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The Curse of BLOOD FROM THE MUMMY’S TOMB

When I was little, I was simultaneously drawn to and repelled by the Rock band KISS. They fascinated me, but I was terrified of them. This was the high-water mark of the “Satanic Panic,” and I had been assured by adults–and adults were supposed to know what they were talking about–that the members of KISS were practicing Satanists and that the band’s name was an acronym for “Knights in Satan’s Service.” Gene Simmons, “The Demon,” drank cat’s blood onstage! Or the blood of infants, depending on who was telling the story. It was all bullshit, and looking at it now with adult eyes, it’s hard to believe people were dense enough to buy it back in the day. (Actually, no it isn’t. People were stupid then and people are stupid now.) The point is, the very fact that KISS scared me made them more attractive to me. (And not just to me; at the height of the rumors, the band had planned to do a press conference to debunk them, but they cancelled it after they noticed that their record sales were going UP instead of down.) The same phenomenon applies to the Hammer film BLOOD FROM THE MUMMY’S TOMB. I was afraid of it; I, who wasn’t scared of *any* Horror movie, even as a wee tyke (except SALEM’S LOT, which traumatized me). Why? Because BLOOD FROM THE MUMMY’S TOMB was cursed. What if I watched it, and the curse jumped through the TV screen to get at me?!

As with KISS, all the “curse” talk was bullshit. Yes, Peter Cushing’s wife did die just as filming commenced, necessitating his being replaced in the movie, but she had suffered from emphysema for years. (I did some online sleuthing but was unable to discover whether or not she was a smoker, so I can’t say whether or not cigarettes were a factor, but it is known that Peter himself was a heavy partaker for years of the demon tobacco.) And Director Seth Holt died during filming. (They brought in Michael Carrera to finish the project.) But Holt was overweight and a heavy drinker. It wasn’t some curse that killed him; it was natural causes. But, as was the case with KISS, the false but perceived menace attached to the movie made it all the more fascinating to young me. And, if I’m honest, to grown-up me, too.

As for the movie itself, the titular mummy is as much a vampire as she is a mummy, complete with the M.O. of ripping out throats. There is lots of fake blood on display. Just like there is at a KISS concert!

TheCheezman • March 26, 2018


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