Ah, Hammer Horror…such a British institution for so many years. It may be a shadow of its former self nowadays but the films from its heyday are still revered as classic horror movies. Even if most wouldn’t scare an infant (The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb only has a 12-age rating) now.
The second in the mummy series from Hammer Horror doesn’t really share any connections with the 1959 first movie. The cast, while decent, doesn’t have the same pull as the likes of Peter Cushing & Christopher Lee. It lacks dramatic moments, something Hammer always seemed to get right.
Three Egyptologists discover a mummy while unearthing ancient artefacts in Egypt. Before they can celebrate they are attacked by desert protectors who don’t wish to see the mummy disturbed. Regardless the mummy & other artefacts are transported back to London. Therethe backer of the archaeological dig plans to make money off them by sensationalising the stories surrounding them.
John Bray (played by Ronald Howard) who was one of the Egyptologists & his fiancé Annette Dubois (played by Jeanne Roland) meet the mysterious Adam Beauchamp (played by an excellent Terence Morgan). His interest in the dig & the artefacts seem to go much further than simple curiosity.
Annette is happy to oblige but John is suspicious but polite…as only British people can be.
He has good reason to be wary though, as Adam soon takes a deeper interest in Annette who laughably falls head over heels in love with him almost instantly.
Aside from all this emotion-led drama the mummy wakes up & goes on a bit of a killing rampage. Everyone who was involved in the dig seems to be his target. Is it really the curse or is someone controlling it?
The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb is every bit as silly as it sounds. Rarely when watching Hammer horror do you feel like the film is veering dangerously close to comedy but here it almost goes over the edge. The cast play their roles with such vigour & such passion that it becomes almost unbelievable that they wouldn’t have been thinking that some of the scenes were just too absurd.
It’s a slow burner of a movie spending large chunks dealing with the history of the mummy. These moments aren’t exactly thrilling & it spends fat too much time attempting to side-track you from being suspicious of Adam. It doesn’t work. From the moment he shows up you know he’s involved & amazingly the film ruins its own shock finale just moments before it actually happens!
All of that aside though, The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb does still have a bit of charm about it. It’s certainly not a boring flick & the mummy itself looks pretty damn cool. Not the best that Hammer Horror has to offer but certainly not the worst.
The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb