Halloween Endurance Test: The Mummy’s Hand (1940)

I’m feeling rather vindicated now. Ten minutes into the Mummy‘s sequel, and we’re treated to a flashback that mocks the original with its brevity. Seriously, the flashbacking Egyptian paraphrases Dracula‘s famous “children of the night…” line. If you were making a sequel, wouldn’t you quote the source?

Followed by a “He’s alive! ALIVE!” Frankenstein quote! This movie is a goldmine of B-movie goodness. I guess the filmmakers realized that their franchise wasn’t on the same level as the other two, and went the exploitation route. A wise choice.

Scrying pools, indeed! Someone prophesied my future complaints about the Mummy, and took rectifying measures in its successor! Comic relief is introduced, along with some interesting, non-terminally bored characters. [17 minutes in, and someone says, “coochie dancer!”] Add in two magicians and this movie’s keeps getting better!

Act 2: picture the digging scenes from Raiders of the Lost Ark with Egyptians instead of Nazis. Less snakes and more mummified corpses.

While they obviously spent less time on the mummy’s costume this time around, he also kills people with his hands. Not by making grasping motions meant to indicate an upcoming heart attack, but by wrapping its dry fingers around archeologists’ necks. Horror movie fans don’t generally care much for historical accuracy. Nor for insightful looks into ancient Egyptian burial customs. (The Mummy was a heretic for trying to resurrect his beloved. So they didn’t remove his organs, though they still went through the trouble of mummifying him. Huh? Riddle me that, Amon Ra.)

There’s only one caveat with this film: the filmmakers seem to have confused the Mummy with the Wizard of Oz‘s Tin Man. The Mummy needs constant Tannon(?) oil to complete his murderous deeds. Without it, he slows down to a crawl, much like the Tin Man without his lubricating oil.

A speed which allowed the otherwise hapless heros to set him ablaze; naturally after they waste all their ammo shooting him.


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