‘Mummy’ dearest

Preem features belly dancers and 'slaves'

Though the curse of the mummy struck Tuesday’s premiere of U’s “The Mummy” (the main theater’s projector repeatedly stopped due to overheating), the screening was only part of the entertainment at the Universal Cineplex.

Between the 12 belly dancers, 20 gold-painted “pharaoh’s slaves,” two camels, the pair of horse-drawn chariots and the two dozen buffets laden with lamb and chicken (flesh eating being a major part of mummy lore), there were ample post-screening distractions.

As for the filmmakers, producer Sean Daniel said he wanted the movie to “evoke the spirit of the original ‘Mummy,’ but be powerful, fast moving and do it with a minimum of bandages.” Star Brendan Fraser said the film has “a scariness that turns into wonderment.” Director Stephen Sommer credits shooting deep in the Moroccan Sahara desert — “four hours past where they shot ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ ” — with adding realism to the production values.

Among the living flesh on hand for the party were stars John Hannah and Arnold Vosloo; producers Daniel and James Jacks; plus guests Ice Cube, Jason Patric, Tom Shadyac, Marc Platt, John Burnham, Steve Stabler, Chris Fenton and studio execs Ron Meyer, Stacey Snider and Marc Shmuger.