Isis Rising: Curse of the Lady Mummy
R1 - America - Tomcat Flms / MVD Visual
Review written by and copyright: Eric Cotenas (6th November 2014).
The Film

When jealous Set (Wilman Vergara Jr.) has his brother Osiris (Cameron Tevis) murdered, widow Isis (Priya Rai) attempts to resurrect him. Set prevents her from doing so by having Osiris' body carved up and the parts strewn across the land. When Isis curses him, Set murders her as well.

In the present day, Egyptologist Dr. Nasir (Seth Gandrud) has been tempted to stay in the states by the opportunity to catalog previously unseen Egyptian artifacts recently donated to a college museum. He will be assisted by Professor Shields (executive producer Randy Oppenheimer) and members of his current graduating class - bookish Amy (Aria Song), nerdy Kyle (Robin Daniel Egan), stoner Jay (Michael Alvarez) and his girlfriend Felicia (writer/director Lisa Palenica), and obnoxious jock Dustin (Joshua DuMond) and his girlfriend Serrena (Shellie Ulrich) - who will be staying the night in the museum under lock and key. As Dr. Nasir and Amy discover "The Book of the Undead" and a tablet containing "The Lament of Isis", the other students spend some recreational time in the basement smoking an ancient herb Isis once used in her spells to resurrect the dead. As Amy recites the translated passages, the fumes from the herb seep into Isis' sarcophagus and she emerges from the tomb in order to resurrect Osiris and take vengeance upon the descendents of their betrayers. In order to resurrect Osiris, Isis requires a body; but it must be assembled piece-by-piece since the spell requires Isis to re-enact Osiris death in order for his spirit to inhabit the body. Possessing each of the women, she lures the men into the basement and starts literally picking them off to acquire the needed parts. Once the others realize what is going on, they scatter throughout the museum (the better to be stalked and killed) in search of an exit while Dr. Nasir attempts to counteract and contain Isis' powers with the knowledge he has gathered in his years of research.

Cheap and horrendously cheesy, Isis Rising is terribly entertaining in spite of itself. Opening with an Egyptian flashback set against CGI backdrops (not unlike those of Al Passeri's The Mummy Theme Park), the film finds Isis consigned to eternal unrest for an attempted act not unlike that which consigned Kharis to damnation in the earlier mummy films (although Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney Jr., and Christopher Lee were far better actors than Rai, who is a better visual presence than dramatic performer). The body count aspect has in some ways always been a part of the mummy sub-genre while the reason for the deaths recalls the plot of Talos the Mummy on a budgetary level probably just north of Ancient Evil: Scream of the Mummy. Performances range from serviceable to really not bad at all. Gandrud coming across as naturalistic and appropriately authoritative while the other actors only seem really awkward when delivering expository points and frenzied panic (the obligatory unrequited romantic subplot between Serrena and nerdy Kyle is actually a bit touching because the short scenes are well-played by the actors). The Scottsdale, Arizona museum location is not particularly atmospheric but at least provides decent production value (more so than the artifacts themselves which - as a character says - look like they came from an episode of Hoarders) while the CGI-realized gore and supernatural effects are more amusing than grisly. Isis Rising offers only moderate entertainment - particularly in the low-budget end of a mummy sub-genre - but you could easily do worse (especially from this DVD distributor).


There is little doubt that MVD Visual's single-layer progressive, anamorphic disc probably represents this cheaply-lensed, CGI-ed film as well as can be in standard-definition (and I can't see it looking better on Blu-ray).


The Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo mix is subject to the limitations of the original recording. Almost all of the dialogue is intelligible with the exception of one or two mumbled lines, although the vocal processing of the resurrected Isis makes most of her lines hard to deciper. The music and effects are well-mixed and cleanly rendered.


The sole extra is the film's short trailer which manages to convey the plotline and flash a few highlights.


Standard keep case packaging (one of the ones with a hint of burnt plastic smell) with a typically DTV-style cover.


Isis Rising is probably best rented or streamed (and it is presumably available from those venues like other MVD releases).

The Film: C+ Video: B+ Audio: B+ Extras: F+ Overall: C+


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