Like so many other Hammer horror films, their version of “The Mummy” is a tribute to the Universal horror films that came before it. From the loving attention to detail on the Egyptian artifacts and costumes, to the mysticism of ancient Egyptian society that is both so captvating and so horrifying, this is something that certainly gets better if you’ve seen the 1932 “The Mummy.”
And yet, while the film only takes a few plot elements from the 1932 film, it does take several plot elements of other Universal horror films, specifically “The Mummy’s Hand” and “The Mummy’s Tomb.” It’s as this version took all the best plot elements of all three Mummy movies to make the best version of the character that they wanted to see on the big screen. In this case, after a bunch of archologists unearth a long forgotten tomb of an Egyptian princess, a devoted follower of an Egyptian god of death uses an undead mummy, who had been deeply in love with the princess, to get revenge on those who distrubed her tomb. The film has a rather progressive outlook, especially from the villain’s perspective who has a great scene explaining that the dead were meant to stay buried and not shown off in museums, while he descends more and more into a manic and obsessed craze. Peter Cushing gives a much more restrained performance, but it is George Pastell as the villain Mehemet Bey that stands out here, always selling is devotion to his death-obssessed religion.
Final Grade: B