One of THE most interesting sequences in this film is when the Princess awakens in the bog (due to the sunlight), and slowly rises to her feet, totally covered with mud, and staggers to town. A very dramatic scene!
The Mummy's Curse (1944)
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One of THE most interesting sequences in this film is when the Princess awakens in the bog (due to the sunlight), and slowly rises to her feet, totally covered with mud, and staggers to town. A very dramatic scene!
It tells the story of our mummy once against being brought back to seek out his reincarnated lost love. This time however after the events of the last film she is suffering from amnesia and every one in her life is in terrible danger.
Oddly the quality of this franchise in regards to cinematography has been inconsistent and this is one of the worst. Combine that with some hammy performances and yet again the movie cannot rise above being distinctly average stuff.
Despite all this the entire franchise has had a certain charm, but I think 4 movies were sufficient especially considering how similiar they all are.
A fitting finale.
Carries on the story nicely
Timelines of the series make no sense
Cinematography has dipped
Much of the plot is confusing
Things I Learnt From This Movie:
Everyone who wears a Fez is evil
Amnesiacs are a great source of free labour
I can't take a character seriously if they're wearing a safari hat!
Now we're into the locale; "Ghost" ended with Kharis and Ananka lost in a Massachusetts swamp, Ananka's beauty having withered into an ages old hag before the waters of the swamp claimed the two lovebirds. Now we've shifted to the Louisiana bayou country and the site of an industrial project - "The devil's on the loose and he's dancin' with the mummy!" We're signaled to the emergence of the Kharis legend by the first appearance of a dead body, but has anyone noticed that the laborer Antoine died with a knife in his back? Kharis always did his dirty work with his left hand, leaving bandage mold behind on the neck of his victims.
I must say though, the resurrection of Princess Ananka was inspired and a classic piece of work, as she slowly and gradually crawls out of the dirt of the swamp, her twenty five year old mud pack having worked wonders for her complexion - and all without benefit of a tana leaf brew! Speaking of which, the tana leaf legacy gets a slight reworking in this film as well, it takes three leaves to keep Kharis' heart beating and nine to give him life and movement.
As Ananka, Virginia Christine is a quick study, note that in all the Mummy films, none of the victims ever figured it out like Ananka - RUN AWAY FROM THE MONSTER! Hey, how great would it have been though, when Dr. Halsey (Dennis Moore) and Betty Walsh (Kay Harding), discover the collapsed Ananka on the side of a swamp road(?) and the creature not far behind in pursuit, if The Mummy had actually overcome the scientist, picked up Ananka and drove away in the car? It would not have been any zanier than the actual outcome.
Finally, is it possible that Egyptian high priests just have no self discipline? George Zucco's Andoheb, Turhan Bey's Mehemet, John Carradine's Yousef, and now Martin Kosleck's Ragheb falls under the spell of a pretty woman, all breaking their vows to deliver Kharis and Ananka to their final resting place.
Eventually, Lon Chaney's Kharis creates his own undoing, destroying the monastery where Ananka's sarcophagus is held, with the rubble of the building crashing down on top of him. But it was with a sense of "It's not too late to do this at least one more time" that I viewed the ending, Kharis has gotten out of a lot tougher scrapes than this one.
If you can't tell by now, my sarcasm for the Mummy series is done tongue in cheek, because the films are a blast and a sheer joy for lovers of old classic horror. While the original "Mummy" deserves it's place in the Universal pantheon of terrific characters along with Frankenstein, Dracula, and the Wolfman, the sequel Mummy's are best enjoyed on a somewhat different level, one that requires a stronger disengagement from reality and definitely allowing a chuckle or two.
Kharis is on the loose again. Of course, being on the loose for this mummified foot-dragger means he's a danger only to those too dumb to run. Fortunately, these movies are loaded with slow-learners. Actually, this is one of the better of the series, with lots of shadowy atmosphere and a really nubile Mrs. Folger otherwise known as Princess Ananka (Virginia Christine). No wonder Kharis is so anxious to carry her off, especially in that flowing white gown. I'd trade for his bandages and gimpy foot any day. And catch her rising jerkily from the swamp. These moves are enough to make you doubt whether she's human or not.
