Ultraman 1.12 – Cry of the Mummy

Oooh, they found a great location to play in this week. This episode features a mob of costumed extras running around the inside of a power plant trying to capture a 10,000 year-old mummy-creature that’s been brought back to life. The first two-thirds of the episode are really wonderfully effective, with great camerawork and lots of creeping around. If the comedy of the last installment hadn’t completely neutralized this program’s ability to shock, I bet this really would have unnerved our son a little bit. Unfortunately, after last week’s slapstick, I think the show is going to have to pull out a pretty heavy duty shock to scare him again.

Arashi kicks all kinds of ass this time. He kills the mummy with his heavy-duty laser bazooka, but that wakes up another monster that had been in hibernation with it. This one’s a giant, and it’s one of the silliest so far. It’s a dragon, apparently called Dodongo, which is played by two suit actors in a pantomime horse costume. And Arashi again comes to the rescue, and very gruesomely blinds the beast, blowing out both of its eyes with his laser.

When Ultraman shows up, it’s really just to put the blinded and enraged creature out of its misery, and the director rather savagely lingers on the pathetic thing’s last few death twitches. It’s a shame the pantomime horse business is so silly – Ultraman even “rides” it for a second – because it undercuts a somber ending in which the Science Patrol members reflect that it would have been better if the beasts had been left to hibernate forever.

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