Sunday, February 1, 2015

I want my Mummy

Following rapidly on from Dracula and Frankenstein came 1932's The Mummy, directed by Karl Freund, and it's a bit of a dud to be honest. Boris Karloff appears in the opening scenes wearing the incredible Jack Pierce Mummy make-up but does nothing other than open his eyes. We don't even get to see the Mummy walk which is a disappointment. After that Karloff pops up as the regenerated Imhotep with a very wrinkled face and hypnotic eyes but not an awful lot else going on. Freund's direction seems very static to me and all of the major action and murdering takes place off camera again.

Edward Van Sloan pops up again, making it three movies out of three playing the wise man who knows what is going on before the rest of the cast do. The large eyed German actress Zita Johann plays the reincarnation of Imhotep's lost love (possibly) and is the most striking thing in the film apart from Karloff, and that's mainly for the very skimpy costume she wears as Princess Anck-es-en-Amon. It seems in 1932 violence was very much an off screen thing for the movies but "how does that stay on?" costumes for female stars were obviously allowed.

This was the first time Universal studios created their own monster property rather than take from a novel or play. The poster said "It comes to life!" and it does but we don't get to see it do anything else, and I wanted a walking, menacing Mummy. Still onwards and upwards and it's time to see the Invisible Man or not as the case may be.

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