|Reviews & Columns|
TV on DVD
Reviews by Studio
Collector Series DVDs
Easter Egg Database
DVD Talk Radio
The M.O.D. Squad
DVD Talk Forum
DVD Price Search|
Customer Service #'s
Isis Rising: Curse of the Lady Mummy
When you title your movie Isis Rising: Curse of the Lady Mummy, you generate certain expectations in your viewers. There needs to be blood, beautiful women in various stages of undress, humor and action. It's just the kind of thing that people will be looking forward to. If you deny them these things, as Isis Rising mostly does, you are going to have a lot of disappointment.
We start off in ancient Egypt, with a cheesy voice over explaining to us the story of Isis, Set and Osiris, with very poor quality CG sets. So, Isis vows to someday raise up Osiris and is herself killed by Set. Fast forward a few thousand years, and we're in a museum with a group of college students who will be spending the night to work on an archeology project.
Amy (Jing Song) is the smart one, and she's having an affair with Professor Shields (Randy Oppenheimer). Dr. Nasir (Seth Gandrud) has been studying Egyptian magic and occultism for years, and is helping them with the project as a favor to his friend Shields. The rest of the group are the standard horror movie promiscuous women, arrogant bros, and shy nerdy fellows. They get up to silly hijinks like smoking three thousand year old resurrection incense to see if they'll get high, and of course the dead witch / goddess Isis (Priya Rai) returns, and things go poorly for the students after that.
One of the big problems with Isis Rising, aside from the failure to deliver on the expectations raised by its title, is that the story is very repetitive. Basically, Isis possesses the body of one or another of the girls, and leads one or another of the men to their doom at their hands. Until Nasir sort of figures out what's going on and tries to stop her with his knowledge of Egyptian magic. Regardless, the plot is disjointed and unsatisfying. There are a couple of moments where characters talk about relationships which are misplaced and awkward. The acting isn't great. Tension is never really developed or maintained. What humor that's attempted is mildly amusing at best, but is mostly sophomoric and ill timed. The effects are mostly very low quality CG.
Now, there have been movies that have had all these disadvantages and yet still managed to be enjoyable, even on purpose. Why does Isis Rising fail? There seems to be a lack of self-awareness, like they didn't realize they weren't making a thrilling adventure with lots of money and resources. The smaller the budget, the more a film needs passion and a realization of its limits to succeed. Isis Rising wants to shoot for the stars, but doesn't have what it takes to get there. What's most disappointing is that bare skin is essentially free, and fake blood is notoriously cheap. Why didn't they play to their strengths, making the film much more sexy and gory? Sadly, the answer to that is lost to the mists of time. Skip it.
Video is 1.78:1 widescreen, and doesn't have any too obvious problems, aside from the exceptionally bad CG effects. The image is clear and crisp, and the colors bright.
Audio is Dolby digital 2 channel, and generally sounds good, though it has some problems. From time to time the background noise will rise and fall as the angle shifts. Other than that, the sound is unexceptional.
The only extra included is the trailer.
Isis Rising's reach exceeds its grasp. It wants to be a big budget film with money to throw at special effects and the other accoutrements of a blockbuster. However, it doesn't have these things, and at the same time it fails to embrace the cheap stuff that can make a low budget film enjoyable regardless: blood, goofy humor, and beautiful women scantily clad. It's the inability to know itself that dooms the movie to failure, and that's a shame.