When the scarabs are poured over Imhotep, they appear to begin devouring him gradually, a fact which Evelyn later confirms, stating that the beetles devoured a corpse "very slowly." However, whenever the scarabs devour anyone else later on in the film, they do so almost instantaneously.
At that point they're not just bugs anymore, they're one of the horrible curses that Imhotep is causing with his existence.
Also, you have to assume that they've got to chew through his many layers of bandages first...
When they're eating a corpse, the killer scarabs are free to take their time. When they're making one, they don't bother to swallow, just chew the person up as fast as possible so their prey won't escape.
It's outright stated several times in the first movie that the curse used on Imhotep grants the victim invincibility and lots of cool undead superpowers should they ever be dug up. Given this, why did they bother using it on him? Granted, that was apparently the only time they used it, and he does suffer the whole "eternally chewed on by flesh eating beetles" thing not to mention how big the ancient Egyptians were on the afterlife but still.
The point was to dissuade anyone who might otherwise choose to bring him back. It was the Ancient Egyptian equivalent of burying him with a crate of land mines.
Also being immortal means you cannot proceed to the afterlife...something the Ancient Egyptians were very big on.
And that he would suffer for eternity. It was still a stupid idea though, Imhotep is clearly beginning to be able to exert his power on the world even without being properly awoken by the time the movie takes place. He probably would have eventually freed himself anyway at that rate.
Presumably it's some sort of trade-off with the gods - the victim gets cursed to suffer an eternity of pain and torment, with no possibility of passing into the afterlife, but to prevent its over-use, the downside is that if they're ever brought back to life, they get all these destructive powers.
Thought it was an emotional punishment, that Imhotep would be immortal, but parted from Anck-us-namun forever, since her soul had departed to the afterlife. Anyways, look at where the scarabs landed first... his crotch.
Didn't the guy Imhotep took his new eyes from wear glasses, because he had ''really bad' eyesight?
Word of God (the DVD commentary) states that Imhotep took Burns' eyes literally. His resulting imperfect eyesight is what makes him initially believe that Evy is Anck-su-namun.
It obviously gets better as he regenerates fully, since the next time they meet he seems to be able to tell she's someone else.
It's also kinda funny, since the entire second half of the movie with Imhotep chasing Evy is because of one guy's myopia.
How the hell does the pharaoh's wife scratch an itch or go to the bathroom? And what about sitting or eating? I mean, the smeared paint could mean she just got itchy or something dammit!
Since the pharaoh pretty much bursts in on Anck-su-namun and Imhotep in flagrante delicto (the script notes the balcony and set of rooms as Anck-su-namun's private chamber) and Imhotep barely manages to slip away before he gets in the room, the implication is that the pharaoh has been having one or both watched and followed and knows full well that they're both in there together and what they've been getting up to. By itself in a different situation the smudge could be innocent, but in that particular context it's confirming his suspicions about her infidelity. In any case, he's pretty clearly a jealous man, and jealous lovers often don't need to look too hard at the evidence before throwing around accusations, whether the evidence is conclusive or not.
It was probably more that he'd already seen something awry (Imhotep's priests, "What are you doing here?"), and that it wasn't some tiny little smear in the paint, it was pretty clearly from a big meaty hand rubbing down her arm.
Moreover, whomever touched her would wind up with body-paint on his hands, thus potentially betraying the culprit. If she got her paint smudged just sitting down or using the chamber pot, she could point to the stained seat if her husband got upset about her pattern being mussed.
Having her body-painted may have been the Pharaoh's covert, intentional test of her faithfulness, not a routine fashion thing she wore every day. They were newlyweds and he'd have wanted to verify her fidelity, suspicious as he seems to have been.
In The Mummy Returns, Imhotep scares the bejesus out of a trio of mercenaries seemingly For the Evulz. What does Meela Nais tell them to do? "Openthechest!" But if the chest was lost when Hamunaptra sank, where did they get it... and where Imhotep learn English?
Besides, they excavated Hamunaptra to get at Imhotep himself, why do you think they couldn't have gotten the chest too even if it was buried?
Also, they managed to find The Book of Amun Ra, which was accidentally pitched into a pit of black slime in the previous film.
The Medjai know damned well the Egyptian gods are real and their curses work, and exist only to fight the monsters they left behind and prevent their rise by any means necessary. How were they ever converted to Islam?
Because Islam doesn't regularly create human eating monsters that want to conquer the world?
Nonetheless, one can only begin to wonder what their belief structure is like?
They probably acknowledge that the Egyptian gods are powerful spirits or beings but do not worship them, possibly not even ascribing actual divinity to them. It's not that difficult of a concept, really.
Islamic doctrine contains three sapient species that are creations of Allah - humans, angels and jinn. I'd assume the Egyptian gods fall into the latter category: powerful spirits capable of miraculous feats/magic, but ultimately subservient to the one true God.
Actually, the earliest sections of the Bible (which are by extension parts of Judaism, Christianity and Islam) don't deny the existence of other gods; they simply claim that God (Yahweh) is the ultimate God of the universe and these other supernatural beings are below Him in power and benevolence.
That missionary needs his own movie, he must have done something that impressed the underworld out of them. In the present movies they mostly attack without a word.
In actual Egyptian mythology, there is a creator God that made everything else. He is unique in that he created himself and is the only being capable of creating beings asexually. With a bit of artistic licence, one could pass this God off as Allah.
Actually, it was probably Christianity that they first converted to, same as the rest of Egypt. Paganism was already on its last legs in that part of the world before Islam was founded.
How did Imhotep get encased in Amber. Yeah, he was sinking into a slimy pit, but I don't recall the pit being golden.
It's not amber. It's solidified sand and water—basically like a crude cement.
In The Mummy Returns, Rick stops Evy from trying to block the doors of the British Museum, stating that mummies don't use doors. How does he know? I don't recall there ever being a moment in the first movie where Rick tries to block a door only to have the mummies barge through somewhere else.
I recall maybe two scenes in the first film where Rick was standing ready to defend a doorway/passage, only to be attacked from the walls or floor.
OP here, and you're right. Upon rewatching many times (mostly because I like the movie), it never occurred to me to recall the floor until your suggestion.
When they learn that, until he's fully regenerated, Imhotep is deadly afraid of cats, why don't they simply get a bunch of alley cats to keep around the Americans and Evie at all times, so that Imhotep can't get near them?
Quite simply, no time when you're rushing around avoiding Imhotep's perils and struggling to keep the gang together to nab a few felines.
But they had a cat! There's one in the room to scare off Imhotep the first time, and Rick holds presumably the same cat up again to frighten him off just after he kissed Evy. Why didn't they just take that cat with them?
I think they did, which is why Imhotep enslaved all those people - to get around his weakness.
If Medjai were aware of the Imhotep's cult working to dig him out (we see Ardeth Bey infiltrating the excavation site), why didn't they simply storm it with their huge army, kill all the cultists and prevent Imhotep's resurrection?
This one is explained in-universe, they usually exist as a large number of separate groups and it took them time to assemble. A force the size of the one that tried to storm the camp in the first movie (the raid they threw together, not the full battle at the beginning) would have been slaughtered.
They were already massing for the fight with the Scorpion King which they knew was probably unwinnable. Even if they could have gotten a big enough force there in time, they couldn't afford the casualties just to stop a lesser threat.
Where DID Johnatan get an empty double-decker in the middle of the night?
My personal guess is that he was too afraid to hot-wire his Brother-In-Law's car (all the criminal hobbies Johnathon has, this has to be one of them) but stealing from some bus company who won't punch him for it is fair game in an emergency. As a side note, I like to imagine eight year old Alex's logic of "well, last time we couldn't use the car, we got the bus!"
If the cultists dug Imhotep out in Egypt, and the tomb of the Scorpion King they are after was also in Egypt, why the hell did they need to drag the mummy all the way to England to resurrect it? Surely a cult of that size and resources (they had a train at the least) wouldn't have a shortage of accommodation, would it? It's not like they needed any special arrangements for the ritual - you just read from the book, and they already had it.
