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Monday, October 27, 2014

The Mummy (1959)

In 1895 Egypt, an archaeologist (Felix Aylmer) and his brother (Raymond Huntley) discover and enter the tomb of an ancient Egyptian princess. But the princess's tomb is protected by the mummy (Christopher Lee) of a high priest who will exact revenge on those who desecrated the tomb including the archaeologist's son (Peter Cushing). Hammer films had already dipped into the Universal waters of Frankenstein and Dracula and now it was The Mummy's turn at bat. As directed by Hammer's resident horror director Terence Fisher, it's a bit heavy on exposition (including flashbacks) but that's always been the curse of these Mummy movies. On the plus side, it's rich in atmosphere even if it is entirely shot on a sound stage Egypt and studio bound English countryside swamps. Cushing is in his element of course but poor Christopher Lee swathed in bandages and no dialogue doesn't have much to do but minimally act with his eyes. If you're a fan of Hammer horror, it won't disappoint you. With Yvonne Furneaux (LA DOLCE VITA) doing double duty as Cushing's wife and the high priestess Ananka in the flashbacks. Also in the cast: Eddie Byrne and George Pastell.

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