'The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb' review by MartialHorror
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THE CURSE OF THE MUMMY’S TOMB(1964)
(Directed by Michael Carreras)
"Aren't all Mummy's Tombs cursed?"- Signed by MartialHorror
Plot: A group of archeologists return to London with a Mummy. But someone else has plans for it.
“The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb” was a reluctant venture on my part. I can’t say that I was ever a big fan of Mummies, and this wasn’t receiving the most enthusiastic of reviews. But most of all, despite it being a sequel to the incredibly fun “Terror of The Mummy”(also known as “The Mummy”), I simply didn’t care to watch it. Why? Because the H-Team wasn’t present. The H-Team consists of director Terence Fisher and actors Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing. But because I was a fan of the original, I figured that I had to check it out sooner or later. The fact that it was double-billed with “The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll”, which contained some of the H-Team(minus Cushing) made it even more appealing. But I’ll get into that one next time. For now, let’s explore “The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb”.
The films begins with some…bandits or something, killing a poor archeologist and cutting off his hand. Wow, that’s pretty violent. We then are introduced to his daughter, Annette(Roland) and her boyfriend/fiancé, John(Howard), both archeologists as well. They are obviously dismayed at the death, but continue in bringing their recently discovered Mummy home to London(where else?). On the way, they must contend with fanatics who wish to kill them for their desecration, their greedy benefactor who wishes to profit from the Mummy, and Adam(Morgan), a mysterious man who is in love with Annette. It is exactly 53 minutes into the movie when the Mummy FINALLY comes to life. So “The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb” isn’t going to win any rewards for pacing. Plus, when we see the Mummy, it’s not all that impressive.
Basically, the film works as the most PREDICTABLE mystery of all time. When the Mummy is stolen, we basically know who is responsible, despite attempts to throw us off. Because of this, we feel very little tension and the pacing is amusingly awkward. Despite this, Carreras does very good as the director. Some scenes are chillingly atmospheric, other scenes are suspenseful and the camerawork is superb. Also, he captures the exotic atmosphere of Egypt very well.
I will give credit to the film for creating some surprisingly complex characters. The typical hero is John, who is fairly boring compared to the rest, but we still feel bad for him. Yet to me, the people who stole the show was the fallen, drunk archaeologist Sir Charles(Gwillim) and the greedy benefactor, Mr. King(Clark). Mr. King worked mainly because of one scene of compassion from him, that shows he isn’t necessarily a bad guy. He’s just a shrewd businessman. Another intriguing character was Hashimi Bey(Pastell), who plays the same role he did in “Terror of the Mummy”, except not evil. Finally, the obvious villain, Adam- If you seriously can’t figure this out then you’ve never seen a movie in your life- even comes across as more tragic than evil. But then there is Annette. Boy, did I hate that bitch. Basically, she leaves John for Adam in a super-quick ‘falling in love’ deal. I hate how all the Mummy movies seem to do this. Sure, Adam is charming, but he also has the occasional bouts of random anger. I was under the impression she fell in love with his wealth. Oh yeah, there isn’t even a reincarnation subplot this time around, so we can’t even excuse her for that. In fact, being she is the one in the most danger, I have to say that this probably ruined the film for me. If I can’t care for her, then why should I care at all?
The acting is good overall. Jeanne Roland(Annette) is on and off. She usually does fine, however. Ronald Howard(John) is credible as the hero. Terence Morgan(Adam) is charismatic as the villain. Fred Clark(King) is hilarious as the sleaze. He even sort of stole the show. George Pastell(Hashmi Bey) is always a delight and appears a lot in these Mummy films. He does it well! Jack Gwillim(Sir Charles) is very sympathetic, considering we see his rise and downfall. Actually, this is probably the best character to appear in any of these films.
I have to say that I’m no Mummy fan. Boris Karloff’s original “The Mummy” bored me to tears. I’d say that the first Hammer adaptation is the only real good one(although Stephen Sommers more recent version is a guilty pleasure). The problem with these films is that they all tend to be the same, not that the story was ever that original. “The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb” has all the write ingrediants. It has well written characters, strong actors, good directing, great photography and most of all: It’s more unique compared to the others. But with it’s unsympathetic heroine, a shoddy pace and a boring Mummy, I simply did not care.
Violence: Some grisly scenes and cut off hands.
Nudity: There is a pretty risqué dancing scene.
Overall: “The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb” is interesting to watch if you liked the first film, but it’s not all that either.
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