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A coda to the 1940s Universal Mummy sequels I saw recently, and really just a note to say I did, because [personal profile] lady_lugosi1313 was quite right - this ain't up to much. Abbott and Costello's slap-stick farce and jokes which depend on implausible misunderstandings just isn't my sense of humour, and here a lot of it is both weak and desperately over-played. The Mummy himself is barely in it, when he is he looks more like he's wearing a boiler suit than bandages, and multiple scenes of characters (usually Costello) oblivious to the fact that he is right behind them rely too heavily on him stopping when they stop, rather than pressing on relentlessly as was the whole point of him in the first place. It's just fundamentally a mistake to put monsters into a film like this and expect them to retain any frisson of real terror or even make any sense at all.

Since I watched it for the sake of seeing how the series ends up, though, I will note that the plot set-up is broadly like the four 1940s sequels, but the Mummy's name has changed from Kharis to Klaris and his princess' from Ananka to Ara. So far, so par for the course - after all, their followers change part-way through the 1940s sequels from the priests of Karnak to the priests of Arkam. The tenuous continuity built up over the sequels has gone, though - we're back in Egypt rather than the USA, and the old back-story about the Mummy being condemned to burial alive for trying to resurrect his princess is long forgotten. There is one weird and probably accidental form of silent continuity, though, in that her burial-place in this film is located in front of (what must be a blown-up back-drop photograph of) the ruins of Karnak. I'm sure it's just because those are some of the first ruins anyone will see when searching through photo archives for pictures of ancient Egypt, but hey - it creates a little in-story nod back to the name of the original priesthood, all the same.

The film does contain an excellent lady villainess (Marie Windsor as Madame Rontru) who is after Princess Ara's treasure, two nice dance sequences (by a troupe which I learn was called Chandra Kaly and his dancers) and a rather random but very good jazz number (Peggy King singing 'You Came A Long Way From St. Louis'). Otherwise, though, it's entirely missable.


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