The Mummy

1932 "horror" movie

Rating: 12/20

Plot: Archaelogists accidentally bring Imhotep back to life, and he has high hopes of gettin' it on with the soul of Helen, a woman who seemingly popped out of nowhere to waltz around like a lobotomized whore. The third point of the Egyptian love triangle is forced to step up his game both as a hero and a love machine, somebody who can truly live up to the name of Frank Whemple. Imhotep searches fruitlessly for a good wrinkle cream. Whemple, after briefly lamenting the loss of his father (Sir Whemple!) off camera, displays pants bulge, hence the "It Comes to Life!" tag on the poster to the left. As expected, the mummy, the girl, and the Whemple decide to forgive and forget and have cinema's first threesome.

This has always been considered part of the lower eschelon of Universal monster movies from the 30's, and there are some good reasons for it. It moves more slowly than Boris Karloff's character himself walks. It's weighted done by melodramatism and a completely unbelievable love subplot. It's boring and lacks the memorable imagery (with the possible exception of Karloff's expressions) of the Draculas and Wolfmen and Frankensteins of the time. It has dated poorly. The sets were effective, and I approve of the absence of that sort of cliched scary monster with bandages and moans. Instead, Karloff is charmingly wrinkled, scarier psychologically than physically as he mopes around and utters esoteric mummy talk in pear-shaped monotone. When you paw through the cheese, there's probably a good movie here; unfortunately, the slightly-over-one-hour film seemed more than twice that.

Here I am watching The Mummy on the 3,700th anniversary of my death:

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