Revisiting the Classics: THE MUMMY’S SHROUD
Out of all Hammer’s Mummy movies, this one is probably the least known. Terence Fisher’s THE MUMMY had Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing, and THE CURSE OF THE MUMMY’S TOMB rode the former’s coattails. BLOOD FROM THE MUMMY’S TOMB is the one that was supposedly cursed (and would have had Peter Cushing if his wife’s failing health hadn’t forced him to drop out). THE MUMMY’S SHROUD is something like a middle child, sometimes overlooked. That’s a shame, because it’s just as much fun as the others, even if it has some unintentional camp and slapstick. Or maybe *because* it has some unintentional camp and slapstick.
This one skips the standard trope about a reincarnated princess. Instead, the blue-eyed Mummy (portrayed by Christopher Lee’s regular stunt double Eddie Powell) is resurrected after the tomb of a teenage *male* pharaoh is violated, after the evil supposed-to-be-Egyptian-but-obviously-not guardian of the tomb recites a spell from the pharaoh’s burial shroud. From there it’s the standard “the Mummy must kill all the people who desecrated the tomb” formula. The acting, though, is top-notch, as are the costumes, the sets, and the FX. THE MUMMY’S SHROUD was the last movie to be filmed at Bray Studios and the last Hammer film to feature a bandaged mummy, though technically only his hands were bandaged. Other than that he wore a sort of dingy jumpsuit and a creepy mask. It made for an interesting look, different from more familiar onscreen mummies. (The star of the follow-up, BLOOD FROM THE MUMMY’S TOMB, Valerie Leon, wore considerably less—which was a good thing.)
As a curious tidbit, Eddie Powell also played the Alien in several scenes both in ALIEN and ALIENS.
WAYNE MILLER is the owner and creative director of EVIL CHEEZ PRODUCTIONS, specializing in theatrical performances and haunted attractions. He has written, produced, and directed (and occasionally acted in) over two dozen plays, most of them in the Horror and True Crime genres. He obtained a doctorate in Occult Studies from Miskatonic University and is an active paranormal investigator. Is frequently told he resembles Anton Lavey. And Ming the Merciless.
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