Director: Reginald LeBorg
Writers: Griffin Jay, Henry Sucher, and Brenda Weisberg
Cast: John Carradine, Robert Lowery, Ramsay Ames, Barton MacLane, George Zucco, Frank Reicher, Harry Shannon, Emmett Vogan, Lester Sharpe, Claire Whitney, Oscar O’Shea, and Lon Chaney
Composer: H.J. Salter
Release Date: 7/7/1944
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Operating under orders from Andoheb, Yousef Bey (John Carradine) travels to America to watch over Kharis and the body of Princess Ananka. Yousef Bey later discovers that Ananka’s spirit has been reincarnated into a young Egyptian woman named Amina Mansouri (Ramsay Ames), whose physical beauty prevents the high priest from fulfilling his purpose.
Marred by the lackluster performances of Robert Lowery and Ramsey Ames, The Mummy’s Ghost marks only a slight improvement over its immediate predecessor. Classic horror fans will nonetheless enjoy Lon Chaney’s unique take on the Kharis routine, which exemplifies a passionate quality that was all but absent from The Mummy’s Hand and The Mummy’s Tomb.
As Kharis’ new guardian, Yousef Bey embodies a more sinister presence than did either Andoheb or Mehemet Bey—undoubtedly a result of John Carradine’s foreboding approach to an otherwise formulaic role. Carradine’s acting also provides a complement to Chaney’s surprisingly emotional Mummy portrayal in a number of scenes, the most notable of which occurs when Kharis flies into a fit of rage upon learning of Yousef Bey’s forbidden love for Amina Mansouri.
Following the bold decision to relocate Kharis from his native country, The Mummy’s Ghost forgoes a traditional arid setting in favor of establishing itself in a rural New England community. It should be noted that The Mummy’s Tomb showcased a variety of graveyards, trees devoid of foliage, and other such devices that would allow Kharis to maintain his haunting manner despite no longer residing in the Egyptian territory whence he originated; The Mummy’s Ghost, on the other hand, frequently has Kharis roaming the countryside in plain view—a technique which undermines the elusive nature of a monster who generally dwells within surroundings that “shroud” his true form.
(Spoilers beyond this point)
In contrast to The Mummy’s Hand and The Mummy’s Tomb, The Mummy’s Ghost concludes on an unexpectedly somber note. Though likely attributable to lazy writing, Amina’s death serves as a harrowing reminder of the fact that good cannot always triumph over evil—a message that differs tremendously from that of typical Universal Monster fare.
A forgettable installment, The Mummy’s Ghost offers very little of the atmosphere that defined the original version of The Mummy starring Boris Karloff. Chaney’s performance does, on occasion, compensate for a lack of spook factor; nevertheless, Kharis effectively becomes a cartoonish parody of himself by wandering the streets of Mapleton as if trick-or-treating while intoxicated.
Overall Quality: 5/10
If you enjoyed this post, please click the follow button or enter your email address in the subscription box to stay tuned for more updates.