The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb
The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb is a British horror film produced, written and directed by Michael Carreras, starring Terence Morgan, Ronald Howard, Fred Clark and introducing Jeanne Roland. Made by Hammer Film Productions, it was released in the UK on 18 October 1964 and, in the US, by Columbia Pictures on 31 December 1964.
|The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Michael Carreras|
|Produced by||Michael Carreras|
|Written by||Henry Younger (pen name of Michael Carreras)|
|Music by||Carlo Martelli|
Franz Reizenstein (uncredited)
|Cinematography||Otto Heller, B.S.C.|
|18 October 1964|
"Egypt in the year 1900". A mummy is discovered by three Egyptologists: Englishmen John Bray (Ronald Howard) and Sir Giles Dalrymple (Jack Gwillim) as well as French Professor Eugene Dubois (unbilled Bernard Rebel, who died three weeks before the film's UK premiere). Assisting in the expedition is Professor Dubois' daughter, and Bray's fiancée, Annette (Jeanne Roland), herself an Egyptology expert. All the artifacts are brought back to London by the project's backer, American showman Alexander King (Fred Clark), who plans to recoup his investment by staging luridly sensational public exhibits of the Egyptian treasures. Soon after arrival, however, the mummy revives and starts to kill various members of the expedition, while it becomes evident that sinister Adam Beauchamp (Terence Morgan), a wealthy arts patron whom members of the expedition meet on the ship returning to England, harbors a crucial revelation of the mummy's past and future.
- Terence Morgan: Adam Beauchamp, a secretive key character
- Ronald Howard: John Bray, the Egyptologist
- Fred Clark: Alexander King, the American promoter
- Jeanne Roland: Annette Dubois, daughter of Professor Dubois (the Egyptologist who is killed in the opening scene) and John Bray's fiancée
- George Pastell: Hashmi Bey, representative of Egypt's colonial government and worshipful supplicant of the Mummy
- Jack Gwillim: Sir Giles Dalrymple, another Egyptologist
- John Paul: Inspector Mackenzie
- Dickie Owen: the Mummy
- Jill Mai Meredith: Jenny, Beauchamp's maid
- Michael Ripper: Achmed, Egyptian servant
- Harold Goodwin: Fred, one of Alexander King's workmen
- Jimmy Gardner: Fred's mate
- Vernon Smythe: Jessop, Beauchamp's butler
- Marianne Stone: Hashmi Bey's landlady
- Ray Austin: Stuntman: Assassin on-board ship
Unlike most Hammer films of that period, it was filmed at Elstree Studios, rather than the company's permanent home at Bray. With the exception of character actors Michael Ripper and George Pastell, director Carreras and designer Bernard Robinson, most of the cast and crew were not Hammer veterans. Female lead Jeanne Roland, in her screen debut, receives "and introducing" credit, but her voice is dubbed with one that emphasises a prominently thick French accent.
The score was by Carlo Martelli, but contained uncredited excerpts from Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade, Ippolitov-Ivanov's Procession of the Sardar, and Franz Reizenstein's music written for Hammer's original "mummy" film.
Because union rules in Britain decreed that one person could not be credited as the writer, producer and director of a film, writer/producer/director Michael Careras adopted the name "Henry Younger" for his screenplay—a deliberate analogy to the name "John Elder", which was Hammer producer Anthony Hinds' writing pseudonym.
In his review, TimeOut Film Guide editor and National Film Theatre chief programmer Geoff Andrew described it a "limp Hammer sequel" that is "resolutely unimaginative". Steven H. Scheuer's Movies on TV gave it two stars and called it an "undistinguished horror thriller". Mick Martin's & Marsha Porter's DVD & Video Guide gave it its lowest rating ("turkey") and denigrated it as "wholly unmemorable flapping-bandage horror", while Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide, in its 1970s and 1980s editions, found it to be "low-grade horror" deserving of only one-and-a-half stars, but, in a 1990s revised write-up, slightly upgraded the rating to two stars, although still dismissing it as "routine" and giving away the climactic plot revelation by stating, "[M]ost unusual twist: The (human) villain is in fact the Mummy's brother". In his Creature Features Movie Guide Strikes Again, KTVU-Channel 2 (San Francisco) horror host, John Stanley, calls the Mummy a "[G]auze-enwrapped, bandage-plastered shambler inscribed with hieroglyphics" and ends with "[T]hese mummies—such bores". In another contemporary review, Allmovie critic Cavett Binyon called the film a "rather dull mummy muddle". In the 2000s, moods towards this film and its Hammer stablemates have changed. Some critics have seen the Hammer Mummy's franchise as more enjoyable than the "Americanized" pictures.
The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb currently holds an average two and a half star rating (5.6/10) on IMDb.
Home video release
In North America, the film was released on 14 October 2008 along with three other Hammer horror films on the 2-DVD set Icons of Horror Collection: Hammer Films (ASIN: B001B9ZVVC) by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, and on a double feature Blu-ray with The Revenge of Frankenstein by Mill Creek Entertainment in September 2016. Its title was misspelled on the Blu-ray spine as “Curese of the Mummy’s Tomb”.
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