A vengeful Egyptian mummy called Kharis is brought back to life with a special ancient scroll and soon sets about his task of destroying all those who disturbed and desecrated the sacred burial place of his beloved Queen Ananka.
If you've only ever seen the old 1932 version of "The Mummy", starring Boris Karloff, or the big-budget, special effects-laden 1999 version, starring Brendan Fraser, then you really ought to track down and check out this 1959 version made by Hammer Studios. Why? Well, for a start, it stars Hammer's two most high-profile actors and horror film icons, Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee. Secondly, it was directed by Hammer's greatest director (and arguably the greatest horror film director of all time), the brilliant Terence Fisher.
As for its other merits, it just happens to be one of Hammer's most visually beautiful films with its superb sets and lavish production design, particularly in the flashback scenes set in ancient Egypt, and there is a fabulous music score by Franz Reizenstein. This film also contains some splendid set-pieces and memorable imagery. I especially liked the scene where the mummy rises out of the swamp - a scene that is so simple yet so chillingly effective. There's another wonderful scene where the mummy is repeatedly blasted with a shotgun and then run through with an arrow but he still keeps advancing towards his intended victim.
The supporting cast also includes Yvonne Furneaux (whose character is a dead ringer for Queen Ananka and therefore has a certain power over the mummy), Raymond Huntley (an actor, like Lee and Cushing, who has played Dracula), and, of course, the regular Hammer actor, Michael Ripper.
For me, this is the daddy of all mummy movies (closely followed by Don Coscarelli's "Bubba Ho-Tep") and it's also one of Hammer's most impressive films.