Monday, April 11, 2011

Curse of the Mummy's Tomb - Bland Hammer

Curse of the Mummy's Tomb, 1964, Hammer, 81 minutes, color. Directed by Michael Carreras. Starring Terance Morgan as Adam Beauchamp/Be, son of Rameses VIII, Ronald Howard as John Bray, Fred Clark as Alexander King, Jeanne Roland as Annette Dubois, George Pastell as Hashmi Bey, Jack Gwylliam as Sir Giles Dalrymple, and Dickie Morgan as the Mummy (Ra-Antef). Schlock-Meter rating: 4 stars out of 10.

The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb is a very poor sequel to Hammer's much better The Mummy, starring Christopher Lee. The film suffers from a dull plot, too much talk, a boring shambling mummy and a really annoying female lead (Roland), who spends much of film practicing a really bogus Parisian accent.

The plot: An expedition travels to Egypt and digs up the remains of a slain prince. The leader of the expedition is murdered. His daughter, her fiance (Howard), and the others in the party decide to return to London and feature the mummy as a sideshow act, charging 10 cents a look (it's 1900, by the way.) Of course the mummy follows them and starts to exact its revenge on those who desecrated his grave.

The film boasts a couple of shocks, including hands being chopped off and a man's head squashed (implied, not seen). But the film is just so talky, with heavy-handed direction by Carreras. Nothing happens for long periods of time and we are treated to long stretches of dialogue, which as any film fan knows, is often used as a crutch to pad out a weak film. In this film's case, it's already a brief 81 minutes, but seems longer.

Even when the mummy appears, it's a disappointment. No attempt is made to humanize the monster. He just kills. Roland as the female lead is horrible. She's one of the most faithless characters in a movie and quickly goes from mourning her father's death to constant giggling.

Veteran actor Morgan is fairly decent as the villain who steals Roland from her fiance and hides a terrible secret. The most lively actor in the film may be the Carnival-like business huckster Alexander King (Clark), who outrages many by turning the mummy into a sideshow. Clark carries the roll with pizzaz, but he's killed off too early by the mummy. If this movie's on TV and you can't find anything else to watch, it will pass the time. Otherwise, go find a better mummy movie at the video store.

-- Doug Gibson

1 comment:

Derek M. Koch said...

This is definitely one of the more flat Hammer monster flicks, but I still dig the score.