on 20 January 2005
Put simply this is a true British horror gem.
'The Mummy' formed part of a classic monster 'trilogy' along with 'The Curse of Frankenstein' (utterly recommended...GO BUY!) and 'Dracula' - all of which featured the archetypal pairing of Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing. Here Christopher Lee plays Kharis - an Egyptian priest who, through his wrongdoings, becomes mummified and is resurrected to kill those who have despoiled the ancient resting place of the Princess Ananka. The film moves along at a leisurely place and doesn't contain any ambiguity as such - it's just not-so-clean and not-so-wholesome horror-fun. Granted - it has aged in many ways yet the special effects of the Lee's 'Mummy' itself are still impressive. It's great to see him burst through doors and windows in a menacing fashion! In some ways it looks like the film was made some time after 1959.
To summarise: a classic score; tension-filled ending; impressive atmosphere; Cushing and Lee certainly on top form and that true 'British' feel about it. All I can say is that it's a shame that more special features weren't included. A trailer is a bit thin in my view. Apart from that...top stuff!
on 18 October 2013
My favourite Mummy film of all time and one of my top ten Hammer Horrors I could not be happier with this BluRay.
First of all the picture quality is stunning. I doubt the film has ever looked so good. The colours are sharp and vibrant unlike the old Warner DVD which seemed to be filmed through a brown piece of glass. The sound is crystal clear and it's packed with extras.
I could go on but don't take my word for it, just buy it. You won't be disappointed.
ps. If you read any negative comments about the quality of this release ANYWHERE, do not believe them. They must be watching through strangely coloured spectacles.
Hammer Film Productions rework some of the classic Universal Studios mummy material to great effect. Directed by Terence Fisher, this is not a remake of the seminal 1932 movie of the same name. Starring Peter Cushing (John Banning), Christopher Lee (Kharis/The Mummy), Raymond Huntley (Joseph Whemple) and Yvonne Furneaux (Isobel Banning/Princess Ananka), the film is written by Jimmy Sangster and was filmed at Bray & Shepperton Studios in England. Tho listed as being filmed in Technicolor, it was actually shot in Eastman Color using the Technicolor process. I mention the latter because Eastman Color has a different hue to it, something that makes this movie all the more affecting as a horror piece.
The plot sees three archaeologists (Stephen & John Banning & Joseph Whemple) desecrate the tomb of Egyptian Princess Ananka. This awakens Kharis, Ananka's blasphemous lover who was buried alive for his unlawful deeds. Taken from the tomb to London by Egyptian priest Mehemet Bey (George Pastell), the three archaeologists find they are being hunted down by the vengeful Kharis. The only salvation may come in the form of Isobel Banning who bears a striking resemblance to Princess Ananka.
This Mummy is adroitly directed by Fisher, his choreography for the action scenes is stunning. Lee's incarnation as the mouldy bandaged one is swifter than most, thus Fisher has him stalking around Victorian England one minute, then the next he's crashing thru doors or windows with brute strength. With murder his (its) only goal. It's a top performance from Lee as he really throws himself into the role, with his dead eyes ominously peering out from gauze swathed sockets sending those little shivers running down the spine. Technically the film belies the budget restrictions that was a staple of Hammer productions. The sets are very impressive with the Egyptian tomb set original and authentic looking, and the swamp based set-up nicely constructed. The latter of which provides two genuine horror classic moments. As first we see the Mummy for the first time as he rises from a foul bubbling bog, and then for the dramatic swampy finale. It's also atmospherically filmed by Fisher, with Jack Asher's photography utilising the Eastman Color to give off a weird elegiac beauty.
This is not about gore, Fisher and the makers wanted to thrive on atmospherics and implication. Something they achieve with great rewards. The Mummy would prove to be very successful in Britain and abroad, thus ensuring Hammer would dig up more Mummy's for further screen outings. None of which came close to capturing the look and feel of this first makeover. Crisply put together and with another in the line of great Christopher Lee monster characterisations', this Mummy is essential viewing for the creature feature horror fan. 8/10
on 2 June 2005
This is one of the best of the Hammer Horror mummy movies which stars Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee in the title role. Lee gives one of his best fine screen performances as Kharis the mummy who is trying to revive his lost love the Princess Ananka with the scroll of life.
on 6 June 2010
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.
on 7 June 2012
Fabulous film from Hammer, always stunning and vivid colours, this is brilliant, our hero is the lovely Peter Cushing my favourite of the three horror masters of the 50s and 60s, with the dark and handsome Christopher Lee, both so young looking, well it was released in 1959: Peter Cushing plays the son of an archaeologists, who comes across a lost high priestess's tomb in the wilderness; on opening the tomb, there is something else waiting for them apart from the adorned sarcophagus of the princess.