Too bad the rest of the cast seems at times to be sleep walking, except for Addison Richards (Maj. Walsh) and Kay Harding (Betty) who manage some lively personality. Peter Coe is a particularly unfortunate choice as the high priest. He sounds about as scary and exotic as my next-door neighbor. But who cares. It's old tangle foot and the moody gloom that keeps fans like me tuned in.
At the close of the previous film, "The Mummy's Ghost" Kharis and the reincarnated Princess Ananka are seen descending into a swamp located in New England. As this film opens we find out that they have magically been transported to the Louisiana bayous. Anyway, it seems that a certain swamp is about to be drained and the locals fear that the ancient mummy will be dredged up. As luck would have it, he is.
Dr. James Halsey (Dennis Moore) along with colleague Dr. Ilzer Zandaab (Peter Coe) have come to the area to recover the two mummies for a museum. Dr. Zandaab turns out to be the latest in along line of Egyptian High Priests charged with returning Kharis and Ananka to Egypt. Zandaab along with assistant Raghab (Martin Kosleck) revives Kharis (Chaney) in an old abandoned church and instructs him to find the Princess Ananka and to kill anyone who gets in his way. This he does.
Meanwhile Ananka (Virginia Christine) climbs out of the bayou and wanders aimlessly through the countryside. She is befriended and taken in by the locals. Eventually Kharis finds her and takes her back to Zantaab and.......
The film features a flashback sequence lifted in tact from "The Mummy's Hand" (1940) which itself was largely made up from footage taken from "The Mummy" (1932). In this sequence we see Tom Tyler as the unbandaged Kharis. The slim and muscular Tyler bore little resemblance to the heavier Chaney.
Watch for two veterans of the silent screen, William Farnum and Charlie Stevens in minor roles.
The Mummy was resurrected briefly for 1955's "Abbott & Costello Meet The Mummy".
One redeeming quality is Virginia Christine's first appearance as the reincarnated Princess Ananka. Her resurrection sequence from a muddy swamp is not only the high spot of this picture, but it's one of the best in the entire saga. By the way, what's interesting is that if keen viewers of THE MUMMY'S HAND recognized from a quick hotel receipt shot that the story began in 1940, and then you add up the "30 years" later of THE MUMMY'S TOMB & THE MUMMY'S GHOST, and top it off with the "25 years later" of THE MUMMY'S CURSE, you'd see that this entry would take place in 1995 ... !?!?
** out of ****
It's been some 20 years since Kharis and the Princess were swallowed up by the Louisiana swamps as they were chased by any angry mob of local Cajuns who just had about enough of them and, on Kharis's part, their murderous antics. Now brought back to life Kharis is, with Dr. Llzor's help, more then ever determined to get his Princess back and together with her get on the first boat back to Cairo Egypt even if it kills him, and anyone who dares to stands in his way, to do it!
Incredibly slow moving with his body bandaged up from head to toe it's amazing that Kharis could catch anyone in the movie even if they were just standing still! In fact Kharis' first victim Michael, William Farnm, the self-appointed caretaker of the monastery that Kharis, with the help of Dr. Llzor & Reheb, made his home just stood there with him not as much as moving a muscle until Kharis got his hands on him! As Kharis was soon to find out that as much as he wanted Princess Ananka she seemed totally uninterested in him. Having like Khris come back from the dead the Princess got the hang of modern living, with all its conveniences, and had no interest of going back to jolly old Egypt to spent the rest of eternity with Kharis sealed up in an air-tight ancient Egyptian burial chamber!
***SPOILER*** It was the sneaky and sex crazed Reheb in him wanting to get it on with Dr. James Halsey's, Dennis Moore, pretty assistant Betty Walsh (Kay Harding), who both discovered the amnesic Princess Anana in the Louisiana swamps, that in the end spoiled everything! Not being able to control his overactive libido Reheb made a mess of everything in defiling, by his uncontrollable lust, the laws of Amon-Ra the ancient Egyptian God and was made to pay the consequences for doing that. But not until Reheb finished off his "Master" Dr. Llzor and destroyed the Tana Leaves that kept Khris alive. Mad as hell and not going to take it anymore in Rebeb making a monkey out of him Khrais went totally berserk not only doing Rebeb in but himself as well!
P.S In the flashbacks in the movie Khris is played by the legendary Boris Karloff in clips from Karloff's original 1932 Mummy classic aptly titled "The Mummy".
