Universal Studios Hollywood unwraps
The Mummy Returns: Chamber of Doom
Review by Ross Anthony

The Mummy Returns: Chamber of Doom Four Egyptian servants carry "Mummy's" writer/director Stephen Sommers to Universal's newest attraction: "Chamber of Doom." Clad in his street clothes, Sommers smiles and shakes his head at this goofy parade. Oded Fehr (Ardeth, the long-haired good guy warrior) also in casual contrast, dons blue jeans and a crew cut as he trots atop a horse.

With very little adieu, Sommers cuts the cloth, and the "Chamber of Doom" is unwrapped. Thousands of cellophane beetles fly into the air as the crowd cheers. The beetles were actually pretty cool ... I picked one up, put it in my pocket and scanned it here before being among the first to check out the "Chamber."

Essentially this "haunted house" type of maze (like the film) is geared for a younger adventurer. As Sommers said, "I went through it, I brought my nephews through it. They were terrified, they thought it was a blast."

A small museum of the film's props (mostly knives and daggers) preface the labyrinth. Inside, mummies wander, pop out, or grab at you. Window-sized holes break the surface of the walls, sometimes covered with glass, each requires a different type of investigation - perfect to catch you off guard. Once in a dark corner, I brushed up against the shredded bandages of a mummy so black I literally couldn't see him coming. Then slowly his tall stature catches a hint of light. Now that's creepy.

The Mummy Returns: Chamber of Doom A few other highlights include a spinning tunnel, a hall with eight Egyptian guards (careful, one of them isn't a statue) and my personal favorite ... "Scare the Workers." This installation looks like an arcade game and is placed near the entrance to the maze. Three buttons (mummy, water, water) control props within the maze. From a camera placed inside one of those wall holes, we can view the unaware maze-goes, squirt them with water, then BAM catch them off guard with a pop up mummy prop. All the while watching the expression on their face via a black and white video screen.

The maze wraps up with a pitch black curvy tube slide. Not long, but spooky enough. Oddly, you're dumped out into what appears to be an alley (middle of nowhereville). Kind of a rude awakening - or better put - resurrection. I think, instead of just a plain air filled mat to catch you - why not have a pile of rubber mummies that moan when you drop on them?

Overall, cute and amusing for adults, kids will probably love it.

Copyright © 2001. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit: RossAnthony.com

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Last Modified: Monday, 23-Apr-2007 15:04:23 PDT