Before opening the tomb they receive a warning of an Egyption not to desecrate the tomb or it will bring death, not heeding the warning as they have all the right documents, they go ahead.
You will have to watch what happens next!
Highly Recommended as a must for all Hammer House fans
on 20 November 2000
This is not only the best mummy movie ever made, it's also one of the finest films the Hammer studio ever gave us. Every shot in this film is like a beautiful painting, and everyone involved (cast & crew) are at their horror peak. Cushing is immaculate as always, and Lee is without comparison the ultimate bandaged one; simply the fastest and most furious mummy in movie history. A true monster classic all the way.
on 17 February 2011
Hot on the heels from the success of Horror of Dracula Hammer decided to take on another Universal Studios classic, The Mummy. A story of lost love and a promise to reunite even after death. This story was based on Bram Stoker's The Jewel Of Seven Stars.
Peter Cushing playing John Banning a Howard Carter type archaeologist digging in Egypt, and he's looking for a particular tomb - Princess Ananka who died three thousand years ago.
Having found it and nursing a fractured leg he is unable to enter the tomb. His father Stephen Banning (Felix Aylmer) obliges but he is warned by a mysterious Egyptian guardian of the tomb (George Pastell) not to enter and commit sacrilege uttering the words 'He who robs the graves of Egypt... dies.' Well of course they enter the tomb. But back in England with all their treasures Stephen Banning is going out of his mind, in a mental home, from the shock of what he saw in the tomb, and thats only the beginning.
This was a super effort by Hammer recreating sets of ancient Egypt, lighting, costumes and a wonderful score by Franz Reizenstein, for me Hammer's best soundtrack. Some of the story is told in flashback to ancient Egypt.
It is not long before the Mummy goes on the rampage taking revenge on all those who would disturb and desecrate the tomb of his beloved Princess, with the exception of John Banning's wife Isobel (Yvonne Furneaux). She just happens to be the spitting image of the long dead Ananka.
Christopher Lee Plays High Priest Kharis/The Mummy, 6ft.4 inches covered from head to foot in bandages, with only his eyes to act and react, (a fine performance) but we do see Lee himself in the flashbacks.
It was productions like this which put Hammer studios on the map. As you would expect for its time, it was a scary film and to my mind one of the most beautiful Hammer films ever put on screen.
Also in the supporting Cast Raymond Huntley, Eddie Byrne Yvonne Furneaux and Michael Ripper (that man is everywhere)
This is another great companion dvd to those other great Hammer classics - snap it up
on 5 November 2013
This film was first released in 1959 and was the first of Hammer's mummy films. This film was one of Hammer's original "big three" of the late 1950s, along with The Curse Of Frankenstein and Dracula and seems to be regarded by many fans as being as good those two films. However, I don't think that The Mummy is a patch on those films and I will explain why. It is a very slow and talky film, with several flashback scenes that only slow the pace down even more. It has very little action or horror and is considerably less bloody than Hammer's other films, hence the PG certificate. The 12 certificate is, I assume, for some of the extra features on the disc. I regard this as the most tame of Hammer's 1950s output and even The Hound Of The Baskervilles is more gruesome than this film, which has the same certificate on DVD. I rarely watch The Mummy because, quite frankly, it is one of the few Hammer Horror films that actually bores me and I always struggle to make it to the end credits. However, it is well made and of Hammer's usual standard and stars the legendary Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee, which is why I give it three stars. You could do much worse than this film, but just don't expect to be scared or thrilled. I recommend The Curse Of Frankenstein, Dracula, or even the aforementioned Hound Of The Baskervilles, if you are looking for a more dramatic Hammer film. Stay clear of this film if you are easily bored, or if you like action-packed films.
This is one of the best hammer horror films, and one of the great Mummy movies.
Its the classic Mummy story about an ancient Egyptian royal tomb that's broken into, the Mummy on guard over his princess is resurrected to seek revenge on those who violated the tomb.
George Pastell makes for a neatly menacing, Fez wearing, avenging Egyptian, leading the Mummy, Kharis, played by the menacingly tall and intimidating figure of Christopher Lee.
After his father is murdered for his part in breaking into the tomb, the only hope for John Banning (played by Peter Cushing) lies with the resemblance of his wife to the princess in the tomb, (a nice double performance by the lovely Yvonne Furneaux).
Among the cast, veteran actors Felix Aylmer and Raymond Huntley feature, also the obligatory appearance of hammer regular, the reliable Michael Ripper, with a number of other familiar faces, make this great movie one not to be missed.
This disc boasts an excellent widescreen colour picture, with English subtitles.