When I checked out this DVD the little envelope in which it came informed me that "Mummy Maniac" was "based on a series of headline-grabbing 2006 murders in New York City" by a "crazed serial killer who encases his victims like mummies." So far, so good, although wrapping corpses in strips of cloth is not particularly horrific (cf. "Dexter"). But then the next sentence explains that "the killer goes on a bizarre ritualistic murder spree as forensic profilers and other law enforcement officials scramble to uncover his identity before he kills again." At this point you would be thinking a movie like "Se7en", "The Bone Collector," or your favorite episode of "C.S.I.." But you would be sadly mistaken, because the only cop that shows up in this movie is the fake one that the killer pretends to be as he goes around New York City and picks up his victims.
The prologue to this film is a blurry scene of a killing that makes no sense until a series of title cards inform us that when he was 15 years old Michael Savage killed his stepfather. His mother covered up the killing and the murder became cold case. Then in 2005 in Queens, New York, a man posing as a police officer abducted a college student whose body was found the next day with the head wrapped like a mummy, ergo, the "Mummy Maniac." We then see the grown up Michael (Ben Stewart), dressed up in a NYPD uniform, taking another young girl off to this little locker room where he makes her sit in a chair, questions her about her life, thinks of her being bound and naked, kills her, wraps her head up like a mummy, and then takes to it with a saw, all while his mother watches through a hole in the wall with a gilded frame around it. Not only is this what this wacko does with the first young woman, but what he does with the rest of them, over and over and over again.
Sometimes Michael goes to see a psychiatrist, but that does not really get anywhere beyond the wistful acknowledgment that "Only a very select few of us ever eventually get to become mummies." Michael is a baby-faced killer, which is obvious even before his mother calls him "baby face." He is never really frightening, just pathetic. Michael's relationship with his mother makes me flash back to "Pink Flamingoes" for reasons I do not want to get into, but it is equally pathetic. Then there are the victims, who just sit in the chair without Michael ever bothering to bind them in any way and never manage to put up anything remotely resembling a fight for their lives. Now, when the murder victims in a horror film become pathetic in the eyes of the audience that is suppose to feel for their plight, then we are really plumbing the depths in this genre.
Now, this movie is written and directed by Max Nikoff, but interestingly enough although he has provided a mini-biography to the International Movie Database you will not find "Mummy Maniac" listed as one of his credits. In fact he has no directing credits, but he has been involved in a couple of Ulli Lommel films, which is not a good sign. When I was trying to track down information about "Mummy Maniac" I found that at other places the director listed is the infamous "Alan Smithee," another notorious bad sign. I do not remember the last time I watched a movie that was not listed at the IMDb, but after seeing this one I can certainly understand why nobody wants it on their resume. This film lasts 81 minutes and that is only because when we get to the end credits it starts off with...the...slowest...crawl...in....movie...history. The cast is listed but except for Stewart's credit at the start of the film there is no reference to who plays who. I assume Erica Kruz was Michael's mom, but I do not know that for a fact. The crawl suddenly picks up once you get into the crew, but all of this is just another richly deserved nail in this film's coffin.
I rounded up on this movie to 1.5 stars for one reason, and that was editor Steven Meyer, not that I can find a Steven Meyer at IMDb who is listed as a film editor so maybe that name is made up too. But whoever this guy is made a valiant effort to spin this footage into something at least resembling a base metal of some sort. The story is a cycle of boring action and the cramped little locker room where the killings take place restricts camera action, so Meyer keep cutting and finding other things to do just to jazz things up, but this film just stinks. Even the trailer is boring. The DVD has trailers for other Lionsgate films, including the 1-star "H.P. Lovecraft's The Tomb" and "Zombie Nation" by Ulli Lommel, the one director whose films make Horrorfest's "8 Films 2 Die 4" look like absolute horror classics in comparison.