During a pre-debate press conference in Denver, Colorado, Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney announced that if elected, his first priority will be to declare a "war on horror," comparing movie villain Ardath Bey to terror mastermind Osama bin Laden.
The comments came after an ad hoc "security briefing" during which Romney was shown several Mummy films.
"The president talks a lot about the war on terror," said Romney, who appeared shaken but resolute, "but I want to know what he's doing about the war on horror. He may have gotten bin Laden, but Ardath Bey is still out there."
Ardath Bey, aka, Mehmet Bay, is the alleged spiritual leader of a group of religious extremists who, over the course of several films between 1932 and 1971, committed a series of ritualistic slayings in an attempt to bring Egyptian mummies back to life.
In the 1959 Christopher Lee film The Mummy, Bey apparently was murdered by the reanimated corpse of an Egyptian prince named Kharis, however historians have found no historical record of an Egyptian prince by that name, and experts who have examined the footage say that it was in fact British actor George Pastell who appears to die in the film.
Over the years, Bey, or somebody resembling him, has appeared in a number of mummy films of varying quality, including The Mummy's Hand (1940), The Mummy's Tomb (1942), The Mummy's Ghost (1944), Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy (1955), The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb (1964), and Blood from the Mummy's Tomb (1971).
According to witnesses who have seen the films, Bey usually wears a red fez and a clipped moustache and speaks with a sinister, lilting, faux-Middle Eastern accent.
Romney emerged from the hours-long briefing with a half-eaten tub of
popcorn and an empty packet of Gummi bears. "The American people need
to know what we're up against," he said, "and the President hasn't
been forthcoming. These are terrorists who are murdering innocent
people with tana leaves because they've got a mummy or something. Frankly, I didn't understand all of it, but one thing is clear: it's time to send a message to Mr. Bey and his thugs that you can run but you can't hide."
"If we're ever going to win the war on terror," Romney concluded, "we've got to bump it up a notch by including horror. And make no mistake, if elected, I will find Mr. Bey and bring him to justice."
In response to Romney's statements, Egyptian Defense Minister Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sissi reaffirmed Egypt's commitment to the war on terror but was unable to offer any information about Bey or his whereabouts.