess Your Corpse, Awakening of the Beast, and The Strange Hostel of Naked Pleasures).

Being a mummy movie, I will say I enjoyed seeing the mummy attack people. It didn’t happen near as frequently as I’d have liked but I did enjoy it when the mummy popped up. There’s not that many great mummy movies past the early 1970’s (Blood from the Mummy’s Tomb FTW), and this one certainly isn’t great, but at least there was a mummy, and his sequences were solid. Oh, and the mummy decapitated someone, so that was funny.

As far as performances go, I have to give some credit to Felipe Falcao, who played a servant named Igor. Falcao’s performance was a bit much at times, but he consistently reminded me of Anthony Carrigan from Gotham. I mean, he looked and acted almost exactly like him. It was uncanny. Otherwise, Wilson Grey was decent, but lacked character, and others, such as Evandro Mesquita, just didn’t get enough to work with.

I certainly wish I did enjoy this one more. It’d be cool to have some somewhat obscure Brazilian horror movie in my back pocket to recommend to friends and show that I’m a man of culture. I just don’t dig The Secret of the Mummy that much.

I liked hearing a foreign cover of The Beatles’ ‘I Should Have Known Better’ during a mummy attack, and I’m amazed at how much nudity Brazil was apparently okay with during the 1980’s, but otherwise, this isn’t a movie I’d really recommend unless you wanted a taste of something different.


Author: Jiggy's Horror Corner

Fan of the horror genre, writer of mini-reviews, and lover of slashers.

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