Jonathan Harker begets the ire of Count Dracula after he accepts a job at the vampire's castle under false pretenses, forcing his colleague Dr. Van Helsing to destroy the predatory villain when he targets Harker's loved ones.
Baron Frankenstein is once again working with illegal medical experiments. Together with a young doctor, Karl and his fiancée Anna, they kidnap the mentally sick Dr. Brandt, to perform the ... See full summary »
When Castle Dracula is exorcised by the Monsignor, it accidentally brings the Count back from the dead. Dracula follows the Monsignor back to his hometown, preying on the holy man's beautiful niece and her friends.
In the 1890s a team of British archaeologists discover the untouched tomb of Princess Ananka but accidentally bring the mummified body of her High Priest back to life. Three years later back in England a follower of the same Egyptian religion unleashes the mummy to exact grisly revenge on the despoilers of the sacred past.Written by
A door through which Sir Christopher Lee must crash was accidentally bolted by a grip before the scene was shot. Lee's shoulder was dislocated when he broke down the door, but the shot remains in the movie. See more »
When the mummy re-enters his coffin, he crosses his fore-arms. Crossed fore-arms in ancient Egypt was a sign of royalty and not for a priest. See more »
England's Hammer Studios existed primarily as a distributor--until the low budget 1955 THE QUATERMASS EXPERIMENT suddenly put the studio on the map. Sensing an untapped market, Hammer began to develop similar titles and by the early 1960s developed a style that mixed Victorian sets and costumes with bouffant hairstyles, bared breasts, and lots of blood. The films were largely responsible for jolting the horror genre back to life on both sides of the Atlantic, as popular in the United States as they were in England.
Released in 1959, THE MUMMY was among Hammer's earliest color films and helped lay out the visual style that come to dominate "Hammer Horror" for more than a decade. Drawing from Universal's 1932 THE MUMMY and 1940 THE MUMMY'S HAND, it opens with a band of Victorian-era archaeologists in Egypt, where they discover the lost tomb of Princess Ananka--and in the process unleash a mummy cursed to guard her throughout eternity. It is a curse that follows the men back to England, where they are stalked to their deaths one by one.
Director Terence Fisher and cinematographer Jack Asher worked a number of Hammer films, including the earlier HORROR OF Dracula and REVENGE OF FRANKENSTEIN. Although some of the lighting may give you pause--judging from all the backlighting and colored filters it would seem the ancient Egyptians had mood lighting installed in their tombs--their efforts result in a series of truly arresting visuals; in their hands, bright color is no obstacle to moodiness. The cast plays it out extremely well, with the lovely Yvonne Furneaux a classic Hammer beauty, Peter Cushing as her archaeologist husband, and (yes, the posture and bearing really is unmistakable) Christopher Lee under wraps for the title role.
The DVD contains no extras beyond the original trailer, and although the transfer is not pristine it is nonetheless very good indeed. Hammer Horror may not save the world, but it is often a lot of fun--and THE MUMMY is easily among the studio's best. Recommended.
GFT, Amazon Reviewer
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