Wednesday, 2 January 2013

The Mummy's Shroud (1967)

Directed by John Gilling, who also wrote the thing based on a story by Anthony Hinds, The Mummy's Shroud is another one of those movies that makes you think carefully before writing a review whether it's worth expending any more energy on the thing. It's just so . . . . . . middling.

The second-last, and the least (Blood From The Mummy's Tomb was bad but at least had the gorgeous Valerie Leon in it), of Hammer's movies featuring someone swathed in bandages out to kill is a plodding, dull affair that provides neither the horror nor the entertaining drama of those that came before it.

The plot has nothing new in it as a bunch of people uncover a tomb and are then cursed to be killed by the all-too-lively mummy. That's it, with the one addition that someone holding the mummy's shroud and saying the right words can control the creature.

The cast are quite a mixed bag. Andre Morell is quite good but he's not onscreen for that long. I didn't like John Phillips much but his character, the selfish and callous Stanley Preston, was quite a bit of fun when on screen. Elizabeth Sellars is very good as his suffering wife. David Buck is a bit bland as the younger Paul Preston and Maggie Kimberly is a pretty translator. The best performance though, as many fans will be pleased to hear, comes from Michael Ripper and it's his presence alone that makes the film worth watching. His character, Longbarrow, is a weak, toadying man who tries to stay onside with the one person who may help him out.

Even the mummy is a disappointment this time around, the look of the thing certainly not up to the design of either of the first two movies and the backstory doesn't make the creature as sympathetic as it has been in other movies. Oh, it's supposed to, when it's told in the first few minutes of the film (with narration provided by someone who sounds like, but apparently isn't, Peter Cushing), but it doesn't.

I would wholeheartedly encourage everyone to avoid this one if it wasn't for that fantastic turn from Ripper. With that in mind, I have to warn anyone to approach with caution but to give it a watch if you're a fan of one of Hammer's star players.


No comments:

Post a Comment