The Robot vs. The Aztec Mummy (1958)

*. Please. A movie that clocks in at just a few minutes over an hour spends the first twenty-five minutes recapping the previous two Aztec Mummy films (The Aztec Mummy and Curse of the Aztec Mummy). That doesn’t leave a lot of time for original material!
*. Nor is the original material all that original. You will not be surprised to know that the evil genius Dr. Krupp escaped from the rattlesnake pit he was tossed into at the end of the last film (“and, strangely, I don’t think he’d been bitten”). What’s more, he’s still after that Aztec gold! Luckily (for him) Flor remains under his hypnotic control so she can lead him to the cemetery where Popoca (that’s the mummy) is now at rest. And this time he actually has a plan for getting the golden breastplate and bracelet, the possession of which will then be used to fund the creation of a robot army.
*. Aside from all the time spent on recapping, another disappointment is that the character of The Angel, the masked wrestler from Curse of the Aztec Mummy, has disappeared. Indeed, it’s like he never existed. I guess since his secret identity had been revealed at the end of the previous movie there was no point in keeping Pinacate in his costume any longer, but it was always fun seeing him getting beaten up. And while his presence here would have been awkward there are plenty of other things in this serial that make even less sense.
*. Really the only attraction here is the “human robot” of the title. And by attraction I mean something so silly that it’s good for a laugh. On the outside it’s just the usual cardboard box with arms and legs but on the inside it’s apparently some kind of animated corpse, making it a mechanical Frankenstein’s monster.
*. Actually, the Universal source for the story here is far more Frankenstein than The Mummy, especially during the scene in the lab where the robot is brought to life. This is in fact the only part of the movie with any energy at all, as it gives Dr. Krupp a chance to chew the scenery with some hammy lines. “No one can possibly imagine how hard I worked. When I dug in the mud with these hands and entered tombs! I tortured many animals — with pleasure! — to find the answers, the answers to man’s existence!” That sort of thing.
*. Despite having a special radium power that is supposed to be capable of disintegrating anything, the robot turns out to be no match for Popoca, who swiftly dismantles it before being sent shuffling back to the graves of his ancestors with his treasure intact.
*. Well, it’s not nearly as much fun as the title would lead you to believe. If you’re in a rush I’d recommend just watching the last ten or fifteen minutes. Or even if you’re not in a rush. The rest of it is a waste of time.

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