“No man has ever suffered as I did for you.”
A team of archaeologists unearth the mummy (Boris Karloff) of an ancient Egyptian prince, who returns to life and seeks to turn the reincarnation of his former love (Zita Johann) into his eternal mate.
Response to Peary’s Review:
Peary argues that this classic Universal horror flick — which is “loved by many horror fans” — has “visual beauty” (D.P. Karl Freund directed), but “moves along at a snail’s pace” after its “unforgettable”, truly terrifying opening sequences. Part of the problem, as Peary notes, is that “Karloff never again appears in mummy’s get-up” (though his make-up as modern-day ‘Ardath Bey’ is impressively gruesome in itself); and that “when he uses mind-control over Johann and the men who challenge him, the scenes seem [like] watered-down versions of similar scenes from Dracula” (I actually find them reasonably compelling). Peary labels the film “overrated”, but acknowledges that “there’s little doubt it’s the best of the crummy mummy subgenre”; astonishingly (or perhaps not), he lists no other titles from the franchise in his book. While I’m a tad more enthusiastic about this quietly creepy horror outing than Peary, I’ll concede it’s ultimately less memorable than its more famous counterparts; but it’s atmospherically shot, and Jack Pierce’s make-up really is impressive. Film fanatics won’t want to miss checking it out at least once.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Boris Karloff as Im-ho-tep and Ardath Bey
- Zita Johann as Helen
- Jack Pierce’s truly impressive mummy make-up
- Atmospheric cinematography
Yes, as a classic title from Universal’s Golden Age of Horror.