In light of this being horror film legend Boris Karloff’s birthday today, we ask the question: What is your favourite Boris Karloff film?
With so many to choose from, I have had a hard choice to make. I went with The Mummy (1932) for various reasons.
Firstly, it is the first time we see Boris in a gentlemanly-like role rather than a the brutish monster. Only on the screen as the embalmed mummy Im-ho-tep for mere seconds, the majority of the film sees him under the guise of Ardeth Bey, a refined Egyptian gentleman. His smooth but clearly evil manner is chilling.
The film also has some great lines, the best of which, following The Mummy’s escape from his sarcophagus see one of the archeologists go nuts.
“He went for a little walk!” the crazed archeologist rants over and over. It’s funny but off-putting at the same time.
The Mummy is overshadowed by Frankenstein (1931) and Dracula (1931) but it should not be overlooked.
We expect nowadays to see Mummy films with great big bandage hulks staggered slowly around chasing their prey. The Mummy (1932), however, only has Karloff in bandages for a few seconds. It is a very different film to the Universal Mummy films that came afterwards with the likes of Lon Chaney Jr.
To my mind, The Mummy (1932) is practically a remark of Dracula (1931) right down to the two films’s shring the opening music of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake. The Mummy also includes a dark but classy undead figure who is seeking unrequited love.
Yet despite this, I thought the film was marvellous when I first saw it as a teenager.
I was in Egypt a couple of years ago and on my last day we were in Saqqara, which is supposed to be the finally resting place of the real Im-Ho-Tep. I had been inside the Tomb of King Tut and travelled to some of the most striking monuments ever constructed by mankind. But journeying to Saqqara and seeing Im-Ho-Tep was there was a big hightlight of the tour for me because I’m a such fan of The Mummy (1932).
Anyway, there’s lots of great Boris Karloff films. I invite you to tell us you favourite in the comments below.