*. 1967? Too late, far too late, for a movie like this.
*. It’s a Hammer production that came out when the bloom (or blush) was off the rose for that studio. Hammer’s mix of stylized violence and titillation just seemed out of date by the late ’60s, and the British accents didn’t help. Perhaps most damning of all, there seemed to be a lack of energy surrounding these productions.
*. None of these pitfalls was avoided in making yet another mummy movie. Not only are mummies not terribly interesting in themselves — being basically just zombies wrapped in ancient bandages, albeit with a romantic back story — but the plot of a mummy movie doesn’t allow for a lot of variation. The mummy’s tomb is disturbed. He awakes and wreaks vengeance because of some curse, usually while under the control of some priestly handler.
*. The mummy doesn’t even provide interesting kills either, as he usually just strangles his victims. One of the cursed graverobbers in this film gets wrapped up in a sheet and thrown out a window, which was at least different without making sense.
*. It’s a good cast. I particularly enjoyed John Phillips as the authoritarian-coward fiancier, and Michael Ripper as his toadie Longbarrow (Ripper had also appeared in a comic part in Hammer’s The Mummy). Catherine Lacey gets one killer line as the fortune teller. Unfortunately Elizabeth Sellars just looks wan.
*. But in the end this is just another cheap mummy movie. The plot is formulaic and awkward at the same time, with a number of out-of-place elements. Studio bound, with virtually no effects and a lousy-looking mummy to boot. Indeed, he only looks like a guy in a jumpsuit wearing a mask. He does get to crumble into dust quite nicely at the end though, as mummies are wont to do.