The All-New Adventures Of Laurel And Hardy: For Love Or Mummy
With recent, rapid advances in digital technology, the possibility looms that dead actors might again star in movies in digitally re-created form. There already exists what's reported to be a fairly convincing computerized simulation of Marlene Dietrich. As questionable as that iswho's to say that Digital Dietrich will find her Von Sternberg?chances are good that even the worst cyber-stars will prove more interesting than For Love Or Mummy, a flesh-and-blood attempt to revive the careers of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy. As loving a tribute as a thick wad of spittle on the graves of both men, the film features Perfect Strangers and Meego star Bronson Pinchot and veteran corpulent character actor Gailard Sartain as the great-nephews of the original Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, respectively. When an exhibit of ancient Egyptian artifacts overseen by Oscar-winner F. Murray Abraham (welcome to the bottom of the barrel, F.) comes to town, trouble follows in the form of a lumbering reanimated mummy intent on taking Abraham's daughter as a bride. Though Pinchot and Sartain do largely credible impressions of Laurel and Hardy, their performances are as enjoyable and dignified as propping the rotted corpses of the golden-age comedy stars in chairs and making them perform like zombified ventriloquist's dummies. Co-directed by Larry Harmon (who apparently owns the rights to Laurel and Hardy's names and images) and John R. Cherry III (in one of his few credits not to include the word "Ernest" in the title), For Love Or Mummy features low-budget slapstick antics that have neither rhyme nor reason: They're just there because they have to be. A joyless attempt to cash in on the names of a justly revered comic team, this is an embarrassment for all concerned, inviting the sort of karmic consequences usually reserved for grave-robbers, nun-muggers, and Santa-abusers. At least the mummy itself, possibly the poorest special effect since the diving-helmet-clad gorilla of Robot Monster, is kind of funny, but even in a project as misguided as this one, it's hard to imagine that that's what anyone had in mind.