The Mummy (UK 1959)

Rating: **
Review Date: 11/19/09
Producer: Michael Carreras
Director: Terence Fisher
Cast: Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Yvonne Furneaux

Hammer Studios continues their re-imagining of Universal's classic movie monsters with "The Mummy." Having discovered and desecrated Ananka's tomb, a group of British archeologists have become the target of revenge for Ananka's eternal guardian, the mummy of Kharis (an imposing Christopher Lee). John Banning (Peter Cushing) is the last one on the list, whose wife Isabel (stunning Yvonne Furneaux) bears a striking resemblance to Ananka. Her visage is enough to turn Kharis from his murderous ways, but his eternal love for her will ultimately become his undoing.

Sadly, the film hasn't aged as well as some of Hammer's other classics, and comes across as downright silly at times. The Egyptian sets look particularly tacky, but the swamps back in England look superb. Christopher Lee's impressive frame lumbers forcefully through the scenery with a frightening purpose and intensity, but his eyes betray deep feelings. Peter Cushing is always enjoyable as a British scientist chap who is forced to come to terms with the supernatural, and Yvonne Furneaux provides excellent eye candy. While the film has some delightful moments, it also suffers from tedious pacing, awkward dialog, and questionable editing.