|Index||6 reviews in total|
This is an interesting documentary about Universal's classic Mummy
series of movies. It concentrates the most on the first one, providing
information on how it came to be, about its director Karl Freud, its
main stars Boris Karloff and Zita Johann, and makeup man (or sadist?)
There are interviews with film historians, and relatives of some of the people involved with the film, such as Karloff's daughter. Relatively little attention is paid to the sequels, but they are covered.
I found it interesting how The Mummy started off as being about the Italian historical character Cagliostro! Also interesting to see was how The Mummy copies certain formulas and scenes from the Universal Dracula film, which they illustrated by showing some of these scenes one after another. A similar thing happened with The Invisible Man copying Frankenstein, as the documentary for The Invisible Man notes.
This is found on the DVD of the 1932 version of The Mummy, and is a retroactive making-of documentary of, you guessed it, said picture(near the very end, it goes into the sequels as well(including the Abbott and Costello one...), though never the Sommers ones(for which I am quite grateful)). It consists of clips, interviews(with crew from it or their offspring and the like, as well as film historians, who have very compelling things to say), behind-the-scenes stills, and a little horrifyingly corny narration by host Rudy Behlmer, who(or whose writer) must have also come up with that off-putting pun they used for a name for this production. They go into the strained working relationship between the two masters of their craft(Johann(her belief in the occult is detailed as well) of acting and Freund of cinematography(taking on the role of director for the first time)), the arduous make-up process(hours of pain to apply or remove), other, works by these same people(such as Frankenstein... with that one, the similarities are really obvious, and they don't try to conceal that), and the restraint of not showing off the titular creature. The editing is good, and this is very informational and interesting. There is a bit of disturbing and violent content in this. I recommend this to any fan of movie itself, as well as the commentary track by Paul Jensen. 7/10
Exceedingly well-done documentary on the making of The Mummy with lots of great stories about some of the stars and makers of that film. Zita Johann is examined in great detail(greater than Karloff I believe), and we get lots of second-hand stories about her spiritualism, her fights with Karl Freund the director, and her wit. Film historian Gregory Man details a couple of the stories with great clarity, wit, and even does an impression of Freund! There are other stories about Karloff and the arduous make-up he endured for Jack Pierce. There is a whole exposition done on where the concept of the story came from and then the documentary moves to a point by point and scene by scene comparison of The Mummy and Dracula. Even more might have been examined by giving actors like David Manners and Edward Van Sloan(who seems never to get any love in these things but was crucial in those early Universal greats!)some talk. The documentary then moves to the sequels and gives them some time, but it really just goes over them in a somewhat cursory manner. Producer/director David Skaal once again has given the Mummy as well as all the other Universal monsters in the stable their due.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Universal gave the classic horror fan a real treat with their series of
short documentaries. While I don't necessarily thing that Mummy Dearest
is the best of the bunch, it's informative and entertaining. My only
complaint is that not enough time was spent on the sequels to The
Mummy. I would have loved to see more on these lesser known films.
Through interviews with films experts and surviving relatives, Mummy Dearest presents some fascinating insights into the making of The Mummy. One of my favorites was the story of the feud between star Zita Johann and director Karl Freund. Good stuff. Another highlight is the interview segments with special effects wizard Rick Baker. His insights into what Karloff went through to be made-up as the mummy are very interesting.
Mummy Dearest, and the other documentaries in the series, are some of the best DVD extras I've seen. Good work Universal!
Interesting and highly informative documentary short about the making of the classic Universal horror film, The Mummy. This, and other excellent shorts like it, were featured on the original DVD releases of the Universal horror classics. I believe they have been included on subsequent re-releases as well. It goes into great detail about the history of the film's production from its original starting point as a story about Cagliostro through the behind-the-scenes of filming. It focuses a little more on actress Zita Johann than it does on Boris Karloff and practically nothing about the other actors, such as Edward Van Sloan and David Manners. But they had a short runtime to deal with and this is Johann's only Universal horror film so I will cut them slack on that. The other complaint I have is one that I see many others seem to have -- they don't spend much time on the later mummy films. They don't cover them until the last few minutes when narrator Rudy Behlmer quickly runs through them. Perhaps if they had added ten or fifteen minutes to the runtime they would have had a more in-depth film about the entire Mummy series, not just the first film. But anyway, as a documentary about the first film it's excellent and I'm sure Universal horror fans will eat it up. I've watched these DVD docs many times over the years. I'm a big fan of the Universal monsters so I never get tired of watching stuff like this.
Mummy Dearest: A Horror Tradition Unearthed (1999)
*** 1/2 (out of 4)
Nice documentary that was originally released on Universal's DVD of THE MUMMY (1932). The documentary takes various historians and discusses the troubled making of the 1932 film that featured Boris Karloff in his first monster role after becoming a star in FRANKENSTEIN. The documentary covers the painful make-up, the leading ladies hatred for the director and we then get to hear about the sequels that would follow in the 1940s. Historian Rudy Behlmer hosts this documentary and fans of the film are certainly going to eat this up since we get the perfect mixture of clips as well as some great interviews. We get to hear from Sara Karloff who shares her thoughts on the film as well as her memories of what her father told her about it. Rick Baker has some nice comments on the make up in the film and we have others like David Del Valle adding some nice touches. Some could argue that the sequels deserved their own documentary but I think they're given some nice attention here, although I'll admit that I'd like to have heard some of the experts opinions on Chaney, Jr. in the role.
|Ratings||Main details||Your user reviews|
|Your vote history|