The theme this week is “movies I’ve been dragging my feet on watching.” We start by opening the tomb of Mummy Mondays, an event that’s been collecting dust since early March. Back before the coronavirus, I’d have people over at my house every Monday for Movie Night, a tradition we had been keeping for over a decade. But actually contracting the virus, social distancing, and high risk jobs have done what years couldn’t do: Movie Night is on indefinite hold. I could’ve watched these Mummy movies by myself at any point, but it’s the principle of it, you know? Reviewing this alone means I finally admit that I have no idea when we’ll all get together again. But here this is, for better or worse. Mummy Mondays are back! Hooray…
The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb (or Curese as my blu-ray case reads) takes place in 1900 with the discovery of the tomb of Ra-Antef. Our main characters are John, a very dull and very British man, and the lovely Annette, his fiancée. When criminals target the people involved with the opening of the tomb, one of them is stopped by Adam Beauchamp (pronounced BEE-chum) who befriends the duo and begins seducing Annette under John’s stuffy nose. She explains to Adam the story of Ra and his twin brother, Be (TVTropes says his name is “Re” but that’s absolutely wrong, I double checked the script), and how Be was responsible for Ra’s death. When the American financial backer goes to present the mummy as an attraction, it’s missing! Who could be responsible? Possibly Hashmi Bey, played by the same actor as the last movie’s villainous Mehemet Bey? Nah, he’s a good guy, and he and John suspect Adam is responsible. After the death of a couple people by the Mummy–including Hashmi, who gets his head stepped on and not one of the 7 or so people around him even try to help–they suspect Adam. And they were right, as it turns out Adam is actually Be! The name was a giveaway, as was everything else about him. Turns out he was cursed by his father for ordering the death of Ra, and he can only be killed by Ra’s hand. His plan now is to have Ra kill Annette, and then Ra kills him so the lovebirds can be together in death. But Ra resists the order, killing Adam and burying himself in rubble. Annette is alive, but probably doomed to a life of missionary sex with John.
I gotta say, it’s a bit refreshing to not have the female lead be the reincarnation of the Mummy’s past love! Here she’s just a beauty that the hedonistic Adam/Be falls for. And her seduction isn’t so much the work of evil, but that John just ignores her so much. It’s believable, is what I’m saying. But not everything’s halfway decent characterizations; one recurring gag is the lower class working poor being just… low class? We keep cutting to laborers as comic relief, at one point even doing a burp joke. And there’s also the brief appearance of Hashmi’s landlady bickering with her husband. Like… was this supposed to be funny? I have more in common with them than any of the high society main characters. What I’m trying to say is worker solidarity and either eat the rich, or have a mummy kill them.
MUMMY FUN FACT! This movie has the same title as the fifth Goosebumps book, The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb. That book even had a sequel, Return of the Mummy, which came out before The Mummy Returns, so it’s possible Stephen Sommers actively avoided having his movie titled the same as a children’s book (something R.L. Stein obviously didn’t do the reverse of). Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb was also the title of a 1988 board game by Games Workshop, creators of Warhammer 40,000.
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