After the mummy of Ra-Antef is discovered in 1900 by three Egyptologists (Ronald Howard, Jack Gwillim and Bernard Rebel), all the mummy’s artefacts are taken to London by the expedition’s backer – brash American showman Alexander King (Fred Clark) – who intends to exploit the discovery as a travelling road show.
The mummy, of course, comes back to life and starts killing off various members of the expedition. Meanwhile, Annette, the daughter of one of the Egyptologists, finally discovers the mysterious origin of rich arts patron Adam Beauchamp (Terence Morgan)…
THE CURSE OF THE MUMMY’S TOMB was directed by Michael Carreras, who also wrote it under the pseudonym ‘Henry Younger’, and was originally released in a double bill with THE GORGON. It was the second of Hammer’s four Mummy movies.
This Hammer yarn features a rather chunky mummy (played by stunt man Dickie Owen) that comes back to life fairly late in the movie. I prefer the lithe, mud-caked look of Christopher Lee’s mummy in 1959’s THE MUMMY, but this is a colourful, watchable production with Michael Ripper as Achmed, a cool scene where a bunch of coppers with a net take on the mummy, a plot twist concerning an immortal character and a finale set in the sewers.
The film has a preoccupation with hand-severing, featuring three different scenes of hands getting cut off. At one point there’s a flashback where we see the Egyptian prince (who will become the mummy) getting his hand chopped off. Now, surely this would mean that the roaming mummy in this movie should have a stump? Or was the hand reattached to Ra-Antef when he was mummified, perhaps?
Definitely not a classic Hammer film, this production passes the time, however, and does boast a lively performance by Fred Clark as the showy, profit-obsessed Alexander King.