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You have to hand it to the walking dead. What they lack in speed and agility, they more than make up for in sheer single-minded determination. Im-Ho-Tep is a case in point. He's an ancient Egyptian priest, cursed for his terrible crimes against the gods.
You have to hand it to the walking dead. What they lack in speed and agility, they more than make up for in sheer single-minded determination. Im-Ho-Tep is a case in point. He's an ancient Egyptian priest, cursed for his terrible crimes against the gods. A team of British archaeologists digs up his sarcophagus, along with a box inscribed with a warning that opening it will unleash death and destruction. You'll never guess what they do. Once freed, Im-Ho-Tep takes on the appropriately evil alias Ardath Bey and gets to the task of resurrecting his ancient lover--which will, of course, require a living human surrogate. While the premise may sound formulaic, The Mummy in fact turns out to be bracingly weird, relying on atmospheric creepiness rather than on jump-out-and-scare-you effects. Boris Karloff gives a terrific performance as Im-Ho-Tep. He has all the malevolence the film requires, but also manages subtler touches; the expression in his eyes as he is wrapped in preparation for being buried alive is absolutely chilling. Instead of forcing him to do all the tedious shambling around that so many mummies resort to, the filmmakers have wisely given Im-Ho-Tep/Ardath Bey a nearly living appearance once he's cleaned up and has a few psychic powers to boot, making him a potent adversary. Stock up on ace bandages and prepare for a good spooky evening. --Ali Davis
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Following Universal Studios' very successful "Dracula" and "Frankenstein," "The Mummy" brought together director Karl Freund, actor Boris Karloff, and makeup artist Jack Pierce to create a movie that was superior in many ways to its predecessors. Director Karl Freund mostly worked as a cinematographer, and had a career which stretched from silent films to "I Love Lucy," where he created the sitcom camera configuration used today. Freund was a master of visuals, and with "The Mummy" creates an atmospheric masterpiece, with beautifully filmed scenes of ancient and modern (1932) Egypt. Sets and costumes are top-notch. You can almost feel the dust in the air.
Boris Karloff and Jack Pierce again team up to create a classic monster. Karloff only appears briefly in full mummy makeup, but those moments are wonderful and quite effective. It is as modern (1932) incarnation Ardath Bey, that Karloff and Pierce reach their peak. Made up to look two thousand years old, Karloff combines evil and pathos as lovelorn monster, Ardath Bey. Stage actress Zita Johann makes a beautiful counterpoint to Karloff, as the intended object of Bey's affection.
I'll be the first one to say that old movies aren't for everybody. This movie is from the dawn of the sound era and has some ridiculous overacting by lesser players, and some stagey moments that slow the pace of the film. However, if you are willing to let yourself be taken in by the dream-like aura of this movie, you will find that "The Mummy" well deserves its place in the Pantheon of classic horror movies.
I've owned "The Mummy" in most of its different media incarnations: VHS, DVD, iPad, and now Blu-ray, This version has been remastered, and is clearly the best visually. The sound quality is similar to that of the DVD. One is stuck with the quality from the original sound track, which is from the early days of movie sound recording. The Blu-ray has a number of features, most of which were also available on the DVD, as well as a number of commentaries.
If you are a fan of old movies, "The Mummy" is a worthwhile addition to your Blu-ray library. If you already have the DVD, this Blu-ray will offer an improved picture and a few extra features and commentaries at a pretty reasonable price. If you like well-composed, beautifully lit, artfully designed (and completely artificial) sets, this movie will deliver. But if you aren't a fan of classic films from the early sound period, you will probably want to stay away.
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