Film Review – The Mummy 1932
By Jonathan Balofsky On 26 Jan, 2018 At 02:56 PM | Categorized As Featured, Movie News, Old School Otaku, ROG News | With 0 Comments

 

After my discussion of the reboot of the Mummy and its shortcoming yesterday, I thought it would be best to take a look at where the franchise began. The original 1932 film The Mummy was inspired by the then recent discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamen and its supposed curse, and was a vehicle for Frankenstein star Boris Karloff. The film was directed by Karl Freund , the inventor of the unchained camera technique of filmmaking, and who had worked with legends like Fritz Lang and F.W. Murnau before working with Universal on their Dracula film.

The Mummy is unlike almost any other film, with the mummy being shown only sparingly and mostly out of the bandages. Instead, we see Karloff with makeup designed to make it look like the bandages rotted into his face.  The Mummy Imhotep poses as a modern Egyptian named Ardath Bey who longs to revive Princess Ankh-es-en-Amon played by Zita Johann.  This has caused the film to be referred to as a love story spanning thousands of years. It was slowly paced which worked perfectly to tell the story and the violence was only shown in brief spots which made it stand out more.

Imhotep has a sympathetic background but quickly shows he is obsessed. This could be tied to how he died and in fact, the scene where Imhotep is buried is brilliantly done and also extremely disturbing just for how gory it was at the time. This was pre Hayes Code and later films could not match this, which again helped it stand out. Yet it is the characters in the film who stand out, with the film having some of the best performances in a horror film, and shows just how different The Mummy is as a movie.  There were no sequels, with the later films being unrelated and having a different mummy and that is for the best. The original works best as a standalone film and is a true classic. This is definitely one to track down and watch, horror fan or not.

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