I WAS A TEENAGE MUMMYDirected by Christopher Frieri
Written by Diane Reinhardt and Christopher Frieri
Director of Photography - Muzzy Horn
Leroy Creighton - Mark Fucile
Stella/Mummy - Joan Devitt
Rhada (Ray) Mahat - Ahmed Ben Kalib
Det. Jack Boyle - Chris Tsakis
Sal Mangiacarne - Gerard J. Schneider
Rick Shipley's DANGEROUS MODE is a excellent introduction into the world of Rockabilly cinema. If you find the viewing taste of Greaser-action to your liking, the next lesson would be Christopher Frieri's I WAS A TEENAGE MUMMY. It takes all-things Rockabilly and Greaser to a completely different level with in-your-face horror.
I WAS A TEENAGE MUMMY isn't just Greaser-cinema gone wild, it's retro-greaser cinema. Taking things back to the genre's roots, Frieri sets his film back in the 1950's. The characters are straight out of efforts like TEENAGE CONFIDENTIAL or REEFER MADNESS. If you've never seen either one of those, think REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE gone mean. Sure, that movie was all about teen angst, but the kids were still decent enough folks...deep done. MUMMY'S Fucile and Schneider make REBEL'S James Dean and Dennis Hopper look like pussies.
Leroy is a cat as bad as they come. Full of angry, he's willing to throw down with whoever is standing near him when he goes off, from the new middle eastern kid at school all the way down to his friends. He's an equal opportunity ass-kicker.
Seeing his chance in Stella, the one girl to flat-out reject Leroy, Rhada Mahat (the new middle eastern kid) uses his swamy powers to turn her into a vengeance-filled mummy able to bring about all the carnage his small frame prevents him from being able to do. When family and friends realize Stella is missing, Leroy is the first to be pinned for the crime.
I WAS A TEENAGE MUMMY is a movie where things can be taken at face value and still work on a deeper level. It's a moral tale where the ends justify the means, and just because one has been wronged much worse than they have done to someone else, doesn't mean they can escape damnation. Everyone deserving of a comeuppance gets one in the end.
Below the surface, it's a movie about the evil inherent in every one of us that keeps us from being able to better ourselves. If only one character were able to turn the other cheek, and set the example, the characters might be inclined to aspire for better things. As it is, they are only concerned about saving face and maintaining image. They will never be better than their surroundings.
I WAS A TEENAGE MUMMY mixes those 50's Juvenile Delinquent movies with Hammer-style horror. The blending of such genre's might sound odd, but the movies excels when it's at its most bizarre and extreme. The wilder the elements, the harder it is not to enjoy yourself. When the kids are at their worst, they take on that romanticized image of Marlon Brando toughness we all wish we could aspire to.
I can pretty much guarantee you won't see another movie like I WAS A TEENAGE MUMMY. Frieri is able to use his powers of observation and pull personal details missed my most. With THE WINDOW, he was able to take nuances and create an atmosphere of phobias. With MUMMY, Frieri sees the underlying elements within two unrelated film genres and is able to merge them while playing one off the other. He's a filmcraftsman with a vision unlike any other you'll ever find.
Ghost Limb Films