Rewatching the Universal Monsters! The ones on the Blu-ray box, at least. Time for our final go-around with Kharis in The Mummy’s Curse.
Here’s what happens: A big company is threatening to drain the swamp from the previous movie, last known location of the Mummy Kharis from the previous film. A group of archeologists come to town to find the mummy first, dealing with superstitious locals and a devious cultist plot.
Monster!: Lon Cheney Jr. is back as Kharis, and there’s a “sympathetic monster” vibe to the mummy this time. As he lumbers about in confusion, we see that all he wants is to be with the girl.
Also a monster!: Kharis’ bride, the reincarnated Queen Ananka, also rises from the swamp and is born again as a beautiful young woman. Her reemergence kicks off the plot, with everyone in town wondering what’s up with the mystery girl, and Kharis and the cultists hunting her down.
Also a monster!: Dr. Zandaab and his sidekick Ragheb are the cultists who revive Kharis so he can do their evil bidding. Like all the others though, they eventually lose control of Kharis and he comes after them in the end. Freakin’ cultists never learn.
Our hero: Heroic archeologist Dr. Halsey is on a mission to find the mummy, suggesting he knows from the start what Kharis’ deal is. He romances Ananka for a bit, but the movie ends with him in a romance with another woman named Betty.
Hapless humans: Although the previous film stated this town was New England, this movie has the same town in the deep South, with plenty of Cajuns and country bumpkins filling out the supporting cast.
Thrills: The filmmakers seem to be going for atmosphere and suspense rather than blockbuster thrills, with shots of the mummy in the shadows being the big set pieces. Then we get to the finale, with knife fighting and another great mummy rampage.
Laughs: Comic relief is an unfortunately culturally insensitive character who is insensitively-named “Goobie.” On the plus side, the movie opens with an amusing song and dance number in the local bar.
Thoughts on this viewing: There’s not a lot to say about this one. It has its moments, but it’s pretty much the same as the other Kharis flicks. File this one under “for hardcore fans only.”
Next: The second story.
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