This was the fourth and final mummy movie from universal. The original Mummy film came out in 1932 around the same time as Dracula and Frankenstein right during Universal's heyday. The first sequel was made in 1940 and all the rest were made between 1940 and 1944. Other then the fact that it is about a mummy, the sequels have no resemblance to that original film. The mummy doesn't even have the same name. The four sequels do,more or less,run in a continuum.
The story takes place 25 years after the first film in the bayous of Louisiana. Kharis,the mummy, and the mummified Princess Ananka went down in this swamp as we know from the previous film. This film has one exception to the otherwise continuous flow from the previous three films. In the prior film, they went down in a swamp in Massachussetts. Somehow they end up in a swamp in Louisiana! We have men with too different motives here. Mr. Walsh, the head of an excavation company that is draining the swamp and the archaeologist,Dr. Halsey, who wants to use this opportunity to recover the mommy from the swamp. Mister Walsh does not believe in the 'curse of the mummy' mumbo jumbo and doesn't want Dr. Halsey and his crew to interfere with his work.
Meanwhile, little does Dr. Halsey know that his assistant,Dr. Ilzor Zandaab, is actually a high priest who revives the mummy with tana leaves. In the process, Princes Ananka also rises from the mud of the swamp. This is actually a rather impressive scene! The curse is lifted from her and she once again becomes a normal women. She does not know where she is or what had happened to her. The mummy kharis goes after her and kills anybody that gets in his way. Dr. Halsey defeats the high priest and falls in love with Mr. Walsh's niece who works as his secretary.
The first mummy film was a classic right up there with Frankenstein, and Dracula(I personally like it better than Dracula). The sequels are not a classic like the original but they really were not meant to be. They were 'b' films. That being said, they are still enjoyable to watch. If one takes it literally, it is hard to believe that this took place 25 years after the previous film. If one follows the chronology of the four films, they would be in the 1990's. Probably not too convincing.
In The Mummy's Curse, Virginia delivers what is unquestionably the best moment in this post-Karloff series, and (aside from One-Take Zucco and his hair) perhaps the best performance in the series overall. Virginia takes a slight script and actually does something with it, something better than the material deserves, and far above anyone else (Martin Kosleck excepted) in the cast of Curse.
I don't mind saying that when I first saw this film long ago I fell for Virginia pretty hard. Not because she would have given Rita Hayworth any competition in a beauty contest, but because she's a Real Actress, and brings to Ananka a vulnerability and exotic mystery that is mighty attractive to a ten-year-old. And then, there's that MOMENT the one that appears on so many "Top Ten Moments in Horror" lists (Forrest J Ackerman, as I recollect, did not neglect to put it on some sort of list). Any Universal horror fan knows the one I mean: when Princess Ananka crawls out of her Bayou grave into the light of the sun and struggles unsteadily to her feet the weariness of three thousand years in her bones pulls herself erect in regal mud-caked dignity, walks life back into herself, and then gratefully sinks into the cleansing waters of the Louisiana Nile THAT moment. In that scene, and the ones that follow, Virginia Christine joins the legendary sub-Pantheon of Scream Queens populated by the likes of Kathleen Burke, Carroll Borland, Elsa Lanchester, Simone Simon, Elena Verdugo, Barbara Steele and Marilyn Burns (match the goddess to the classic, kiddies). Memories of these ladies will bring a smile to the faces of many an aging Horror Baby until well, until the last of us croaks, which should be any day now.
But The Mummy's Curse is Virginia's movie. Everyone else is just lurching around. Dennis Moore can't seem to find a costume that fits, Peter Coe flails painfully for an appropriate reaction and just misses every time, and Chaney What must he have been thinking about the whole thing? Alas, it is not to be known from his on-screen behavior. But Virginia you saved it, honey.
The rest is basically Lon Chaney's Kharis strangling his way through the cast of characters when they get in the way of his reunion with Ananka. Even if you've seen the previous movies very little of the story makes sense. The swamp into which he sank in The Mummy's Ghost has mysteriously moved from New England to Louisiana; Ananka for some reason is given life and health by the sun (unexplained, though possibly something to do with Amon-Ra being a Sun God), she frequently runs away from her mummified suitor and then calls for him when he's not around (the soul of the princess presumably coming and going at will - or when the script-writers needed it). Chaney lumbers through the part. He publicly stated he hated the role, but in truth there isn't really anything inventive for him to do.
