The Politics of The Mummy in , , and - CrookedMarquee
This week, Cinelinx looks at the Mummy (). Studios version of the Mummy () to the more whimsical remake () because the two are so immensely different. . The attack of the multiple mummies near the end is very The main relationship between Imhotep and his lost love is pushed into. An reappraisal of Universal horror classic THE MUMMY () exposed as cheap trinkets, so in the end I'm thankful that it is a black and white movie. . There's no romantic relationship hinted at there (thank goodness!). The few moments of frisson afforded by mummy texts always end by seeming far too "Until the smoldering sexual relationships are made explicitly incestuous or . came the seminal mummy film, 's The Mummy, starring Boris Karloff.
You would never think of entering the crater unless you knew what was inside that volcano. These sets took 16 weeks to build, and included fiberglass columns rigged with special effects for the movie's final scenes. He said that he wanted the Mummy "to be mean, tough, nasty, something that had never been seen by audiences before". Berton used motion capture in order to achieve "a menacing and very realistic Mummy". He matched the digital prosthetic make-up pieces on Vosloo's face during filming.
Berton said, "When you see his film image, that's him. When he turns his head and half of his face is missing and you can see right through on to his teeth, that's really his face.
And that's why it was so hard to do. A lot of the time I was walking around the set looking like a Christmas tree. Kharis himself, with his bandages and limp, resembles a horribly wounded soldier ordered back to active duty on the front lines by some fanatical general bent on vengeance.
The various Priests of Karnak who appear throughout the mummy series present interesting characteristics that dovetail neatly with more specific war-related public concerns. As members of a secret underground organization they tapped a deep-seated reservoir of paranoia about omnipresent Nazi spy rings and German secret agents.
George Zucco portrayed High Priest Andoheb as a suave, cunning man who used his charm to conceal essentially sinister motives.
The Mummy ( film) - Wikipedia
Andoheb possesses all the qualities of the perfect spy. Subsequent High Priests embody similar cloak-and-dagger traits, the most telling of which is their conspicuous reliance on standard espionage techniques rather than magical powers.
In a sub-genre renowned for endowing mysterious Middle Easterners with supernatural abilities, there is very little of the mystical about the men who control Kharis. In spite of their quasi-religious pronouncements about occult curses and the terrible anger of the gods, these priests are completely materialistic in their methods. Instead of gazing into their magical pool, they employ an invisible army of agents in foreign lands to collect valuable information.
Rather than using hypnotism to conceal themselves and gain the cooperation of their enemies, they clandestinely enter the American work force and pose as harmless working stiffs. Completely mundane means of transportation, like trains, ocean liners and rowboats supply their traveling needs. And in a pinch, these priestly gentlemen forgo magic spells and resort to using concealed weapons like knives, revolvers and hypodermic needles in order to attain their objectives.
By all accounts, these men are more like secret agents than priests of an ancient cult, and this demythologizing brought them more in line with something very threatening and real to American audiences of the early forties. The box is filled with withered leaves, and he carries some back to the elderly High Priest. Robert Jay Lifton, in his book The Nazi Doctors, explains how the medical establishment became increasingly corrupted throughout the twenties and thirties by pseudo-scientific racial theories that were popular not only in Germany but in America and England as well.
By the late thirties and early forties, rumors of ghastly medical experiments began to filter out of Nazi controlled territories. Insecurities generated by these vague reports helped to fuel the mad doctor genre in America, and movie patrons were offered a whole pharmaceutical cornucopia of dangerous medicinal plants, extracts and substances by film makers willing to exploit contemporary medical malaise.
As with any proven medication, a therapeutic dosage range had been established for the tana drug, and the various priests supply directions for its safe administration like cautious pharmacists: They even warn against an accidental overdose, which produces unwanted side effects in the form of uncontrollable homicidal impulses.
Tana extract can even be injected under the skin of non-mummies, via hypodermic needle, as a kind of prophylaxis against the aging process. It is the age-inoculating property of tana fluid that inevitably lures the various High Priests of Karnak to their dooms, for they attempt to use the stuff to immortalize themselves and their chosen girlfriends and thus repeat the mistake made by Kharis himself.
