Dr. Eduardo Almada (Ramon Gay) is addressing a group of scientists and explaining his theory of hypnotic regression to his peers. According to Dr. Almada the experiment could be a dangerous one. Since it is a theory and he has never performed the experiment on anyone he is met with speculation. Eduardo’s mentor Dr. Sepulveda (Jorge Mondragon) and his fiancé Flor Sepulveda (Rosita Arenas) are sympathetic. Dr. Sepulveda volunteers to be the guinea pig in Eduardo’s test but Eduardo says it is too dangerous for a man of his age. When Flor volunteers Eduardo is at first hesitant. The experiment could be dangerous for her as well but she insists. Finally Eduardo agrees to try.
Flor is given a serum to make her more receptive to suggestion. Eduardo’s assistant Pinacate (Crox Alverado) is on hand to help the doctor. Eduardo’s experiment works. Flor is regressed to an ancient time. The time of the Aztecs. In her past life Flor was a temple maiden called Xochitl. Her destiny was to remain a virgin and to be sacrificed to the gods. An Aztec warrior named Popoca (Angel di Stefani) was in love with her. Against the laws of the Aztecs they had an affair. For their sins Xochitl was killed. Popoca was buried alive and ordered to protect the Great Pyramid of Yucatan and the breastplate and bracelet that lead to the Aztec treasure.
Flor wakes up from her regression. Unbeknownst to Eduardo and Dr. Sepulveda, a criminal known as the Bat (Luis Aceves Castaneda) is listening in. The Bat orders his henchmen to spy on the doctors. Eduardo and Dr. Sepulveda discuss the experience. They now know that regression is possible but they still don’t have any evidence to present to their colleagues. They decide that the best way to prove Eduardo’s theory is to find the breastplate in the Aztec tomb. Flor is against it. She cites the Aztec curse. They go anyway.
They find the gold breastplate and steal it, awakening the mummy Popoca. The mummy pursues them all the way to Mexico City. The Bat is also nearby looking for an opportunity to steal the breastplate from the scientists and find the treasure for himself.
The Aztec Mummy” AKA “La Momia Azteca” was released in 1957 and was directed by Rafael Portillo. It is a Mexican horror movie and the first in a trilogy of Aztec mummy movies. The other two films are “The Curse of the Aztec Mummy” and “The Robot vs the Aztec Mummy”. All three movies were made back to back. The film was later re-edited and distributed in the U.S. in 1963 by producer Jerry Warren as “Attack of the Mayan Mummy”. All three of the original series have a cult following.
The movie isn’t all that bad. It was stretched out a bit and had some unneeded padding. The Aztec ritual went on longer than necessary. The subplot with the Bat character was weird. It really had nothing to do with the movie and went nowhere. The Bat character does show up in the subsequent films but here it’s basically useless. The film itself was heavily used as stock footage for the other two Aztec movies.
The mummy, however, is nice and creepy. Like a lot of monster movies you don’t get to see it until well into the film. Even then it doesn’t get enough screen time but the monster as well as the lighting used on it is good. The music score is also quite impressive, especially during the creepy parts. One thing I learned from the movie is that mummies are afraid of crucifixes.
Reportedly the film was inspired by the "Bridey Murphy" case. Bridey Murphy was, supposedly, a 19th century housewife. Virginia Tighe was put under hypnosis by amateur hypnotist Morey Bernstein. During the session he reportedly used hypnotic regression to allow Virginia to recall events from a past life. According to Virginia, Bridey was the daughter of Duncan Murphy a barrister in Cork Ireland. When she was 17 she married barrister Brian McCarthy. She gave other details of her life as Bridey and of her death and reincarnation. Unfortunately little of her story held up after reporters investigated the tale.
The only film I could find is subtitled in French. The closed captioning in English would have to be turned on but it’s still crap.