A mummy movie is never a good idea. Why? Because there’s only one way to make a mummy threatening and that’s by having him lumber after a woman who appears to suffer from an inner-ear disorder. Incapable of sustained equilibrium, the woman stumbles and falls for no apparent reason. Not only that, she runs in a blind panic, when even a brisk walk could easily outdistance her bandaged assailant.
When faced with the prospect of making a mummy movie, there are really only two choices: either (a) go the Stephen Sommers route and completely jettison the idea of a slow-moving, ancient Egyptian prince wrapped in bandages or (b) don’t make the movie at all. Really. This should always be the default choice.
Curse of the Faceless Man, however, chooses to go down the cinematic road less traveled—and by less traveled, I mean gone down once and only once. It’s bad enough that the “faceless man” of the title is ancient and slow, but he’s also made of stone! This not only makes him the slowest mummy in film history, but for the first half of the film, even when he does manage to move, he is only capable of modest, sustained activity for minutes at a time.
Later in Curse of the Faceless Man, three doctors sum up the situation this way:
1st doctor (referring to stone mummy): It cannot be alive.
2nd doctor: Not the way we know life.
3rd doctor: It is not dead. Not dead as we know it.
Unexpressed by anyone, but probably occurring to all of them, is the following:
1st doctor: But it is slow.
2nd doctor: Yes. Slow as we know slow.
3rd doctor: Old-lady-with-a-bad-hip-using-a-walker slow.