And we’ve come to the end of an era: the last Mummy film from Hammer Horror. On one hand it’s been nice to watch these older films and see filmmaking techniques and decisions from years ago, but on the other hand Mummy Mondays are posts with the least amount of clicks. Like, out of EVERYTHING else. No judgment being passed, I can absolutely see why! But it will be nice next week when I start reviewing Mummy movies people have actually heard of.
Based of the Mr. Bram Stoker story The Jewel of Seven Stars, Blood from the Mummy’s Tomb follows Margaret Fuchs, the daughter of an Egyptologist who has not revealed to the world what he has found. He gives his daughter a beautiful ring the day before her birthday, and her boyfriend, Tod Browning (named after the director of 1931’s Dracula, so that’s a fun nod to Stoker), believes there’s more to the ring. He takes her to see another Egyptologist, who has a panic attack at seeing Margaret. Meanwhile a sinister man named Corbeck is visiting other explorers, trying to collect several artifacts. See, all these Egyptologists were on the same expedition to the tomb of an unnamed sorceress, later identified as Tera. They found her body, but instead of a mummified corpse she appears as if she was just asleep. Turns out the priests who entombed her cut off her hand–separating her ring from her–and did their best to hide her body, but nothing stays hidden forever. At the moment Tera was discovered, Margaret was born, and the two are connected. Margaret and Corbeck work to get the artifacts needed to bring Tera back, with Margaret displaying supernatural powers and no memory of her violent actions. In the end it’s Margaret, her father, and Corbeck, but the Fuchses resist Corbeck at the last minute, failing to stop Tera from waking but stabbing her with a ritual dagger. The ceiling collapses and everyone dies, except for… Margaret? Tera? One of the two lives and it’s supposed to be a mystery which one, but the panic in her eyes suggests Margaret.
It’s a shame the story was so rushed and disjointed, because this had some of the best production values in these movies yet. Characters kept being introduced left and right, and often they wouldn’t be named until much later. Hell, there are two orderlies at a mental institution who get more lines than some of the actually important characters, but they didn’t have names! And Tod dies in a vision? Margaret sees a flash of him dying in a car accident moments after he leaves, and then we just never see him again. Sure, whatever. Apparently production on this was a bit of a nightmare, with Peter Cushing having to leave filming after one day because his wife became sick. Oh, yeah, and the director DIED OF A HEART ATTACK BEFORE IT WAS FINISHED, with Michael Carreras finishing filming (and getting no credit). Not the worst film in this extended franchise, but it could’ve been so much better.
MUMMY FUN FACT! The source material, The Jewel of Seven Stars, was a story that asked the question, “If this Egyptian queen really did have supernatural powers, what does that mean about our current, monotheistic society?” It also had an ending similar to this movie where everyone died. But apparently all that was too much of a bummer, and it was revised shortly before Stoker’s death so that Tera was not resurrected, everyone survived, and Margaret got married to her boyfriend, Malcolm. Near as historians can tell, Stoker agreed to the changes after the publisher requested them.
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