Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Mummy (1959)

Director: Terence Fisher

Starring: Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Yvonne Furneaux, Michael Ripper

More info: IMDB

Tagline: Torn from the tomb to terrify the world!

Plot: 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.

My rating: 8/10

Will I watch it again? Yup.

#10 on Hammer Horror (1957-1976)

Just from Hammer Studio's output from '57-'59 you could tell that they were something special. They had some real talent behind and in front of the camera. The films still hold up today, more than fifty years later. The makeup effects for the mummy are fantastic!

Let's far in two years Lee has been Frankenstein's monster, Dracula and now the mummy. Gee, what's next? His mummy is an unstoppable force. He bursts through doors and obstacles like they were toys. He doesn't hesitate to kill. There's one great kill where he slams through a door, scurries over to the guy and picks him up by the throat with one hand, chokes him and lets him drop. Nice.

Cushing's role is not as juicy as his previous Hammer roles but he's still delightful to watch. Sadly, James Bernard is not on board for the score but Franz Reizenstein's music doesn't disappoint and has a similar orchestration to Bernard's.

Overall Hammer has done another bang-up job with a classic horror film character. They've even managed to push the envelope when it comes to sexuality and nudity.

Most people, rightfully so, tend to think of Hammer for the Dracula and Frankenstein pictures but they did so much more as you'll see in the coming weeks. So far, of the ten films I've seen and re-visited for this blog, they've all been very good to excellent but with one exception - THE BRIDES OF DRACULA (1960). Going through the list I've just seen #'s 11 and 12 and I've previously seen #'s 13, 16 & 17 - they're all really good flicks. The bottom line is Hammer was THE studio of the late 50s and 60s for horror and they did it very well. You would do yourself a disservice to pass them up in favor of much of today's dreck Hollywood is putting out.

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