Rewatching the Universal Monsters! The ones on the Blu-ray box, at least. Time to check back in with Kharis in The Mummy’s Ghost.
Here’s what happens: The mysterious cult of Arkam recruits the creepy Yousef Bey to travel to the US on a mission to find the mummy Kharis and the body of Egyptian priestess Andoheb back to Egypt. Problem is that Andoheb has been reincarnated as college student Amira, who the shambling mummy has become fascinated with.
Monster!: Kharis first appears wandering along a country road, with no explanation of how he’s back or what he’s been doing since the last movie. Kharis is in daylight and brightly-lit for most of the movie, which robs him of some of his menace. Nonetheless, Lon Cheney Jr. shows some great physicality in those scenes where Kharis freaks out and gets all violent.
Also a monster!: John Carradine is Bey, and he’ll be reappearing as different characters in this series. He’s certainly an intriguing screen presence, tall and thin but with a deep, booming voice.
Our hero: It seems that movie sets up Amira as the protagonist, but she spends the latter half unconscious after falling under Bey’s/Kharis’ spell. This leaves Amira’s bland boyfriend Tom to fill the hero role. Although Tom’s dog is the one who finds Kharis in the end, so maybe the dog is the real hero.
Hapless humans: Ramsay Ames is great as Amira, finding the right balance between exotic beauty and girl next door. Tom and Amira’s teacher Dr. Norman is a mummy expert and seems to be set up as the movie’s Van Helsing, except that he gets killed by Kharis early on.
Thrills: Kharis has some intense kills early on, followed by a great scene where he trashes an Egyptian museum exhibit in his rage. During the finale, he leads a mob of pursuers into the swamp, for a fitting end (for now).
Laughs: There’s a theme through the movie of the local townsfolk having accept the fact that a mummy lives in town, and mummy-related killings are just a part of life now. The cops are even at the ready with a Scooby-Doo style mummy trap, but we never see if Kharis falls for it.
What’s all this, then? The movie is only 60 minutes long. This has me wondering if it’s a genuine B-movie, meant to fill the second half of a double feature.
Thoughts on this viewing: Other than Ramsay Ames’ performance, there’s not a lot to say about The Mummy’s Ghost. It’s has it’s good points but is way too similar to the previous Kharis movie to have any real identity of its own.
Next: A dish best served transparent.
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