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The Universal Mummy Series

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mongoII
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The Universal Mummy Series

Postby mongoII » March 14th, 2010, 5:51 pm

Of most of the horror films produced by Universal, it was the series of Mummy flicks that gave me the creeps.
The thought of a walking dead guy wrapped in bandages prowling around was eerie indeed.
I particularly liked Lon Chaney Jr. as Kharis in "The Mummy's Tomb", "The Mummy's Curse" and in "The Mummy's Ghost" which is my favorite. This is the one where he carries the Princess Ananka, wearing a white satin negligee, (lovely Ramsay Ames) off into the swamp when she begins to age rapidly.
Like S.Z. Sakall says "it gave me goose pimples".
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knitwit45
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Re: The Universal Mummy Series

Postby knitwit45 » March 14th, 2010, 6:14 pm

The first time you see the Mummy, all you see is a filthy bandage dragging along the floor. Talk about "goosy pimplys"

yowsa!

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Mr. Arkadin
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Re: The Universal Mummy Series

Postby Mr. Arkadin » March 14th, 2010, 6:56 pm

knitwit45 wrote:The first time you see the Mummy, all you see is a filthy bandage dragging along the floor. Talk about "goosy pimplys"

yowsa!


Yes indeed! Probably one of the biggest reasons why the first film had such a huge effect on me was because of what it did not show.

Karloff's Ardath Bey is not an inarticulate monster, but a resourceful and intelligent creature who is not driven by hate or revenge, but love (which was the original cause of his death). This made him (and the film) more complex than typical horror fare and simple shock thrillers.

It also played on a universal theme, as did Frankenstein (1931). While the first film questioned man's ability to create life, The Mummy deals with another profound puzzle: Is Love stronger than Death?

MikeBSG
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Re: The Universal Mummy Series

Postby MikeBSG » March 15th, 2010, 8:35 am

A lot of people see similarities between "Dracula" and "the Mummy," since John Balderstone helped write both films. I have to say that "The Mummy" is very effective and always underrated as one of Universal's "first wave" of horror films.

As for the Kharis films, they don't impress me as much as Universal's other horror films of the Forties, but I do know of people, such as Ramsey Campbell a British writer of horror stories, who really like them. The Kharis films usually muster about 5 good minutes of fright per film, but the rest of each movie is rather a dud.

Still, I like Barton MacLane's cop in "The Mummy's Ghost" and the ending in the swamp.

and who can forget "Looks like someone else has been fooling around with tana leaves." (It sounds like a reference to marijuana.)

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MichiganJ
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Re: The Universal Mummy Series

Postby MichiganJ » March 15th, 2010, 10:07 am

MikeBSG wrote:A lot of people see similarities between "Dracula" and "the Mummy," since John Balderstone helped write both films.

The both use the same theme music, too, Tchaikovsky from Swan Lake. Not to mention Edward Sloan!

The original Mummy features one of Jack Pierce's best make-up creations. Like the Monster, Karloff is quite visible under the make-up and even in the brief time we see him as the Mummy, he gives a pretty great and chilling performance.

The entire art production is also quite noteworthy, providing plenty of atmosphere. Even the opening credits are terrific.
MikeBSG wrote:As for the Kharis films, they don't impress me as much as Universal's other horror films of the Forties, but I do know of people, such as Ramsey Campbell a British writer of horror stories, who really like them. The Kharis films usually muster about 5 good minutes of fright per film, but the rest of each movie is rather a dud.

I actually like the Kharis films, and, since they are all so short, they can easily be watched as one long movie. Of course, the Mummy itself (himself?) becomes a mere tool, like the Monster does in the sequels, but I think the films hold up pretty well.

It's interesting that the Mummy is the one Universal franchise monster that never "met" one of the other monsters. Although, I guess it's understandable. The Mummy wouldn't stand much of a chance against the Wolfman.

While the Mummy never met the other Universal monsters, he did get to meet Abbott and Costello in the boys' last outing for Universal. Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy is actually very funny, although it is obvious that due to his relapses of rheumatic fever, Lou is actually thinner than Bud.
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markfp
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Re: The Universal Mummy Series

Postby markfp » April 11th, 2010, 2:41 pm

[quote="Mr. Arkadin"][quote="knitwit45"]
Yes indeed! Probably one of the biggest reasons why the first film had such a huge effect on me was because of what it did not show.

Showing way too much has always been the reason I tend not to like more recent horrors films. Nothing is left to one's imagination. It comes down to a contest as to which film can have the grossest special effects. For me, one of the scariest films was Robert Wise's THE HAUNTING. It scared me silly, but never showed a thing. It was all left to the viewers mind.

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mongoII
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Re: The Universal Mummy Series

Postby mongoII » July 31st, 2012, 7:31 pm

I watched the Hammer Films "Mummy" recently with Christopher Lee and it also gave me the creeps.
He walked faster than Lon Chaney's mummy, which meant he can catch you faster. YIKES!
I think the film would have been better in black and white though.
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Re: The Universal Mummy Series

Postby RedRiver » August 5th, 2012, 4:14 pm

I watched that recently too. First time. I kind of appreciated the rich, haunting colors, as I do in many Hammer entries.

Bill Cosby said if The Mummy catches you, you deserve to die!

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Re: The Universal Mummy Series

Postby mrsl » August 6th, 2012, 1:15 am

.

I never got too much into the Mummy films because I almost lost my lunch the first time I saw them wrapping him up and setting him in the sarcophagus. I guess the thought of being buried alive struck me as the worst kind of death, and actually it still does. Most of the Mummy films recreate that scene in one way or another, and I've never, as old as I am now, got over that first bad feeling. We all have our funny quirks and that's one of mine.
.
Anne


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knitwit45
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Re: The Universal Mummy Series

Postby knitwit45 » August 6th, 2012, 8:17 am

I hear you on that one, Anne! To this day, I have to look away when the flying monkeys show up in The Wizard of Oz. Each time, I'll think, aw, they aren't so bad, and then I peek, and I get the worst case of the willies......ugh.


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