This is still an atmospheric little B-movie for all its plot inconsistencies. Some nice moonlit shots of the Mummy lurching down the steps of the abandoned monastery and a good sequence where Kharis almost reaches a car containing Ananka before it speeds away just in time. Universal don't really, er, wrap things up with the end, which seems to suggest another sequel was just around the corner. The Mummy's Curse would prove to be last in the series. At least until Abbott and Costello roughed him up!
** 1/2 (out of 4)
Twenty-plus years after the events in the previous film, another high priest enters the Louisiana swamps to bring Kharis (Lon Chaney, Jr.) back from the dead. This time out Princess Ananka (Virginia Christine) comes back to life but can't fully remember why she knows so much about Kharis. Soon the mummy is trying to track her down and is willing to kill anyone who stands in his way.
THE MUMMY'S CURSE would be the last of the Universal mummy movies until Abbott and Costello would bring him back towards the end of their careers. I think the film is an improvement over the previous entry and thankfully the movie runs at an extremely fast-pace and manages to provide several good moments. There are several fun moments throughout but one of the highlights has to be the Louisiana setting. I thought the swamp setting added a lot of atmosphere to the picture and there's no question that it help the entertainment value. Another great scene happens early on when the priest and his servant brings the mummy back to life.
Chaney probably gives his best performance of his three mummy roles here, although that might not be saying too much since he's pretty limited as to what he can actually do. Instead of just stumbling around, at least this time out he appears to be into what he's doing. Peter Coe makes for a good lead and Chrstine certainly fits her role nicely. Another plus is the make-up from Jack Pearce who manages to make the mummy look a lot better than the previous two films.
THE MUMMY'S CURSE certainly doesn't have a great story or anything but there are still many good moments that make it worth seeking out. The most famous scene happens to be the one where Princess Ananka rises from her grave and it's still quite chilling to watch after all these years.
The acting is decent while Kosleck gives a very slimy performance as a perverted Kharis follower.Chaney isn't given much except to stumble around and do some one armed strangling.The sets are nicely done as well. The scene where the princess breaks out of the ground is excellent.
The characters are cardboard and there is some offensive racial stereotyping typical of the 40's.What I want to know is why don't folks run from Kharis? He moves like a tortoise. Dance around the walking ragpile, grab a torch and roast marshmellows with him.He's thousands of years old! He'll go up in a heartbeat.
This movie doesn't require or deserve a lot of thought.It clocks in at 59 minutes so if you have an hour to kill it won't hurt you.Average.
This fourth and final Mummy film to feature Kharis is the best example of milking a formula to death. It's good enough, but Lon Chaney hated playing the mummy and it shows more here than in the other outings. He sulks through the film with no impact, presumably only interested in a paycheck.
There is a dynamite scene featuring the resurrection of Kharis' princess, but that highlight is overshadowed by routine and familiar situations. It's also dull to see the mummy constantly coming within seconds of grabbing his girl, only to lose her again and again and again during the prolonged chase in this feature.
It's interesting to note that this film by all rights would be taking place in 1995!!! THE MUMMY'S HAND took place in 1940; THE MUMMY'S TOMB and MUMMY'S GHOST both took place 30 years after, which would be 1970; THE MUMMY'S CURSE occurs still 25 (!!) years after THAT (1995?)
You could do a lot worse than watching this movie, but it's really too much of a good thing in the long run.
How did they end up in Louisiana? All we know is the townspeople and the sheriff's office (supposedly) chased Kharis and Ananka to Louisiana but the last film was set in Massachusetts... they chased them that far??? LOL The one major flaw with The Mummy's Curse but the film is fine otherwise.
If can go with or overlook the strange explanation given and can get into the idea of The Mummy ending up in Louisiana then you will find the film is is really just about as good of a B-Film as rest of the films in this series. Kharis can finally rest in peace.
