En route to the stony lonesome, a prison transport van crashes in the middle of the desert. Taking a female guard (Cerina Vincent) with them, the surviving cons flee into the wasteland, where an old Apache (Danny Trejo) grabs their attention with a mighty tall tale. Legend tells of Spanish gold in the area, buried beneath an Old West town and guarded by seven Jesuit priests sworn to fend off would-be thieves. Sure enough, the criminals find the town, but come sundown, the residents (all apparently members of the High Plains Drifter Re-enactment Guild) transform into bloodthirsty ghouls who set to make meals out of the cons. With some searching for the gold and some searching for a way out, the crooks only have hours before they too join the ranks of this real-life ghost town.
7 Mummies is a more curious case than I expected. Of course, I didn't expect much, if anything at all, but from that cover art, who would? It looks like any other straight-to-DVD venture that wrangled its quota of recognizable faces to dine on the horror leftovers their careers have unceremoniously led them to. Well, it pretty much is just that, though instead of the battle of attrition I dreaded, 7 Mummies offers enough cheesiness to let it go down smoothly. Essentially, it's a take-off on From Dusk Till Dawn, with prisoners on the run making their way to a desert bar, where they proceed to get more than a little red on them. That's all well and good, but here's where you start to wonder just what the filmmakers were thinking. These are modern-day convicts we're dealing with, but once they wander into Hill Valley circa 1885, no one bats an eye; it's not until some vampire hookers help dwindle their numbers that they suspect, hey, something's not quite right here.
You also come to question why 7 Mummies even included the cons to begin with. It has the costumes and rootin' tootin' stunt show set, so why not ditch the stereotypical thugs and make a name for itself in the Old West horror subgenre alongside Dead Birds or The Burrowers? But that would take a certain degree of ambition, and with dialogue consisting mostly of f-bomb variations, moxie is something 7 Mummies is fresh out of. I even had the sneaking suspicion that it wouldn't even make good on its titular promise -- sure enough, it's not until 11 minutes before the credits that you see hide or hair of a wrapped one. I'm still not sure I even saw seven to begin with, but when they turn out to be kung-fu mummy priests, it all seems to be strangely worth the wait.
Yeah, 7 Mummies is crap -- flatly-directed, badly-acted, lazily-written crap. But it's not a washout of any proportions worth getting riled up about. At not even 80 minutes, the pain doesn't last long, and while the flick as a whole can drag like the dickens, there's enough hilarity to have you chuckling your way through the really dull patches. This isn't a recommendation by any means, but should an inebriated pal haul this home from the video store, save your punishment for the guy who brings back a Dark Harvest sequel.