Film: The Mummy (1959)

The first Hammer Horror film to feature a Mummy, released in 1959.

In 1895 Egypt, a group of archeologists led by John Banning (Peter Cushing) open the tomb of Princess Ananka, 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.

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.
  • 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.