Blood From The Mummy’s Tomb (1971 Britain)

I’ve been sweating cobs over some major computer problems recently and its been tough trying to write new posts. But while there’s some life in my old Toshiba there’s some hope. Hammer Studios had already peaked and it’s two marquee stars, Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing, had moved on to greener pastures. Loosely based on Bram Stoker’s “Jewel of the Seven Stars”, which is to say they ripped off a few elements, put Stoker’s name on it, safe in the knowledge that he was long dead and his works had entered the Public Domain. Two directors worked on this because the first one died and a lacklustre disorganization is evident. It’s also hard not to shake the feeling that Hammer horror were already on the way out. [Read more…]

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The Curse Of The Mummy’s Tomb (1964 Britain)

The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb is a good-looking film at least, thankfully not having the rushed and made-on-the-quick-and-cheap production values of the Universal Kharis Mummy films. The chilling Hammer atmosphere is present in how the film looks, with the sumptuous Gothic sets, lush photography that does a fine job evoking atmosphere, much tighter editing and rich bold colours. We have the usual well spoken actors, in this case Ronald Howard (the hero)  and Terence Morgan (the villain). The music score is hauntingly stirring, and while this flick is too often dull it really does bring it on home in the final twenty minutes. [Read more…]

The Mummy (1959 Britain)

hammer_classics_1This was the third time a visceral contest between Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee had been crafted for an ever increasing box office audience. And yes, there is much dignified violence and spectacle, but there is a melancholy undertow as well. Hammer’s Mummy is less a remake of Karloff’s 1932 version, more a re-imagining. And, like its Dracula and Frankenstein bedfellows, it’s a cracker. Do not let the PG rating put you off. Or the obvious studio backlot that has to convince you its a swamp. This was part of the low budget charm of Hammer. There is enough colour and elegance to The Mummy to off-set the weaknesses. [Read more…]

River God (Wilbur Smith)

river-god-coverSpoilers ahead…If you are tired of the same old same old, I suggest you give this first novel of a 4 part series a go and treat yourself to a read that will stir your imagination like few others can. This is bloody long though, too long. But for sheer imaginative scope, River God is enthralling. This chronicles a transitional period in ancient Egyptian history of approximately forty years. The story is narrated by the charming eunuch slave Taita, whose secret passion for queen Lostris surprises us. For all his protestations of being no soldier he manages to be in the front lines of many battles, and his tales of them will have you on the edge of your seat. [Read more…]

The Mummy (Anne Rice)

The_Mummy_coverRice started writing paranormal romance before it was in style. The Mummy has the perfect mix of tragedy, romance, history and emotion that she pulls off so well, without any extra flab added to the story. Compared to her other novels, The Mummy is incredibly short, with my version only being 398 pages. They fly by at the speed of sound. Maybe I’m a bit biased because I’ve always loved ancient Egypt and have been fascinated by Ramses the Great. [Read more…]

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