Wednesday, July 22, 2009


So it seems like I've been on a mummy bender lately, and I've seen about 6 or 7 of these in the past few weeks. I noticed I had never seen this before, hell I had never even seen a trailer for it. but, it was a Hammer picture, albeit a late entry for the studio, so I thought it would be a fun one to get me back in the game of reviewing.

A word of warning afendi, this falls in that despised category of mummy films (at least despised to me). In other words, it is a mummy film without a mummy in it. When you sit down in your carsophagus with a bowl of tana leaves to snack on and pop in any movie with the word Mummy in the title, what you are expecting to see is a guy in a red fez and a pencil thin moustache directing an unstoppable shambling corpse wrapped in moldy bandages, that goes around strangling anyone who gets in it's way. This one, however is primarily about reincarnation and the paranormal acquisiton of artifacts.

Having said that, I will remind you that this is a Hammer Studios Production, so there is a level of quality to this that saves it. It was released in 1971 and appears to take place roughly in that time period, so I was expecting the groovy mad mod feel to their later films that ruined the Dracula series (for a perfect example of this go see Dracula A.D. 1972) Fortunately it still looked and felt like the gothic masterpieces that Hammer excels in.

Also what Hammer was known for at the time was their films becoming increasingly sexier and gorier in an effort to keep people coming to see their films, so there is quite a bit of tame gore in this in the form of severed hands, bleeding stumps and torn throats. As for the sexy side of things within 1 second of the opening credits finishing we are treated to the heaving bosum of Valerie Leon whose credits include a few of the british Carry On series of films, and Queen Kong. This girl has the best cleavage I have ever seen in a Hammer film, and she personally saved the movie for me.

It is a fairly interesting story and visually it tried to be more than what it was so it fit the bill for an entertaining diversion, but without any major stars such as Peter Cushing or Christopher Lee (Hell, it doesn't even have Michael Ripper in it), it just seems to fall a little flat...except in the case of Valerie Leon.

So where can you see this if you so choose to? Well, unfortunately it appears to be out of print at the moment. It is available on Netflix, which is where I got it, or you can try finding a local video store that has a copy for rent. I included the Amazon link below, as it looks like a few people have copies for sale there, and it doesn't yet appear to cost a Pharoah's ransom compared to the cost of most out of print titles I've seen.

So I am always searching for people's input here and I know there aren't too many people that come here yet, but if you have any thoughts or comments on this flick or any others let me know, or just drop me a comment to talk about anything you want. Constructive criticism is welcome!


lathropguy said...

I saw the trailer for this flick and did some research, so it appears that I have become a Valerie Leon fan. Hot damn, I need a time machine!

Cory said...

I totally agree but unfortunately she really didnt do much in her career. She was in a couple Bond movies, but only as unnamed bit parts. Most of her credits are the Carry On movies, which are kind of hard to come by over here. I really wish she had done more with her enormous talents ;)

Matthew Coniam said...

Yeah, it's a shame there's no big Hammer name in the cast, though Andrew Keir is okay. Peter Cushing started filming in the role, but had to pull out when his wife died.

"the best cleavage I have ever seen in a Hammer film" - you speak the truth. And she's not without rivals either. So well done Valerie.(She still works in tv and stuff, and has an official website:!)
She did a movie called No Sex Please We're British that you should look out for, assuming you have any tolerance whatsoever for that weird kind of British humour.