1940's "The Mummy's Hand" featured western actor Tom Tyler as the undead pile of bandages. Tyler (listed eighth in the credits of 'Hand') obviously wasn't being prepped to carry Universal's horror banner into the remainder of the decade. So, after the success of "The Wolf Man"--and much to his displeasure--Lon Chaney Jr. had to slouch through the gauze for a remarkable 'three' sequels--the remarkable part being that Universal could squeeze so much milk from this particular cash-cow.
Tomb opens with an ample amount of stock footage from 'Mummy's Hand' recapping the important events from that chapter. Seeing old footage in these mummy flicks is no big surprise--the fact that the filmmakers were not shy about reusing the close-ups of Tom Tyler (in makeup) as Kharis did puzzle me. Exactly how thin was the budget for 'Tomb' that some new close-up shots of Chaney as Kharis couldn't be cut into the picture?
George Zucco returns as high priest Andoheb, proving to be nearly as bulletproof as the mummy, having escaped the events of the last movie with 'only' a crushed arm & a full head of hair (maybe he rubbed some tana on his scalp). Also returning is what was already becoming a tedious plot device: The new priest put in charge of Kharis--apparently raging with suppressed libido--becomes enamored with some American skirt & usually suffers some violent (and well deserved) death.
However, it all speeds along at a quickie pace (all of Chaney's mummy pictures barely eclipse the 60 minute mark) and it's supplied with the usual atmosphere & mood music that at this stage of the game make it a good enough occupier of one's time. Of the quartet of Kharis films, 'Tomb' would be my favorite. It's certainly a more atmospheric piece than its predecessor and not bogged down with any of the inane comic relief.
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