The Mummy's Tomb

The Mummy's Tomb ★★

Spends the first 10 minutes of its 60 minute running time providing an edited down version of The Mummy’s Hand. The happy ending of that film is soon quashed as Kharis, newly arrived in Mapleton, Massachusetts, after surviving the fire in Egypt 30 years previously, murders an elderly Stephen Banning (Dick Foran trying to look composed in heavy make up) and proceeds to pick off the rest of his family. So, this is a tale of revenge. Also making a brief appearance is George Zucco, having survived the hail of bullets fired at him by Wallace Ford in the previous film, passes the high-priest-in-charge-Kharis torch on to Turhen Bey, before succumbing to the ravages of time. So, this is a fairly bleak sequel. Even Mary Gordon, playing Banning’s sister (moonlighting from the Holmes films where she played Mrs Hudson), gets attacked and killed. Unfortunately, it sounds much more interesting than the pedestrian action delivered by director Harold Young. There is lots of running about by disbelieving cops and a gang of reporters hungry for a story, and there is a sub-plot about the young High Priest falling for Banning son’s insipid, apple-pie fiancée. But it all collapses at the climax, where a torch carrying mob lays siege to the Mummy at the Banning house and sets it on fire — a time-honoured way of getting rid of Universal monsters. Relocating the Mummy to modern America diminishes him as a monster — he just seems weird and out-of-place, particularly in the middle of a world war, which is mentioned a couple of times. A cheap and generally lackadaisical production, it shows that the Universal Monsters’ main curse had become cynicism and lack of care.

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