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THE AZTEC MUMMY (1957, LA MOMIA AZTECA) – Episode 140 – Decades of Horror: The Classic Era

“I am in the great Tenochtitlan.” “Could you describe it?” “Yes, I can.” But can you say it three times, fast? Join this episode’s Grue-Crew – Whitney Collazo, Chad Hunt, Daphne Monary-Ernsdorff, and Jeff Mohr – as they enter the confusing world of The Aztec Mummy (1957, La Momia Azteca), its sequels, and its offshoots.

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 140 – The Aztec Mummy (1957, La Momia Azteca)

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A doctor proves his theory that hypnotized people can be regressed to past lives by hypnotizing his lover Flor, who in a previous life was Xochitl, a god’s maiden, who was killed for having an affair with the warrior Popoca. The doctor steals 2  brass jewelry pieces from the tomb. Now they must face the curse of the revivified mummy of Popoca and the efforts of the evil The Bat who thinks the jewelry will lead him to an Aztec treasure.

Trying to get a handle on The Aztec Mummy and related offerings is confusing, so here is Decades of Horror’s own version of an Aztec Mummy Primer:

  • The Aztec Mummy Trilogy (Be forewarned that about half of each of the 2nd and 3rd movies are composed of footage from the previous movie(s) in the trilogy. The Aztec Mummy is the only one of the three with all original footage.):
    • The Aztec Mummy (1957, La Momia Azteca)
    • The Curse of the Aztec Mummy (1957, La maldición de la momia azteca)
    • The Robot vs. the Aztec Mummy (1958, La momia azteca contra el robot humano)
  • The Wrestling Women vs. the Aztec Mummy (1964, Las luchadoras contra la momia), is not connected in any way to the original trilogy except by using a creature known as “the aztec mummy.” However, it is included in a VCI Entertainment Blu-ray box set titled The Aztec Mummy Collection along, with #2 and #3 of the trilogy, but excluding The Aztec Mummy, the first movie in the trilogy.
  • Attack of the Mayan Mummy (1964) is a very strange conglomeration of The Aztec Mummy and extra footage shot with English-speaking actors. It comes from Jerry Warren et al and completely changes the original story.

There you have it. Clear as mud? The Classic Era Grue-Crew could not find a good version of The Aztec Mummy with English subtitles or dubbing. The other four films listed above are all available with English dubbing.

Whitney chose The Aztec Mummy because she thought it would be cool to see something with history and a cultural connection along with the horror, and she really likes the idea of characters with a past life. The culture and history along with a mummy tale are also a big attraction for Daphne. The PLEX streaming app lists The Aztec Mummy as content but lurking beyond that title is actually The Curse of the Aztec Mummy. Thus, Chad was duped into watching the 2nd film of the trilogy instead of the first. The crew put PLEX’s subterfuge to good use as Chad provides insights and details that connect the first and second movies and show the direction the story takes at the conclusion of the first film. Jeff likes the story, a tale of hypnotic regression through past lives, Aztec lore, a mummy, and an evil scientist thrown in for good measure.

Your Classic Era Grue-Crew mourns the lack of a high-resolution version with English subtitles, at least, that they could find, but are all glad they took the journey.

Gruesome Magazine’s Decades of Horror: The Classic Era records a new episode every two weeks. Up next in their very flexible schedule, as chosen by Chad, will be The Creature Walks Among Us (1956), the last of the three Creature movies from Universal Horror. 

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To each of you from each of them, “Thank you so much for listening!

Jeff Mohr
Jeff lives smack dab in the middle of the cornfields of Iowa and is a long-time horror fan. His first remembered encounters with the genre were The Wizard of Oz, Tarzan gorilla chases, and watching the first broadcast of The Twilight Zone episode, "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge." While he now qualifies as an old fart, he strives to be an Old Boy. Paraphrasing Robert Bloch, he has the heart of a small boy. He keeps it in a jar on his desk. Jeff has written for and SQ Horror Magazine. He currently writes for Gruesome Magazine and is a co-host of the Decades of Horror podcasts - The Classic Era, 1970s, and 1980s - and the Gruesome Magazine Podcast.