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.
- 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.