The mummified one-armed strangler returns as Kharis(Lon Chaney Jr)once again seeks his mate, Princess Ananka(the beautiful Virginia Christine, who rises from the earth in the film's best sequence)who is reincarnated and listless. Somehow, both Kharis and Ananka find themselves in the bayou of Louisiana after having went into a swamp in New England..how this possibly could occur is never established. It's been 25 years, and the village folk..the whole superstitious lot..are scared senseless of the myth of a bandaged killer and his princess bride. Museum curator James Halsey(Dennis Moore)and his assistant Ilzor Zandab(Peter Coe)are searching for the remains of Kharis and Ananka for their new museum which drives Pat Walsh(Addison Richards)crazy. You see Pat is the foreman behind a great excavation project draining the swamp so that citizens can have a much safer environment to live(..and of course opening the door for future businesses to enter in), but the workers are worried sick about being killed by the mummy. It doesn't help matters when one of the workers is found with a knife in his back. Later we find that Ilzor is the new High Priest of Arkham, yet another "middle man" who commands his servant lackey Ragheb(Martin Kosleck)to feed Tana leave stew to Kharis so that he can find and nab Ananka wherever she may be. A body count escalates as anyone who tries to protect a bewildered Ananka(suffering a case of amnesia, not knowing exactly who she is)suffers the suffocating grasp of Kharis. But, what Ilzor doesn't know is that Ragheb will, of course, betray him desiring to take Pat's niece Betty(Kay Harding), a secretary for her uncle who falls in love with Halsey. Where the Egyptian crypts for Kharis and Ananka reside in the ruins of a monastery, where the climax takes place as Ragheb will face those he betrayed..Ilzor and Kharis as the mummy finally captures Ananka. Will Ragheb be able to control the mummy for himself? Will Ragheb hurt Betty? Will Kharis finally return with his bride to Egypt with Ilzor where they belong?
The film has atmosphere to burn and excellent use of shadow as we see the image of the mummy draw near(also, the film uses the sound of Kharis' dragging foot to full effect), but has a lackluster premise that is essentially Kharis killing people in an alarming rate at a slow speed searching for Ananka, who seems to faint a hell of a lot. Peter Coe as Ilzor is yet another dull block-of-wood in a series of wooden villains who command Kharis to kill. Kosleck is a smallish fiend who isn't that imposing. Christine is fine as the unfortunate princess who has a hard time understanding the horrors swirling around her. But, the film's bread-and-butter is Ananka's rising from the earth burying her..it's an eerie scene, perfectly chilling, that the film as a whole couldn't accomplish.
The curtain closes on a poor, run-of-the-mill, uninspired series.
Having been magically transported to a Louisiana bayou, Kharis spends what seems like most of the picture going through the rigmarole of chasing after the apparently scatterbrained Princess Ananka, who's calling his name one minute then running from him the next (just like any normal bride I imagine). The scene that left me in awe during all of this is when Dr. Halsey and Betty Walsh--the typically dull romantic leads--spot Ananka passed out in the woods and carry her to the doc's car. Kharis is creeping up right behind them during this entire scene but somehow the two drips never happen to glance up & spot the over 6 foot tall, hulking lurch in the bandages. Those mummy wrappings must make for some darn good camouflage.
I've always felt that as far as classic Universal monsters went, there was the big three--Dracula, Wolf Man, The Monster--and then there was the rest, particularly the mummy. The Universal Studios of the 1940s apparently had the same opinion of Kharis, content to just churn out second-rate features to tack on at the bottom of a double-bill. But, taken for what they are, the Kharis films can be enjoyable B-movie fodder.
Besides, any film that contains such immortal dialogue as "The Devil's on the loose and he's dancin' with the Mummy" can't be all bad. :-]
MUMMY'S CURSE finds our happy mummy couple mysteriously unearthed in the bayous of Louisiana. Ananka, in a pretty effective scene, rises from the mud and stumbles to a small town, where she is befriended by the locals. Kharis finally drags himself free of the mud but he's still in moldy Mummy form. When he eventually catches up with Ananka, she realizes that a future with Kharis, sealed in a dusty Egyptian tomb, chasing around his little mummy brats, just isn't for her anymore. There are some problems with another meddling high priest and yadda yadda yadda Kharis ends up bringing down the house...right on his own head.
Lon Chaney does a great job as Kharis. He actually manages to convey some emotion through the make-up, and there are a few times when the mummy is portrayed as a relentless, unstoppable juggernaut of destruction. There is a tiny bit of humor and more suspense than I was expecting .
There is nothing classic about these movies, they were made quickly and cheaply and it shows. But they give you what all b movies should: an hour or so of decent, escapist entertainment.
