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on 22 May 2010
Here we have a creepy double dose of walking dead movies that were made in the 1960s by Hammer Studios. Here's the lowdown on each film:

THE MUMMY'S SHROUD (1966)
Directed by John Gilling
Starring John Phillips, André Morell, David Buck, Elizabeth Sellars, Michael Ripper, Tim Barrett, Richard Warner, Maggie Kimberley, Catherine Lacey, Roger Delgado, Eddie Powell, Dickie Owen, Bruno Barnabe, Toni Gilpin, Toolsie Persaud, Andreas Maladrinos

In Egypt in 1920 a group of British archaeologists discovers the tomb of a Pharoah called Ka-to-Bey. Ignoring all the usual warnings, the archaeologists excavate the tomb and eventually put the artefacts on display, including a mummy and its shroud that bears an ancient coded inscription.

It turns out that if the inscription is decyphered it has the power to bring the mummy back to life and, this being a Hammer Horror movie, that's exactly what happens. The grumpy old mummy then goes on a murder spree and starts killing people associated with the expedition.

This is probably the least well-known of all of Hammer's mummy movies (they made four in total) and it holds some significance in the history of Hammer as it was their last film to be produced at Bray Studios in Berkshire. This film is competently directed by John Gilling and features a fine cast of well-known character actors including Hammer-regulars André Morell and Michael Ripper. The cast also features Maggie Kimberley, who was also in Michael Reeves' "Witchfinder General", and Roger Delgado, who was best-known for playing The Master in "Doctor Who" in the early 1970s. The mummy was played by Hammer stuntman Eddie Powell, who doubled for Christopher Lee in many films. It is a common notion that the film was narrated by Peter Cushing but I am not sure that this is actually the case. It does not sound like Peter Cushing to me and when I tried to check this on The Internet Movie Database it said that this information was unconfirmed.

PLAGUE OF THE ZOMBIES (1966)
Directed by John Gilling
Starring André Morell, John Carson, Diane Clare, Jacqueline Pearce, Michael Ripper, Marcus Hammond, Alex Davion, Dennis Chinnery, Louis Mahoney, Roy Royston, Ben Aris

Strange things are happening down in Cornwall. Someone with a knowledge of voodoo is bringing the dead back to life. Can Doctor Peter Tompson and his mentor, Sir James Forbes, find out who is doing this and, more importantly, why they are doing this and put a stop to all this hocus-pocus?

Like "The Mummy's Shroud", "Plague Of The Zombies" was directed by John Gilling and this film is one of two films that became known as Hammer's "Cornish Classics" - the other one being "The Reptile". There is a really spooky atmosphere that pervades throughout this movie and this is most evident in the famous dream sequence set in a cemetery where the dead start to rise up from their graves. Once again, there is a good cast, including John Carson as Squire Hamilton and Jacqueline Pearce (who also appeared in "The Reptile" and went on to play one of the baddies in the sci-fi series "Blake's 7").

Both of the above movies are rich in style and atmosphere and make interesting viewing for anyone who is a fan of 1960s British horror films.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 28 October 2012
The Mummy's Shroud, a rather talky, but beautifully acted little feature was the last film Hammer made at Bray Studios.

It was based on an original story by Anthony Hinds and then director John Gilling and is generally thought of being his least successful film. That said, unoriginal though the story line is it was directed - on limited budget - with some visual flair and the result should please both horror fans and Hammer enthusiasts.

The acting is excellent, from the leads as well as: John Phillips; Elizabeth Sellers; Catherine Lacey; Michael Ripper and Roger Delgado.

The blu ray transfer is a triumph of spotless and crisp high definition transfer almost as good as The Devil Rides Out and Rasputin the Mad Monk. There are good levels of grain too so the filmic feel is not destroyed by DNR.

Extras include:
The Beat Goes On: The Making of The Mummy's Shroud (22:00)
.
Remembering David Buck (5:37)
This moving tribute to the talented actor and husband of
Madeline Smith, will be of great interest to genre fans.

Stills gallery (6:09)
An impressive selection of posters, ad art, colour lobby cards, etc etc
Plus an extensive selection of
Hammer trailers (14:46)

The Mummy's Shroud
A Hammer Film Production 1967
Seven Arts - Fox - Warner Pathe
StudioCanal Blu-Ray and DVD Double Play Cert: PG
BD: Region B 1080p AVC / PAL / Feature Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1 / 90 minutes / English / LPCM Mono 2.0 Audio
DVD: Region 2 / 87 minutes / PAL / Feature Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1 / English / Mono 2.0 Audio
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on 26 January 2013
Another brilliantly bonkers offering from the Hammer studios sees a group of intrepid/foolish archaeologists attempting to uncover the tomb of Pharaoh Kah-To-Bey - needless to say, when they do so the results are profoundly cataclysmic for all involved. Arguably the best thing about this film though is Roger Delgado's fanatical Egyptian Hasmid; he makes it his mission to resurrect Prem, the mummified chief servant to the king, and directs the ghoulish giant to slay all those involved in uncovering the tomb. Kudos also go to Michael Ripper as grovelling secretary Longbarrow, and Hammer stalwart John Philips as out-for-himself patriarch Stanley Preston, while the remainder of the cast are basically Mummy-fodder.
Garish technicolour, wooden acting from minor members of the cast, and a script that makes little sense, all add to the awfulness, making it perfect Hammer and a great way to spend a couple of hours on a dark winter's night.
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on 16 December 2013
SPECIAL EDITION: 1 Blu-ray disc + 1 DVD disc (same special features)

ABOUT THE BLU-RAY:
Feature running time: 91 min. Audio: Dual mono LPCM, Feature aspect ratio: 1:66.1
Region B. English subtitles for the Hard of Hearing (feature only)

EXTRAS:
* 'The Beat goes on: The making of the Mummy's Shroud': 22:00 min. documentary
* 'Remembering David Buck': 05:37 min. featurette.
* Stills gallery
* Trailers: 'The Mummy's Shroud', 'Rasputin, the mad monk', 'The Reptile' and 'The Devil's Bride' (14:46 min.)

FILM REVIEW:
The keeper of a pharaoh's tomb awakes an ancient mummy to exact revenge on those who dared desecrating the resting place he guarded.

There's nothing really new in this film. Once you have seen a Hammer/Universal Mummy movie seems you have seen them all.
The film feels a bit too long. Maybe through the lack of resources. The action takes place in a very limited handful of sets, namely the Hotel, the Site of the tomb, the museum and an allegedly downtown street of Mezzera, Egypt. Despite this and some other issues with the plot, some actors deliver very good performances - especially Michael Ripper, and the film does contain some nice production values.
Furthermore, the excellent picture quality on the Blu-ray disc makes this an edition well worth to own, in my opinion.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 31 August 2013
The Mummy's Shroud is directed by John Gilling who also co-adapts the screenplay with Anthony Hinds. It stars André Morell, John Phillips, David Buck, Elizabeth Sellars, Maggie Kimberly and Michael Ripper. Music is by Don Banks and cinematography by Arthur Grant.

Mezzera, Egypt, 1920, and an expedition to find the tomb of Pharaoh Kah- to-Bey gets more than they bargained for when they unearth a shroud adorned with the ancient writings of life and death...

The third instalment of Hammer Films forays into Mumified based Egyptology, The Mummy's Shroud follows the standard formula but never the less entertains in undemanding fashion. Released as the support feature to Frankenstein Created Woman (not Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed as listed in some quarters since that was two years later), it's nicely photographed, stoically performed by the cast (especially by Hammer hero Ripper who gets a meaty role) and is pacey enough to uphold the interest. The violence aspects are strongly constructed, but kept mostly in suggestive terms as per visual enticements, and how nice to see the lead ladies here be more than token cleavage.

This was the last Hammer feature to be made at Bray Studios, so it has some poignant significance in the history of Hammer Films. It's not a great send off for Bray, but it's unmistakably one of those Hammer Horror films that fans of the studio's output can easily spend the evening with and not feel it has been time wasted. 6.5/10
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on 22 July 2013
The Mummy's Shroud - not the greatest Hammer film, but it's not too bad either.
It's the usual storyline, of opening a sacred tomb & then suffering the consequences. There are fine performances throughout, with Michael Ripper doing one of his best roles. John Phillips is a right pompous so & so, & to be honest, you can't wait for him to "get his" - if you know what I mean? As a big Hammer fan, I just want the extras to go on forever, but what there is here, you'll enjoy. The tribute to Remembering the actor David Buck is touching & sensitve. The Blu ray upgrade is Beautiful with a capitol 'B'. Stunning colours & all round fantastic looking picture. Well done Studiocanal. Hammer fans of the 'Old School' will love it.
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on 28 October 2012
The Mummy's Shroud has always been regarded as a somewhat second division entry in the Hammer canon, chiefly noted for the fact that it was the last film shot by the company at Bray studios and marked the end of an era.

This is partly due to the basic problem with Mummy films in that there are only so many changes you can ring with each outing. The film also suffers from a dull and unconvincing first 8 minutes of prolog set in ancient Egypt, but once it moves forward to 1920s Cairo things pick up, due in no small part to the fact that we are in the very capable hands of director John Gilling, who draws out a number of excellent performances and brings a real brio to the murder set pieces.

The new HD transfer looks really good; vibrant colours & nice inky blacks. There's an excellent documentary on the making of the film, and a lovely short eulogy by Madeline Smith on her late husband David Buck who has one of the major parts in the film.
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VINE VOICEon 22 September 2015
Brilliant transfer of an underrated mummy film from Hammer.
A superb role for Roger Delgardo who later became Dr Who's enemy The Master opposite Pertwee's doctor.
Nice array of extras too and with both Blu-ray and DVD this is a really nice special edition release.
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on 20 March 2013
The quality of 'The Mummy's Shroud' is right up there with Karloff and the modern Brendan Fraser offerings although each have their own intrisic charms. 'The Mummy's Shroud' is the Mummy story we remember and is superbly acted by the brilliant Andre Morrell and David Buck and we also have Michael Ripper who despite being Michael Ripper seems to inhabit a different character for every Hammer he played. This Mummy is, in my opinion, superior to Christopher Lee's 'The Mummy'; Mr Lee's Dracula is faultless and Frankenstein's Monster really rather good but for film versions of the Mummy story 'The Mummy's Shroud' is better than the much vaunted earlier Hammer version.
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VINE VOICEon 9 December 2013
The first of Hammer's Egyptian outings, 'The Mummy' (1959), had style and panache on its side while the last, 'Blood From the Mummy's Tomb' (1971), had glamour, originality and wit. The two Mummy films in between however, or so the theory goes, are somewhat underwhelming. That's partly true in that The Mummy and Blood from the Mummy's Tomb are the best films in the cycle but all the same The Mummy's Shroud (1967) is still a terrifically enjoyable film and much more original than its reputation implies. It is also, perhaps, the best ensemble piece Hammer ever made.

The plot, you won't be surprised to hear, concerns a group of Egyptologists being bumped off one by one after they discover the tomb of the boy Pharaoh Kah-to-Bey. What makes the film a success, however, is the quality of the cast (especially the ladies, who are all superb); the wit of the script and John Gilling's inspired direction. As the excellent accompanying documentary on the disc points out the biggest problem with the Mummy films is that you are always left with the same basic scenario, namely a bandage-swathed monster acting as a lone serial killer. Gilling's solution was to turn this into a virtue by making the Mummy's attacks brilliant set-pieces and by giving the victims sufficient character to make you care about their fate. Add to this an original twist and a dash of subtle depth in that all the women in the film, from Catherine Lacy's brilliantly creepy fortune teller Haiti to Maggie Kimberley's cool and intelligent linguist Claire de Sangre and Elizabeth Sellars' character Barbara Preston, long suffering wife of the boorish Stanley who finances the expedition, all have, to one degree or another, genuine second sight. The men, meanwhile, can barely see what's in front of their noses. Also it is worth noting that this film sees Michael Ripper's finest hour as he plays the character of Longbarrow, Stanley Preston's long-suffering secretary and perhaps the most put-upon and miserable character in any Hammer film. He's a poor old chap and no mistake, but he steals every scene in which he appears.

The opening ten minutes which consist of a bit of historical background from ancient Egypt are, admittedly, rather tedious and uninspired (they're none too convincing either with what is clearly an English quarry standing in for a supposedly heat-drenched Egyptian landscape) but after that the film takes flight with some excellent acting and inspired direction (in particular the way the Mummy is filmed - looming in a crystal ball in one instance and being viewed by a character wearing broken glasses in another) and the script is great fun with heroism, shabby behaviour, comedy and drama all being played to great effect. It might be 'minor' Hammer, but it is still entertaining and not without some superb set pieces. The quality of the restoration for the blu ray is also superb with the reds, greens and inky blacks all shining through. It's great fun, and better than its general reputation suggests. In short, if you have seen the other Hammer Mummy films then you really should see this one too.
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