“The meek shall NOT inherit the earth. They can’t be trusted with it.”
Dir. Seth Holt & Michael Carreras
Runtime: 94 minutes
Starring: Andrew Keir, Valerie Leon, James Villiers
Mummy – Curse – Blood – Hammer Films… but hang on… all its not how it seems….
The fourth film in Hammer Horror’s “The Mummy” franchise is unique in that it doesn’t really have a mummy in it. Yes, no mummy, more of a conscience swapping zombie monarch. Still, you don’t have to have magical powers of foresight to know how the film is going to unfold. You would probably be able to guess the outcome of the film before watching it, but for arguments sake let me give you a summary at least.
Archaeologists, led by Professor Julian Fuchs (Andrew Keir), uncover the hidden tomb of an Egyptian Queen (Tera). In the tomb is a coffin with the dead Queen/sorceress in it, as well as a severed hand, some scrolls, some royal jewellery, and ornaments. This discovery coincides with Fuchs’s daughter being born dead in London, but don’t worry – while the archaeologists are busy taking some of the prizes, the soul of the dead queen is transferred into the dead baby and it comes to life. The archaeologists take their booty, as well as the coffin of the Egyptian Queen back to London.
Around her 21st birthday (yes, she is really 21!) Fuchs’s daughter Margaret (Valerie Leon) is having nightmares about Tera and her father’s expedition. The mysterious prizes and artifacts that were taken from the tomb are the key to helping Tera to take over Margaret’s body completely. A red ring in particularly allows Tera to climb to the front seat in Margaret’s consciousness. Then, along with those loyal to her, Tara decides to go on a revenge spree against the people that disturbed her slumber. Can the Professor stop Queen Tera and save Margaret before it’s too late?
This is a decent to average Hammer film from the 1970’s. The story is a bit muddled, and the distinct lack of stereotypical mummy is a bit of a let down when you consider the films that went before it. Which means it probably better to consider this more of a standalone film rather than a continuation of the franchise.
The script is simple enough and well executed by the cast. Hammer films just don’t seem right unless you have a polite and typically British person running around in them and in this film it’s Andrew Keir, somebody you may have seen in Hammer’s brilliant “Quatermass and the Pit” (1967). As well as Keir, the other main attraction here is the lovely Valerie Leon. She uses her great assets really well and is a commanding presence thanks to her lovely… eyes (definitely her eyes – well, where did you think this sentence was going?). More famous for her roles in “Carry On” films she plays the dual role of Margaret and Tera well – although she probably was not hired for her acting skills (she spends a lot of time in states of semi-undress). Hammer Films tended to give good looking ladies a chance to appear in film, in some instances though their performances were a little wooden. Valerie Leon, at times, falls into that slightly wooden delivery, but it’s buried by her looks, her assets (the eyes, the eyes!), and a strong supporting cast – James Villers, Aubrey Morris, George Coulouris, and Mark Edwards. It’s noteworthy that the voice was dubbed, and this probably added to the slightly wooden feel at times, but the dubbing at least suited the character being portrayed. Despite being wooden at times, I imagine she inspired a lot of teenage boys to have an ankh in the 1970’s 😂🤣😂
Loosely based on the “Jewel of the Seven Stars” by Bram Stoker, the film is entertaining enough, although slow in places. Aesthetically it’s one of the better 1970’s Hammer films as the set weren’t all that wobbly, and props and designs looked almost authentic.
“Blood from the Mummy’s Tomb” is a fun film which is let down by a messy story that gets pulled in different directions. Slightly haunting at times in a 1970’s way, but still visually decent. I have fond memories of watching this with my dad when I was a child, and then watching it again with my wife due to our shared appreciation of Hammer films. I’m giving this a 6 out of 10.