|Index||7 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is another highly recommended entry in the series of Gothic Horror
movies from Spain made by their premier star, the traditionally
lycanthropic Paul Naschy, who wrote the film under his pen name/alter
ego, Jacinto Molina. Director Carlos Aured, who had previously worked
with Naschy on his epic Eurohorror outing HORROR RISES FROM THE TOMB,
returned to direct MUMMY'S REVENGE, along with HORROR RISES' female
star, the incredibly sexy Helga Liné, with the great Jack Taylor in the
heroic lead and wonderful supporting performances by familiar
Spanish/cult horror faces like Eduardo Calvo, Fernando Sanchez Polack,
Luis Dávila, and Eurobabes María Silva & Celia Cruz.
THE PLOT: An evil, despotic and bloodthirsty Egyptian Pharoh Amen Ho-Tep (Naschy in his usual dual role mode) is disrupted from his orgies of torture & human sacrifice by palace intrigue and winds up encased in a sarcophagus for 800 years, his body immobilized by a poison but his evil brain just itching for a distant ancestor (Naschy again, with help from Ms. Liné) to revive his mummified body so he can seek a generalized revenge against basically everything. His tomb is discovered by Taylor & Ms. Silva, and the fun begins when Naschy & Helga start chaining up the virgins and slitting their throats to create some sort of rejuvenate concoction to get the mummy (Naschy again) up and about to roam the sewers of Victorian era London in search of people who's heads need crushing. Between brutal murders they collect virgins to sacrifice in order to perform a blasphemous rite to resurrect the Pharoh's favorite concubine as well (embodied in the film's present time by an actress named Riva Otolina, for whom this film is her only credited performance).
Meanwhile, back at the Egyptian artifacts museum, Jack Taylor gets to look thoughtful with a full beard and eventually deciphers an ancient manuscript outlining Amen Ho-Tep's plans to have himself and his concubine restored to eternal existence and decides to do something about it, all of which culminates in another wonderful on screen death by Naschy that is tinged by tragedy and self sacrifice by his modern day self.
If all of this sounds rather familiar to folks who have seen a Naschy or three congratulations -- THE MUMMY'S REVENGE is a classic Jack Molina scripted "Soap Opera Horror" installment with a mummy instead of a werewolf, but story elements common to other popular efforts by Naschy/Molina portraying gruesome ceremonial killings that also require the female victims to be tortured, ancestral vengeance from beyond the grave, a love story of some sort or another figuring into the mix, the death of everyone in the film who has sexual relations on screen other than Naschy, a couple of good "Monster in the House" suspense sequences, and LOTS of atmospheric shots of mouldering catacombs, elegantly designed interior sets with altars, chaining racks, manacles & long ceremonial knives for the bloodletting. There is even a hint of potentially lesbian content between Riva Otolina & Helga that sadly goes underdeveloped, last minute oaths from the condemned that they will rise again to seek vengeance, the deaths of caretakers & transient nondescript types who always seem to end up dying horribly in Naschy's films, and other etcetera's that make up what I like to call The Paul Naschy Effect.
As such, for those with a taste for The Naschy Effect, THE MUMMY'S REVENGE is a must-see title. Not only to see him garbed up as the mummy (Naschy has played all of the Universal classic monsters in his films, other than maybe the Creature from the BLACK LAGOON movies) but to see how he re-defined the Mummy Movie conventions to fit his own storytelling agenda. The film was shot in gorgeous color and has that certain special something about Spanish 1970's horror that is so unique & hard to put into words. And even casual viewers who may not be devotees of Spanish horror & Naschy's work will find this an enjoyable viewing experience worthy of 2nd, 3rd & 4th looks. And by then, you're officially hooked.
But THE MUMMY'S REVENGE is actually a curious entry in Naschyalia for a couple of reasons. Like DRACULA'S GREAT LOVE he never reprised his mummy character in another film of it's own, but unlike that also wonderful movie THE MUMMY'S REVENGE was apparently shot without the "nude" or uncovered takes he usually had made for export from Spain (which did not permit frontal nudity in 1973) where such content would help to ensure a healthier box office showing.
There are two surviving versions of THE MUMMY'S REVENGE, a fullframe English version that runs 91 minutes and a widescreen Spanish version amounting to about 97 minutes of screen time: Six additional minutes, most of it dialog or transitional scenes, plus an extra virgin on the racks at the beginning. But no "nude" or uncovered version has ever been described nor even hinted at via the usual film release/promotional accouterments like lobby cards or publicity stills depicting bared breasts. They may simply have not had the budget to make an export version, and for what it's worth I think this is still a fine movie without boobs, and more accessible for first time viewers than the ultra-heavy HORROR RISES FROM THE TOMB, which is not for all tastes in the truest use of that expression.
THE MUMMY'S REVENGE is more of just a good old fashioned monster movie, flavored by the Spanish atmosphere & tragedy element, with some nice gory head-smushing scenes that will delight fans of that kind of stuff. I prefer the scenes with Helga Liné's "Zennifer" dolled up in a HIGHLY sexalicious Egyptian harlot costume, reserved only for the sacrificial ceremonies & related footage. With a body like hers they could have trotted her out in a garbage bags with holes poked out for her arms & head and it would still be a riveting sight.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Along with THE PEOPLE WHO OWN THE DARK and VENGEANCE OF THE ZOMBIES,
this is another interesting effort in Paul Naschy's catalog. In the
beginning, he plays a homicidal Pharoah during ancient Egypt, who along
with his equally sick wife, sacrifice virgins in order to obtain
immortality. They are put to death for their heinous crimes. His vows
revenge. Several thousand years later, his tomb is disturbed by a
husband and wife archaeological team. He is soon revived and convinces
his blood relative (also played by Naschy) to kill young virgins in
order for his ancestor to return to life, in the flesh. A colleague of
Naschy's and his wife soon discover something isn't right and they
begin their own investigation, which leads to a pretty neat showdown
with the mummy.
