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Revisiting the “Classics”: PHARAOH’S CURSE

With the desert of southern California standing in for Egypt and the Sahara—most unconvincingly standing in, we should add—actors forgetting their lines in the midst of a scene and being saved by their fellow actors, telling them what to do—“Shouldn’t you turn that lamp off?”—lines of dialogue that you’d almost think were written by Ed Wood; and a budget of about eighteen dollars (in today’s money); it’s a guarantee that I would love with a passionate love 1957’s PHARAOH’S CURSE, directed by Lee “Roll ‘em!” Sholem. If you enjoy such fare, there’s no way you won’t love this true cinematic “classic.”

Oh, and the monster is a VAMPIRE MUMMY.

The titular curse is activated when a tomb in the California desert—and you never see the outside of said tomb—is opened by a cutthroat archaeologist (who has a wife with a roving eye whose presence does absolutely nothing to further the plot). The spirit of a dead sorcerer possesses one of the two supposed-to-be Egyptians in the cast and turns him into the bloodsucking revenant. The vampire mummy’s sister is really the cat goddess Bastet. You never see her transform into the creature; all she ever does is stare into the camera and mumble. In the scene wherein her shadow, in monster form, is seen through the canvas wall of a tent, an unseen stagehand merely carries a statue of the goddess, the same statue shown in a previous scene, across the screen! Pure gold.

TheCheezman • December 27, 2018


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