Tag line : Torn from the Tomb to Terrify the World!!!

Hammer films had previously sought to distance themselves from earlier adaptations of Frankenstein and Dracula by putting their own spin on things. But when they decided to do a film version of The Mummy, opted for an outright remake of the old Universal films.

Starting off in Egypt in the late 1800s (though probably the back lot of Bray Studios), a group of archaeologists  are busy unearthing the ancient tomb of Princess Ananka, when they are approached by the stereotypical Egyptian priest, warning them not to go inside. Having politely told him to "mind his own business", they venture in and discover Ananaka's Sarcophagus. But shortly afterwards the expedition leader, Stephen Banning (Felix Aylmer) is found slumped over, mumbling gibberish.

Some 3 years later back in England, with Ananka on display in the British Museum, Stephen, who has been residing in a mental institution, seems to recover and sends for his son John (Peter Cushing), who was also on the expedition. Warning him that there was another Mummy in the tomb, and this one was very much alive and that he is now out for revenge.

Thinking his father still hasn't quite recovered yet, he pays little attention of his warnings. But shortly afterwards, Stephen is mysteriously killed and soonafter, other members of the original expedition similarly turn up dead. Which seems to coincide with the arrival of a mysterious Egyptian in the neighbourhood.

Anyway, turns out there's a murderous Mummy named Kharis on the rampage (played by, who else, Christopher Lee) who along with the Egyptian priest we saw earlier, is looking to kill all those who desecrated Ananka's sacred tomb. Unless John and the others can find some way of stopping them.

Equally as enjoyable as Hammer films versions of "Frankenstein" and "Dracula", which re-unites Hammer regulars Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee with director Terence Fisher. This one is required viewing for fans of Hammer's previous works and lovers of classic horror movies.

Overall Marks : 8/10.

Terrifying Trivia.

  • Alternate tag lines "NERVE-SHATTERING SHOCK!", "Fear Will Freeze You When You Face...", "Its evil look brings MADNESS! Its evil spell ENSLAVES! Its evil touch KILLS KILLS KILLS!"

  • The film borrows elements from Universal Pictures "The Mummy" (1932), and the spin off series "The Mummy's Hand" (1940), "The Mummy's Ghost" (1942) and "The Mummy's Tomb" (1944).

  • The films budget was 125,000.

  • Christopher Lee said this was his most gruelling role ever. He dislocated his shoulder bursting through a set of doors as the carpenters forgot to unhinge them beforehand. He then had to crash through a set of plate glass doors, containing real glass, which pierced his costume. The explosive squibs on his chest designed to simulate a shotgun blast, caused severe burning. Then despite all of his injuries had to carry actress Yvonne Furneaux into the studio-tank swamp, pulling every muscle in his back in the process and injuring his knees and ankles as he couldn't see where the pipes and fittings were under the murky swamp water.

  • The Egyptian priest keeps praying to a god named Karnak, however there was no actual god of that name. There is a temple of Karnak, which is where the script writer got the name from, but this was named after the city it resides in, not after an Egyptian deity.

  • Comedy actor Michael Ripper appears in a minor role as a poacher. He played supporting roles in a grand total of 36 Hammer features, but this is the only one he appeared in with both Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee.

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