At times, the violence is very effective, mostly consisting of gruesome throat slashing. The only real "let-downs" are the poorly dubbed growling of the mummy. It sounds like he is in mid-orgasm. Instead of the moments being tense, I found myself laughing at the horrible dubbing. The only other "let-down" is it is quite obvious that all the gore scenes were horribly cut down. Hopefully one day, THE MUMMY'S REVENGE will see an uncut DVD release. This film deserves to be re-discovered. Once again, Paul Naschy turns in a good dual-role performance. He shows that he is quite capable of playing other characters besides Waldemar Daninsky.
THE MUMMY'S REVENGE is quite difficult to track down. It's been out-of-print for many years, and seems to have virtually disappeared off the face of the planet. However, horrortheatervideo.com, and sinistercinema.com both carry it in bootleg editions. The quality is far from great, but for any fan of Spanish horror, or any self-respecting fan of Paul Naschy, it's definitely worth the search. Seek it out.
I don't really want to be too harsh on this film because it did have its moments, a cast of lovelies and a London location. Also, surely anyone watching a Paul Naschy knows pretty much what to expect. Average acting, wooden sets, predictable storyline... and yet it is likable enough. Far too many short and unnecessary scenes that far from taking the story forward simply slow it down and people like Helga Line, great though she is, could have been so much more profitably employed had she been given more of the action. But then, this is a Paul Naschy film and wouldn't have that distinctive feel to it if it were any other way and he certainly has his fans.
Vengeance of the Mummy, The (1973)
** (out of 4)
Spanish horror film has Paul Naschy playing three roles including a mummy who returns to life after 1000 years to seek vengeance and regain his long lost love. Sadly I had to view this in a poor quality, P&S, English dubbed bootleg so hopefully someone will release a legit, good copy. The film was simply decent but it's hard to judge without seeing it in its true form. Jack Taylor co-stars and steals the show but Naschy is okay in his duel human parts. His turn as the mummy isn't a total success but it's an interesting performance. The American dub has the mummy constantly moaning, sounding like he's in a porno so this gave off some unintentional laughs. The violence level is quite high with several throat slashings and head crushings.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
It became very apparent to me from the beginning that this low budget
horror film catered to an audience that liked to watch gorgeous women
being cut, tortured, bled to death, and civilians of both sexes getting
their skulls crushed. Unlike most films of this nature, there wasn't an
abundance of sex, which would have upped the shock to morbid desire
rating a notch or two. But nevertheless, the graphic highlight of this
film is a painstakingly detailed 3 to 4 minutes of four young damsels
in distress having their throats slashed open by Naschy and Helga.
The blood flows freely in this scene, after a brief period of hyperventilation by the victims as their heads are being pulled to one side so their jugulars can be slit. Then come the guttural screams as red crimson flows down the front of their chests and expire while they are still chained to the wall. This is more repulsive then horrifying, since their near lifeless bodies don't convulse, and the whole incident is just one big mess.
Add to this mixture a lame resurrection scene, a few crushed skulls and the demise of the mummy by fire no less, and what you have is a flick that should have died in flames like the mummy. The shocking attempt at gore in this one can't make up for the weak storyline. Don't watch this one after dinner, especially if it's spaghetti smothered in red sauce.
Somewhat atypical Mummy movie which, however, does not escape the
deadly dullness that characterizes this subgenre even if the monster
himself is able to speak and his attacks are particularly vicious (a
man's head is crushed, another's is thrown into a fire, and a
succession of women have their faces slashed)!
Paul Naschy plays a dual role as a mummified sadistic Pharaoh revived to exact the usual curse (on just a handful of archeologists, a sure sign of the film's low-budget: another is its borrowing for the underscoring of one scene of the main theme from Mario Bava's THE WHIP AND THE BODY , while the rest emerges as reasonably rousing) by his present-day (and just as mean-spirited) ancestor. Aiding him is "Euro-Cult" favorite Helga Line' (this is already the third film of hers in my current marathon) but, apparently, the Mummy has other plans for her, no matter that she is obviously not a virgin! and, again par for the course, is the fact that a young woman involved with the archeologists is a dead-ringer for the Mummy's long-lost love!! Perhaps the film's most effective moment is the suspense built during a scene in which she is drawn to the Mummy's hiding-place while visiting Naschy's house, with her instinctive passage eventually obstructed in the nick of time by Line''s appearance at the top of the stairs.
Jess Franco regular Jack Taylor is the hero (as already mentioned, hilariously, he turns up for a showdown with the villains flanked solely by his female companion, which ultimately sees the two Naschys shrieking in pain after being set on fire!) his previous collaboration with the nominal star in DR. JEKYLL VS. THE WEREWOLF (1971) was an altogether more satisfying venture. Though this is the Spanish (and, thus, chaste) version of the film, it features the atrocious (and noise-riddled) English-dubbing which did not help my involvement any!; at least, though, the correct aspect ratio (i.e. widescreen) was maintained.
Even as they bury Amenhotep (Paul Naschy), his mind is alive and
Professor Stern (Jack Taylor) finds him thousands of years later. Little does he know what is in store for him.
Naschy shows up again in current time from Egypt with Rina Ottolina, and they set out to bring Amenhotep and his concubine back to life.
There are lots of throat slashings and crushed skulls along the way.
Unfortunately, it would not be interesting to anyone who is not a Paul Naschy aficionado. There just wasn't that much excitement to sustain anyone else.
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