A bit slow off the mark, The Curse of the Mummy (1964) will keep Hammer fans happy, says DAVID SAUNDERSON
TITLE: The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb
YEAR RELEASED: 1964
DIRECTOR: Michael Carreras
CAST: Terence Morgan, Ronald Howard and Fred Clark
It’s 1900 and British archaeologists, backed by a loudmouth American investor/promoter, discover a treasure trove of artefacts during an expedition to Egypt, including a mummy’s sarcophagus!
While the film is slow to get started, The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb eventually gets into some good old Mummy killing when someone uses an amulet to revive the bandaged beast.
We discover the Mummy is the murdered son of a Pharaoh, who unlike other mummies, was not killed for doing something wrong. like Boris Karloff or Christopher Lee in their Mummy outings.
The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb builds to be quite gruesome and intense.
The Mummy, played by Dickie Owen, works his way around killing everyone (in a reasonably swaggering, non-mummy way!), including crushing a head under foot!
The only real downside to the film all the anachronisms, so many in fact, the filmmakers didn’t seem to fact check anything.
But having said that, the story with its surprise reveal at the end makes it a fun ride and has some impressive sets. Just don’t think too much.
Michael Carreras produced and directed this film. He also wrote the script under the name Henry Younger, but because union rules at the time meant the one person couldn’t be credited with doing all that. He had to use a pen name. Incidentally, Henry Younger was a play on Anthony Hind’s pen name John Elder.
The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb was followed by The Mummy’s Shroud in 1967, which proved to be a sometime interesting, if less rewarding, sequel.