Thursday, October 12, 2023

Review: "THE MUMMY'S SHROUD" is a True Scary Movie

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 46 of 2023 (No. 1935) by Leroy Douresseaux

The Mummy's Shroud (1967)
Running time: 90 minutes (1 hour, 30 minutes)
DIRECTOR:  John Gilling
WRITERS:  John Gilling; from a story by Anthony Hinds
PRODUCER:  Anthony Nelson Keys
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Arthur Grant (D.o.P.)
EDITOR:  Chris Barnes


Starring:  AndrĂ© Morell, John Phillips, David Buck, Elizabeth Sellars, Maggie Kimberly, Michael Ripper, Tim Barrett, Richard Warner, Roger Delgado, Catherine Lacey, and Dickie Owen

The Mummy's Shroud is a 1967 British horror film that was directed by John Gilling and was released by famed British film production company, Hammer Film Productions.  The film focuses on the members of an archaeological expedition who become victims of a curse after they discover and enter the tomb of ancient Egyptian child prince.

The Mummy's Shroud opens in 1920.  A team of archaeologists led by scientist, Sir Basil Walden (AndrĂ© Morell), discovers the lost tomb of a boy who was to be pharaoh, Kah-To-Bey, in Ancient Egypt.  His father, the Pharaoh, was betrayed and murdered in a palace coup, but Kah-To-Bey was saved when his father's manservant, Prem (Dickie Owen), spirited him away deep into the desert.

Stanley Preston (John Phillips), the wealthy businessman who is funding the expedition, arrives to join Walden and his team.  The expedition enters the tomb of Kah-To-Bey, although they are warned against doing that by Hasmid (Roger Delgado), who claims to be the tomb's guardian.  After the expedition returns to Cairo with the contents of the tomb, strange things begin to happen, and people begin to die.  Now, Preston's son, Paul Preston (David Buck), and Claire (Maggie Kimberly), another member of the expedition, may be the only people who can discover who or what is behind a series of brutal slayings.  And it will require them to find and decipher the sacred burial shroud of Kah-To-Bey.

I have been a fan of movies about the curse of Egyptian tombs since I first saw Hammer Film Productions' The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb (1964), so I dove into my first viewing of The Mummy's Shroud, which the cable network, Turner Classic Movies (TCM), aired Monday morning, October 9, 2023.  Of course, I am a huge fan of actor Brendan Fraser's “The Mummy” trilogy.  The second film of that trilogy, 2001's The Mummy Returns, seems to borrow a few elements from The Mummy's Shroud.  Tom Cruise's 2017 film, The Mummy, also has a few elements similar to The Mummy's Shroud.

I really got a kick out of watching The Mummy's Shroud.  For one thing, it has a very handsome cast, and Maggie Kimberly as Claire and Elizabeth Sellars as Stanley Preston's wife, Barbara Preston, are gorgeous blondes.  They fascinated me, and I became more attracted to them with each screen appearance.  Both actresses also give good performances, as do the male actors.  The film's script gives the cast character types to play, but they are up to the task of injecting those types with personality.  No actor is really over-the-top, so much as they are engaged in their performance.

As for the film's horror elements, the mummy and the curse, well, they are quite gruesome.  I would describe The Mummy's Shroud as a genuine scary movie, and the murders don't feel like a body count so much as they seem like true revenge – the cost that the members of the expedition must pay for violating the curse of an Egyptian tomb.  I love Hammer Film Productions' horror movies, and I look forward to seeing them again.  I have seen The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb a few times, and I plan on shaking the dust off The Mummy's Shroud again.

7 of 10
★★★½ out of 4 stars

Thursday, October 12, 2023

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