Ismail (Ismail Yassin) and Abdel (Abdel Fatah Al Kasri) work in an
antique store when one day they are delivered two crates, both containing
corpses, one that of professor Assim - who looks a lot like Bela Lugosi's
Dracula -, the other that of a mummy, the Son of Bakhtur - who looks a lot
like Boris Karloff's Frankenstein. Of course, both of these corpses rise,
scaring the shit out of Ismail and Abdel, and costing them their jobs, once
the crates are found empty.
Ismail's girlfriend Samya however comes to their rescue and hires them
as waiters at a masque. But how come bumbling and naive Ismail has a
girlfriend as attractive as Samya, who doesn't seem to mind his
shortcomings one bit and helps him out of one jam after the next ?
Fact is, Samya is the assistant of professor Assim, and professor Assim
wants to find out the secret of live mummies from the Son of Bakhtur, but
for that, the mummy needs another brain, one that is not too crammed with
knowledge possibly - so whose better to use than Ismail's ?
Thing is, professor Assim is not a brain surgeon, so he can't perform
the brain surgery himself ... and thus he has put a curse a brain surgeon,
Mourad - incidently the fiancé of his niece Alaff -, to turn into a wolf
every time a dog barks (which is quite often during the movie), and he
will only turn him back once the operation is performed.
After all the usual shenanigans, professor Assim faces both the wolfman
and the Son of Bakhtour in the finale, and unfortunately right then and
there he loses his hypnotic ring, which eventually leads to a clash
between the three parties - at the end of which the professor and the
mummy fall out of a window to their death, while Mourad, essentially a
good guy, turns back to normal and the curse is lifted.
Quite obviously, this film is an Arabic language remake of Abbott
and Costello meet Frankenstein, with not only some plotelements
lifted from that movie but even some comedy routines and extended
sequences. For that and that alone Abbott
and Costello-fans and Universal
horror afficionados hate the film, and truth to be told, Haram
Alek isn't all that good, and production value-wise, it's a definite
step down from Abbott
and Costello meet Frankenstein. Having said that though, Haram
Alek isn't as bad in comparison as people make it out to be, Ismail
and Abdel are actually an improvement over Abbott
and Costello (whose humour I have to admit always was beyond -
or rather below - me), the film doesn't suffer quite as much from the
ramifications imposed by the continuity of the Universal
horror cycle, and the shoddy sets and make-up are actually
quite endearing - to trashfilm lovers like myself.
One thing I still don't understand though: Why does the mummy look like