Years after the events of before, Pat Walsh, (Addison Richards) the captain of an excavation crew, plans to drain the swamp. The local workers, a group of Cajuns, are superstitious about the mummy legend surrounding the area. When they find Kharis, (Lon Chaney Jr.) at the bottom of a swamp, Dr. Halsey, (Dennis Moore) of the Scripps Museum has plans to locate the bodies and display them in the museum against the wishes of Walsh. Halsey's assistant Illzor, (Peter Coe) is the High Priest of Arkam and secretly uses Tana leaves to resurrect Kharis. Soon, the revived Princess Ananka, (Virginia Christine) rises from the swamp, albeit not as a mummy but as a beautifully rejuvenated young lady suffering from amnesia. Though Ananka finds him repulsive, Kharis stalks her according to the wishes of Illzor, killing the local townspeople who stand in his way. As crew-members begin to drop off with telltale mold on their necks, Halsey intervenes and tries to get to the bottom of this mess before more people are killed.
The Good News: One of the film's greatest strengths is it's one real stand-out scene when Ananka rises from the mud. Her resurrection from the drained swamp is one of the most impressive, and downright odd, sequences in the entire series. Caked in dried clay, she struggles to break loose from her burial place and then staggers blindly through the woods, her head turned upward to the blazing sun as it glows through her closed eyelids, until finally she descends slowly into the water to cleanse herself. This scene is startlingly effective, and is without a doubt the most memorable thing about it. This is such a strangely beautiful, almost surreal sequence. One thing the movie does get right is that it gets around the problem of having the slow-moving Mummy catch people by having his victims practically stumble into his arms so that he can strangle them without a problem. In one encounter, there's the fact that when one victim first bumps into him where you can see the dust rise from his body, which is a very nice touch, but by having it where the victims come to him it makes it a lot more exciting. The story does have an interesting twist to it, though, that shouldn't lightly be passed over. That is that Princess Ananka really doesn't want to return to the tomb back in her homeland to be Kharis' lover anymore and the fact that she craves the sun puts an interesting spin on things. There's a whole cult of priests exists to make sure her rest is not disturbed, and she's not in the mood to rest. Just as clever is how when she comes to, she seemingly remembers nothing and is still a cognizant human being. She's not some innocent who has been possessed by the spirit of Ananka. For all intents and purposes, she really is Princess Ananka, and for once, not the other way around, which is a real treat. This change is enough to give it a different feel, and is one that really fits in the film. These manage to make the film watchable and quite fun.
The Bad News: This here is a rather decent entry in the series, and has some overall problems with it. The biggest one is that this is a virtual remake of its predecessor. Like that film, this one concerns an Egyptian priest who travels to America, falls in love with a local girl and attempts to use the secrets of eternal life to secure their future. The girl's fiancée fights against the union, as does Kharis, who, aside from killing local townspeople, is actually a good monster at heart. This is virtually the same as the other entries and offers up nothing new to be seen. As such, this film feels like the product of an assembly line, barely indistinguishable from its predecessors. The mummy slinks around as usual, killing several people with the choke of his hand. Nobody is ever able to outrun Kharis, despite the fact that he can barely walk. Most of them don't even try because they are apparently paralyzed with fear. Another big problem centers around the titular creature. It often seems like the Mummy's curse in this movie is to cloud the peripheral vision of other characters. In the scene where Princess Ananka is rescued from the side of the road and driven away, nobody who rescues her can see Kharis who is only a couple of feet away. They don't even spot him in the rear-view mirror of the car. This is simply ludicrous, as there's hardly any way that a shambling mummy is going to be unnoticed by a large amount of witnesses. It just doesn't make any sense, and is handled so poorly that it only seems to aggravate more than anything. Unfortunately, it seems like a waste of time having the mummy both catch Princess Ananka and kill anyone who gets in his way. Every time he stops to kill someone, it gives Ananka a chance to get away. Significantly, the time the mummy finally does catch Ananka, he doesn't bother to kill the accompanying woman. This problems keep the film down in the series.
The Final Verdict: This wasn't as bad as it could've been, but it's still got it's problems and in the end is merely respectable. It's nothing new for the series, so if it sounds like fun, give it a shot, but you won't miss anything by skipping it.
Today's Rating-PG: Violence