Dramatic scenes in two of the mummy films involving gleaming tana-filled hypodermic needles hovering above bound female victims are especially relevant at a time when lethal phenol injections had become the chief modus operandi of the Nazi doctor. By now, America had entered the war, and thousands of young men had embarked to fight on foreign shores, leaving stateside families and sweethearts home alone to fend for themselves.
It is in this atmosphere of vulnerability, heightened to fever pitch by the sound of sirens wailing through homes darkened by blackout curtains, that High Priest Turhan Bey and Kharis stage their invasion of Mapleton, Massachusetts. With his aura of mystery, suave mannerisms and hidden agenda, Turhan Bey exhibits all the spy-like characteristics of his priestly predecessor.
He obtains a job as a cemetery caretaker through the machinations of other unseen agents of Karnak planted earlier in the states, and even mingles with the natives of Mapleton. At one point we see him seated at a crowded local restaurant, blending with the patrons and stealthily eavesdropping from behind a cup of coffee while Wallace Ford carelessly broadcasts his belief that a mummy is behind the murders at the Banning house.
Hearing this, Turhan Bey rises and quickly leaves, as though to secretly communicate this bit of overheard information to his superiors and await their instructions. Turhan Bey eventually makes a fatal slip. The most obvious example occurs when John Banning answers the doorbell and is served with a draft notice, all to the blaring accompaniment of loud, patriotic music. When viewed today, this scene appears to be a kind of parenthetical insert, almost like an intermission message in the form of a patriotic advertisement that has no continuity with other parts of the film.
Moments of Horror as Boris Karloff Stars as The Mummy (1932)
But this is only because viewers today have lost touch with the zeitgeist of and no longer subliminally sense all the other war-conditioned features embedded in the movie.
One of these, the use of newspaper front-page headlines to describe events and public reactions in Mapleton, was frequently used in newsreels at the time to report important military actions overseas, and reflected the popular compulsion to keep abreast of late-breaking developments by reading the papers. All the basic paranoia about spies and invading enemies remains present in the last two films of the series. But by the time these two final mummy films were released, the war fears were changing and a new kind of anxiety was being felt.
The titles of the films hint at this modification. Imhotep, meanwhile, is condemned to endure the Curse of the Hom Dai: The curse transforms Imhotep into an undead fiend kept in a state of living death.
The Mummy (1932)
If revived, he would gain control over sand and other elements. During an archaeological dig 3, years later, Imhotep is accidentally revived when Egyptologist Evelyn Carnahan Rachel Weisz reads the Book of the Dead at Hamunaptra, where his sarcophagus was. Imhotep regenerates himself using the flesh of four thieves who breached his burial chamber and opened a cursed chest. He attempts to resurrect Anck-su-namun again, using Evelyn as a sacrifice.
Ultimately, Imhotep is defeated when he is stripped of immortality by the Book of Amun-Ra, and he is stabbed with a sword by the film's protagonist Rick O'Connell Brendan Fraser. As he degenerates into a skeletal form and falls into the pool from which he summoned Anck-su-namun's BaImhotep vows he will return to have his revenge.
Once revived, Imhotep gained several powers, including regeneration, invulnerability, and the ability to turn himself into sand and control the desert sands. He could also wield the Ten Plagues of Egypt to an unspecified degree; he could turn water to blood, unleash swarms of locustsand control the people of the city by inflicting them with boils and sores. Early in the film, Imhotep expresses an intense fear of catsscreaming in fear when a white one appears in Evelyn's room.
Ardeth Bay the leader of an ancient secret society devoted to guarding Imhotep's tomb, rather than an alias of Imhotep and Evelyn's employer explain that Imhotep will fear them until he is fully regenerated, cats being associated with the Guardians of the Underworld in Egyptian mythology. Rick uses this fear against Imhotep later in the film. The Mummy Returns [ edit ] In the sequel The Mummy ReturnsImhotep, having been resurrected and freed from the resin he had been trapped in at the end of the first movie by a group of cultists and Anck-su-namun's reincarnation, proceeds to seek out the Bracelet of Anubis which was the key to finding the lair of the Scorpion King, an ancient warrior whose defeat will grant Imhotep control over the Scorpion King's near-indestructible Army of Anubis.
After finding the bracelet on the arm of Alex O'Connell, the son of Rick and Evy, Imhotep captures the boy and uses him to find the lair of the Scorpion King, rejuvenating his body using the flesh of mercenaries Anck-su-namun tricks into opening the cursed chest.