Sunday, May 16, 2010

Mummy's Tomb, The (1942)

Director: Harold Young
Notable Cast: Lon Chaney, Jr., Dick Foran, John Hubbard, Elyse Knox, George Zucco, Wallace Ford, Turhan Bey

Our "epic" story of the mummy Kharis continues and in case you didn't see the previous film "The Mummy's Hand", we are "graced" with 15 minutes of flashback footage sloppily edited at the beginning of the film to help "remind" (meaning "pad time") the audience. That means we only have about 45 minutes of new footage! That's real cheap of you Universal!

This film takes place 30 years after the events of "The Mummy's Hand"....and I call bullshit on that as the film looks like it takes place in the same year. The previous film took place in 1940 so this means that this film takes place in...1970?! The filmmakers didn't even attempt to even make this film look like it took place farther in the future. Why 30 years later? What not a year or two? It would have no difference to the plot (or lack thereof). Well if you can get passed the dumb "30 year later" plot aspect, we are then re-introduced to our two of our surviving characters from the last film. They are of course older and "wiser". We are then also re-introduced to Kharis's priest keeper, who somehow remarkably survived being shot to death. The keeper tells his protégé to take Kharis (who also remarkably survived despite being engulfed in flames in the climax) to England to kill all the people and their offspring who entered Princess Anaka's tomb 30 years before. Again.... why wait 30 fucking years? Why not right away? Why let our characters live long happy lives before punishing them? IT MAKES NO SENSE! Our mummy (this time played by Lon Chaney Jr.) predictably goes on a shambling murder spree.

The plot, directing, pace are all very pedestrian. However it is just another B-movie sequel so I shouldn't expect much. The plot is a little more dark and serious than the last entry making it seem like our characters are in real danger. I never felt our characters were in danger in "The Mummy's Hand". I usually like my films a little more dark and serious but in the case of these mummy sequels, I didn't and I actually had far less fun with this film then it's processor which had a sense of adventure to it. Lon Chaney Jr. is adequate in the Mummy part, but his appearance just isn't has creepy as Tom Tyler's in the last film. Overall fans of Universal monster films will find some enjoyment but this third entry into Universal's Mummy series is a far cry from their other "monster" franchise entries.

Bonus Rant: The stock music from other Universal monster films is getting really OLD! They play it over and over again and I'm getting closer to hitting the mute button. By the time I get to finishing the fifth film in Universal's mummy franchise I have a feeling I going to rip my ears off!

Written By Eric Reifschneider

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