HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Lucky
Matrix, The
Undergods
Betrayed
Fried Barry
Once Upon a River
Cowboys
Atlantis
We Still Say Grace
Enfant Terrible
Nomadland
Playboy of the Western World, The
Bike Thief, The
Threshold
Virtuoso, The
Here are the Young Men
Beast Beast
Labyrinth of Cinema
Justice Society: World War II
Artist's Wife, The
Truman & Tennessee: An Intimate Conversation
Pusher III
Palm Springs
Devil Commands, The
Oak Room, The
Pusher II
Forget Everything and Run
Secrets & Lies
Red Moon Tide
Man with Nine Lives, The
Pusher
Pot Carriers, The
Black Bear
Don't Cry, Pretty Girls!
Portal
Me You Madness
Reckoning, The
Laddie: The Man Behind the Movies
For the Sake of Vicious
Hell Bent
   
 
Newest Articles
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
   
 
  Mummy, The Just A Girl I Used To Know
Year: 1932
Director: Karl Freund
Stars: Boris Karloff, Zita Johann, David Manners, Arthur Byron, Edward Van Sloan, Bramwell Fletcher, Noble Johnson, Kathryn Byron, Leonard Mudie, James Crane
Genre: HorrorBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 2 votes)
Review: Egypt, 1921 and an expedition of British archaeologists is investigating the latest tomb of the Ancients to be uncovered, having found a mummified corpse in there that has a mysterious background. Sir Joseph Whemple (Arthur Byron) is leading these scientists, but his younger assistant Norton (Bramwell Fletcher) is more eager to delve into the mummy's past, noting that the inscriptions on its coffin have been tampered with to remove important writing. When they find a chest with a curse inscribed upon it, Norton wants to open it - but he should have been more respectful...

The Mummy was part of Universal's original horror cycle, and was the follow on to works such as Dracula and Frankenstein - especially Dracula, which served as the template for this. With Dracula's distinguished cinematographer Karl Freund directing though not Bela Lugosi but Karloff in the lead, it was well thought of in its day, as the star was such a sensation as his previous monster role that audiences lapped this up as more of the same, but in truth it was not quite as otherworldly as it initially appeared - indeed, its status has declined in the years since it was judged to be one the studio's great chiller classics. This was probably down to the pacing which positively crawled along.

Of course, that doesn't matter so much in a film this short, but it does offer the feeling of wading through the molasses of the plot to get to the good stuff - anything involving Karloff's enigmatic Ardath Bey, that is. He appears ten years after the ten minute introduction which is a marvellous sequence, detailing as it does the mummy's awakening, subtly and creepily done, which tips poor old Norton over the edge into hysterically laughing madness. Now the mummy has the scroll that was in the chest, and a decade later when Whemple is back in Egypt he makes his move thanks to a lovely young lady, Helen Grosvenor (Zita Johann), as the reincarnation of the love Bey lost.

If there's one thing even more enduring than the idea of the walking dead mummy that this brought to the screen, it was that notion of reincarnation as a plot device to give its villain a motivation. Here there is a battle of wits between the pragmatic science methods and the superstitious supernatural stuff, but it is implied that something even more powerful than either, and yet more strange to boot, is the power of love. Bey is a romantic at heart, and his drive to reunite himself and the Egyptian queen who he tried to revive millennia ago and was buried alive for this "unholy thing" is more deeply felt than any of those ineffectually trying to stop him. If anything, by the end of this you might be offering him the advice that it was all more trouble than it was worth - what a man has to do for company.

This of course was capitalising on the Lord Carnavon expedition to excavate Tutankhamun's tomb ten years before this film was released, something that created huge interest in pop culture relating to the Ancient Egyptians. particularly as there seemed to be an actual curse associated with it that bumped off many of the original party. That made this more persuasive in the minds of the public, but so far after the fact you may become restless, even if much of what you see is strikingly atmospheric: the closeups of Karloff's face with his preserved skin and eyes lit up is a superb image, as are the contrasting closeups of Johann's delicate features. The flashback on what passes for television in Bey's quarters - basically a pool that enables him to view others remotely (good for inducing heart attacks) - is a rightfully respected example of creepy nightmare as he is wrapped up in bandages while still alive, and it's parts like that which make The Mummy something to treasure, even if it fails to get the pulse racing.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2895 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: