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 Do you love your Mummy?

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Cruel Angel
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PostSubject: Do you love your Mummy?   Sun Apr 11, 2010 10:49 pm

And now for the last of the Universal undead...

The Mummy

Back in the day, Princess Ankh-es-en-amon dies, and her lover Imhotep swipes the forbidden Scroll of Thoth in order to bring her back to life. He is caught and buried alive. An archeological team finds the mummy, and inadvertently gets Imhotep going again by reading from the scroll. He takes a human guise as Ardath Bay, and leads them to the Princess' tomb. Wanting to bring her back, he discovers a woman named Helen who is the current incarnation of Ankh-es-en-amon. Ardath continues to kill off the archaeologists while plotting to turn Helen into a mummy.

The Mummy's Hand

You would expect a sequel, right? Well, here is the swerve... Hand is actually a remake of the Mummy. All subsequent movies follow Hand and have nothing to do with the original.

So now, we have back in the day Princess Ananka who dies, and her lover Kharis tries to bring her back... caught... mummified alive... etc etc. No more scroll of Thoth... now we get the dread Tana leaves. Brew 3 to keep the undead's heart beating, 9 to have the undead back up and running. We now introduce the Priests of Arkam, who have been tasked with ensuring Ananka's tomb is not desecrated and preserving Kharis to use as a tool of vengeance should that happen.

Two down on their luck archaeologists happen upon a relic that seem to show the way to Ananka's tomb. They enlist the help of a travelling magician and his daughter to fund an expedition. Unknowing that the tombs had been secretly switched, they find Kharis instead. Naturally, the current high priest sics Kharis on the tomb robbers.

The Mummy's Tomb

30 years after Hand, the old high priest tasks a new disciple to gain vengeance upon the archaeologists and their families. He takes Kharis to America and sets up shop as a caretaker in the town where the family lives. The archaeoligist is killed, and his friend comes to town to try and convince the authorities that Kharis must be responsible. Kharis takes him out, and the task of dealing with Kharis is left to the archaeologist's son and the newly believing authorities.

The Mummy's Ghost

The events of Tomb are local public knowledge, and a few years later are still talked about. The current high priest (yes, it's a running formula) tasks his successor to go to America and retrieve Kharis and Ananka. A local college professor has gotten some of the tana leaves to use in research, and in brewing them summons Kharis and meets a quick end. As Kharis is out and about on campus, a girl named Amina (yup, you guessed it, she's Egyptian) begins to react to Kharis's presence. When the high priest arrives, they discover that Ananka has now been reincarnated in Amina, and must take her back to Egypt as a mummy.

The Mummy's Curse

25 years after Ghost, an improvement project seeks to drain the swamp that contains the bodies of Kharis and Ananka. Two men from the museum come to claim the bodies should they be found. Some of the workers go missing, and one is found knifed in the back next to a 'body sized hole' in the ground. If I tell you one of the museum people is Egyptian... you guessed it- we have the new high priest, who has enlisted a disciple within the workforce to find and secure the mummies. Kharis was found, and the witness was killed. When the project brings Ananka close to the surface, the sun revitalizes her... changing her back into Amina. The amnesiac Amina is found wandering in the swamp and taken in by the project leader, his daughter and the good museum guy. The disciple gets the word out to the priest, and here comes Kharis.



As I watched these, a few tidbits came to mind.

I felt really sorry for Kharis. For some reason, most of the priests chose lairs that held high ground. Temple on a hillside... the top booth of a woodmill... abandoned hillside monastery... give Kharis a break. He has a bad leg, and he has to shamble up and down huge hill trails and ramps and stairs... both on his own, then having to carry the girl too. Most of the night is spent just getting down from the lair and shambling into town. Poor guy.

For an extinct African bush, there is an awful amount of tana leaves around. Let's see... 3 leaves every full moon cycle... for 3 thousand years... I'd buy it if the Arkam priests had their own greenhouse going.

Speaking of those priests, they really need to revamp their screening process. With the exception of one (ironically, the last one- Dr Llzor in Curse), they all succumb to temptation- wanting to use the tana leaves to make themselves immortal, and take the current incarnation of Ananka as their own bride. Downfall city.

The people of Mapleton deserve some credit... once they found out they were dealing with a living mummy, they were in go mode for the rest of the movies. Dead body, strangulation, grey marks on neck, mold... damn, it's that mummy again. Time to mobilize.

However, got to take some credit away from the victims. Kharis moves so damn slow with that bad leg, and he only has one working arm and hand. Unless he sneaks up on you from behind (and you are somehow oblivious to the shambling foot dragging noise) or are asleep... you have to be pretty incompetent not to be able to WALK if not run away and live. Also, if you see that firing a shot from a gun has no effect- if you feel that somehow bullets 2-6 will work when bullet one didn't, at least RETREAT while shooting. Letting him close distance while you just stand there with your ineffectual noise-maker is plain stupid.


So, what was Kharis and Ananka's ultimate fate at the end of their Universal run? Amina reverts back to mummy mode in her sarcophagus in the monastery, and both she and Kharis are buried beneath the rubble of the collapsing monastery.

As for the original... Helen draws upon her ancestral memory and calls upon Isis to help her as Imhotep comes to kill Helen. The statue of Isis comes to life and blasts Imhotep and the Scroll of Thoth, destroying them.

I prefer the original... was more of a solid storyline, and Karloff as Ardath Bey is just creepy. The first Kharis incarnation was pretty decent. I liked the two archaeologist characters, but they play off of each other like Abbot and Costello, so there is more humor in that one. I also ended up liking Curse because they actually had more of a conspiracy going with the priest and workman disciple working right in the midst of everyone else instead of one man and one mummy hiding out at the edge of town.

That's all I got for the Universal monsters, until October comes around and I finally complete my Legacy series and get Creature from the Black Lagoon and the Invisible Man. Got to give Claude Rains and the Gill Man some love.
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Akeldama
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PostSubject: Re: Do you love your Mummy?   Mon Apr 12, 2010 9:55 pm

Nice overview. I love my mummy!
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