They only wanted to revive him when they had the bracelet too. That way, they could show off and say "look what a good job we've done getting everything ready. So when you rule the world, we'll be rewarded, right?"
Meela/Anaksunamun also wanted to kill Evy in front of him as revenge for her sending his immortal soul to the underworld. Much easier to carry a mummy from Egypt (hide it in a suitcase, maybe? Private aeroplane?) than to drag her kicking and screaming all that way. Plus, Hafez is the curator of the British Museum, he has the resources to perform his ceremonies in a place he probably feels comfortable.
The Medjai may have already been tracking them in Egypt, so they left the country temporarily until they could power up Imhotep again. They knew that Ardeth couldn't bring his entire tribe with him to England, and probably figured that they could take him and the O'Connell family out more easily without a horde of fanatical cavalry at their beck and call.
The three thugs that clash with the O'Connells in the beginning of "Return" seemed to come after them specifically. But they were also hired by Imhotep's cult and apparently came for the Bracelet of Anubis. So, did Hafez know that the O'Connells were searching for the Bracelet or at least that they were excavating in the exact spot where he knew the Bracelet was? If he did, why would he send only those three shmucks? It's Rick O'Connell we're talking about, the man who defeated Imhotep the last time. Also, if Hafez knew that that's where the Bracelet was, why wouldn't he procure it long before that? It IS the cornerstone of their plan, after all.
They originally just went after Evy and Alex. IIRC Rick wasn't there when they initially attacked them.
As Hafez is the curator of the Museum we can presume Evy works with, she probably mentioned it. She might even have been sent by him specifically, if he figured that she would be better equipped than his mooks. He would have sent his men to pick it up a) to make sure they got it in time because 5000 years is a long time to wait and b) to make sure no one put it on before they could.
Wait a minute... How does Imhotep get control over the 10 plagues that were set on Egypt? Didn't another God from another religion send them?
I haven't watched it in detail in a while, but I didn't count ten, and not in the biblical order. The Plagues of Moses are 1) water into blood 2) frogs 3) lice 4) wild animals that harm livestock (probably flies) 5) dead livestock 6) boils 7) hail and fire 8) locusts 9) darkness and 10) death of the firstborns. Imhotep brings 1, 4, 6, 7, 8 and 9. Now, anything that harms livestock is devastating to the people of Egypt but not to our heroes (a cow dying is not as dramatic to an audience as FIRE FROM THE SKIES) and it would be hard to portray the death of the firstborns since, at this point, none of our characters have children. As for the God of another religion, this is also the God that the Muslims (and therefore the Medjai) believe in. The Medjai have first hand proof that the Egyptian gods exist, so it follows that to believe in Allah they must also have some kind of proof he exists too, which means Allah/YHWH/God/Whatever you want to call them is knocking about simultaneously with Anubis and Ra and they're probably ALL throwing curses at whoever is stupid enough to let Imhotep loose...
The were secret arts known to some of the people in Egypt capable of replicating the effects of some of the plagues. In the Book of Exodus Pharaoh's chief priests and advisers were able to replicate some of the plagues, but failed when they reached the gnats. That, or God was using the plagues as a big warning sign across Egypt to let people (including the Medjai and the main characters) know Imohtep was reanimated and they needed to put him down.
Maybe these were originally Egyptian curses, and God used them to add weight to Moses' demands. This way he would say: "You know those huge-ass curses your people are so afraid of? Yeah, my boss can do those. And He doesn't even need to resurrect any dried-up mummy for that - I'll just snap my fingers, and He'll send the entire package your way. Think about that."
There's a theory that the 12 biblical plagues correspond to forces controlled by the ancient Egyptians' twelve most revered gods, as if the Hebrews' tales really were intentionally trolling the Egyptians' beliefs. If so, Imhotep may have come by those same powers as a legitimate product of that mythos.