“The Mummy” is a stunning movie and while the other Universal Studio movies are great this one is the most striking. It’s a surreal, dreamy movie and Karloff looks even better as the Mummy than Frankenstein. He’s so realistic and spooky looking. The movie was made one year after his iconic role in “Frankenstein,” as the monster. The beginning of the film was pretty terrifying for its time and even now “The Mummy” sends shivers down ones spine. Just the view of Boris Karloff either as the man or mummy is terrifying. It’s a spellbinding movie that is sometimes overlooked as just a b-rated picture.
Doctor Muller: Look – the sacred spells which protect the soul in its journey to the underworld have been chipped off the coffin. So Imhotep was sentenced to death not only in this world, but in the next.
Assistant: Maybe he got too gay with the vestal virgins in the temple.
Doctor Muller: Possibly.
I never watched, “The Mummy,” as much as the others and I never gave it much thought. While watching it late on Halloween, I noticed how the black and white just enhances the movie. If that movie was in color it would have not worked. I also liked how Karloff was both this ‘man’ and ‘mummy.’ He is playing dual roles; he wants to get back his dead lover, the Princess Ankh-es-en-Amon, so he masquerades as a modern man. It’s like “Dracula,” Egyptian style. In the film, Karloff speaks almost slowly and with a deep voice. He gives this character almost a sad feel but other that something is wrong with him, he’s sinister. Anyway, “The Mummy,” is a neat yarn about Ancient Egypt and curses.
Imhotep: Ankh-es-en-Amon, my love has lasted longer than the temples of our gods. No man ever suffered as I did for you.
Not many think of it has an art film; many think of it has just another b-rated Universal horror film but out of all of them, “The Mummy,” seems the most artistic. Why is it so artistic? It’s moody and atmospheric and the makeup by the legend, Jack Pierce just makes this horror flick top of its class. Not even the Hammer version or the remake in 1999 can top this 1932 film. It probably worked even better because of the director, Karl Freund who was a noted cinematographer before he directed this movie. His attention to the detail of the movie is well known throughout.
This Halloween while you go through the horror films from Dracula to the Frankenstein, don’t forget about Karloff’s other role, The Mummy. With Karloff’s acting and the design of the movie this classic horror film is a 5-star picture. It’s not just a horror film; it’s a film about Ancient Egypt and its many legends, a lost love, and how the past can always haunt oneself.