Halloween Endurance Test: the Mummy’s Curse (1944)
Apparently the Mummy shambled farther than I thought. The third sequel’s sequel begins in what appears to be a Louisiana bar; full of swamp excavators who’re too scared to work. The government’s been draining the swamp, but now these men think that a mummy who was lost in the swamp 30 years ago has been loosed.
Then the archeologists show up searching for clues. I guess when a man murders another man, you send a detective. When a mummy murders a man, you send a team of archeologists.
The bride Ananka is eventually found, waking up in the drained swamp somehow. “Somehow” reigns supreme here: first, how was she separated from the mummy Kharis? I do believe they’re designated “swamps” because they don’t have swift currents tearing through them. Both he and she collapsed in the same spot; he was carrying her! Amon-Ra works in strange ways indeed.
Second, remember that Anankha was either the mummy’s beloved reincarnated, or a mortal inhabited by her spirit. I’m leaning towards the second (possession), because that’s what the last film (The Mummy’s Tomb) made it look like. So how did she survive in the marshes for 30 years? They’ve done jumped an entire genre here; no longer borrowing mechanics and shots from Frankenstein and Dracula, and have moved on into Rumplestiltskin-esque folklore!
Third, does the mummy not notice that while his beloved looks perfectly acceptable for the current age (with a Bettie Page haircut), she would surely look strange sorting such a hairdo in ancient Egypt? Obviously they didn’t have corrective lenses back then, but they did manage to build the pyramids. Hell, according to Lorraine Hansberry’s Raisin in the Sun the Africans were the first to perform surgery! Maybe there’s still a lot of “swamp juice” left in Kharis’ eyes.
The Mummy’s Curse? More like the Mummy’s Sham! When he does catch up and capture the ancient Bettie Page, he uses both hands to carry her. Completely forgetting the injured arm he’s been sporting since he was shot in the misleadingly titled [the] Mummy’s Hand! It’s all a hoax!
Maybe it was because the budget was so low that they couldn’t afford a fight choreographer, but the ending fight scene is ultra-realistic. One straight punch to the jaw puts the corrupt, evil priest down; just as one would in real life! (Though that factor is surely do to the lack of time left in the film.
Obscenely, especially for being the last film in the franchise, the archeological crew decides, at the end, to dig the mummy out of the rubble which collapsed on him! Thus restarting the madness all over again!