Film: The Mummy (1959)

The first Hammer Horror film to feature a Mummy, released in 1959. Directed by Terence Fisher.

In 1895 Egypt, a group of archeologists led by John Banning (Peter Cushing) open the tomb of Princess Ananka (Yvonne Furneaux), despite the warnings of a death curse which will fall upon desecrators. Three years later in England, a vengeful Egyptian man arrives and unleashes the living mummy Kharis (Christopher Lee) on the men. But the mummy's revenge is complicated when he discovers that Banning's wife Isobel is the spitting image of his beloved, long-dead Ananka.

This film has the examples of:

  • Adaptation Distillation: The film condenses the overarching plot of Universal's The Mummy's Hand, The Mummy's Tomb, and The Mummy's Ghost into one movie while removing some major plot holes from the originals.
  • Axe Before Entering: Kharis crashes through doors to get his hands on Joseph Whemple.
  • Big Bad: Mehemet Bay, who is controlling Kharis.
  • Buried Alive: When Kharis was caught trying to bring Ananka back to life after her death in the past, he was punished to be wrapped in a shroud and being entombed alive to guard her in the afterlife.
  • Comicbook Adaptation: The film was adapted into a comic strip form on Hammer's Hall of Horrors magazine.
  • Compressed Adaptation: The film takes elements from all of Universal's Mummy movies and puts them in one package.
  • Drop Dead Gorgeous: A kind of disturbing scene in which the body of Ananka is prepared for burial, with a nude Yvonne Furneaux's naughty bits carefully hidden either by extras or pieces of scenery.
  • Emergency Impersonation: Thanks to her resemblance to late Princess Ananka, John's wife Isobel stops Kharis from strangling her husband by making herself look even more like her (she lets her hair out).
  • Flashback: A lengthy sequence set in Ancient Egypt explains how Anakara was killed and Kharis came to be mummified.
  • The Fundamentalist: Mehemet Bay is a fervent follower of the Karnak religion, and doesn't take it kindly when British archeologist's dig up ancient Egyptian dead and put them in museum.
  • Handicapped Badass: Banning has a bum leg but he doesn't hesitate to go after Kharis with guns, an arrow and his bare hands.
  • I Shall Taunt You: John Banning tricks Mehemet Bay to sic Kharis on him (and consequently, into his trap) by visiting him under a friendly neighbour guise (revealing himself to be still alive in the process), acting snooty and being dismissive about the Karnak religion.
  • The Lost Lenore: Princess Anakara to Kharis.
  • Tongue Trauma: Kharis's tongue was cut from his mouth before he was entombed alive in the past. This also explains why the mummy never makes any noises.
  • Victorian London
  • Zombie Gait: Averted; Kharis moves a lot faster than his Universal-era counterpart.