In 1920 an archaeological expedition discovers the tomb of an ancient Egyptian child prince. Returning home with their discovery, the expedition members soon find themselves being killed off... Read allIn 1920 an archaeological expedition discovers the tomb of an ancient Egyptian child prince. Returning home with their discovery, the expedition members soon find themselves being killed off by a mummy, which can be revived by reading the words off the prince's burial shroud.In 1920 an archaeological expedition discovers the tomb of an ancient Egyptian child prince. Returning home with their discovery, the expedition members soon find themselves being killed off by a mummy, which can be revived by reading the words off the prince's burial shroud.
It looks good, some of the editing lacks tightness sometimes and the Mummy effects are not very good, but the photography is solid and often wonderful especially in the final thirty minutes, the lighting is suitably eerie and the sets give a sense of time and place very well while also looking great. The music score thunders thrillingly and doesn't feel stock and over-bearing, fitting with the atmosphere appropriately. The murders are inventive and quite grisly, while the first murder is the one with the most punch the most memorable being Longbarrow's. While the best The Mummy's Shroud gets is the final thirty minutes, which is very entertaining and legitimately scary.
Casting and acting-wise, it is a rather mixed bag with a few coming off well. The best performance comes from Michael Ripper, I appreciated that his role was more substantial in comparison to some of his other roles, and he is excellent in it, the tragic nature of the character Longbarrow was so poignantly done and had such pathos that it was easy to feel sympathy for him. John Phillips also stands out as a suitably loathsome villain, while Barbara Sellars matches him more than ideally; the interplay between Phillips is very effectively played by both. David Buck is an appealing hero. Catherine Lacey tries too hard sometimes, but it is clear that she was having fun and she is enjoyable to fun as one of the film's more colourful characters.
Others don't fare so well. Roger Delgardo has a tendency to over-compensate, that it takes one out of the film, his tongue-in-cheek comedic nature too much out of place. Andre Morell was a reliable actor but is completely wasted, no matter how hard he tried to give some serious depth to his character. As truly attractive Maggie Kimberly looks, her acting is very over-theatrical and melodramatic and it does hurt the film sometimes. Lastly the Mummy of the title is badly disadvantaged by the truly laughable and fake look it has(the Egyptians in the opening sequence are also very poorly made up), its far too late and far too short screen time and Eddie Powell's(even more lumbering and anaemic than the worst of Lon Chaney Jnr's interpretation) emotionless and un-menacing performance.
The film takes far too long to get going, with an overlong(did it really need to be seven minutes?) and not always relevant opening scene, with the back-story rather unnecessary. Despite the distinguished delivery, the narration was not really needed, and it should have been a case of more show less tell. The script is very stiff and rambling, with a lot of talk that doesn't do anywhere. The first half is also let down by its draggy pacing, noticeable lack of suspense and horror and a very over-familiar story with a few subplots that either lead nowhere, add little or both.
All in all, an uneven film and one of Hammer's lesser and least accomplished films, but by all means watchable, especially for the final thirty minutes and Ripper's performance. 5/10 Bethany Cox
- Jun 29, 2015