Director: Leslie Goodwins
Writer: Bernard Schubert
Cast: Lon Chaney, Peter Coe, Virginia Christine, Kay Harding, Dennis Moore, Martin Kosleck, Kurt Katch, Addison Richards, Holmes Herbert, Charles Stevens, William Farnum, and Napoleon Simpson
Composer: Paul Sawtell
Release Date: 12/22/1944
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Upon salvaging the body of Kharis, high priest Ilzor (Peter Coe) commands Ragheb (Martin Kosleck) to rejuvenate the Mummy by nourishing him with a specially brewed tana leaf potion. Meanwhile, Ananka (Virginia Christine) returns to life when her resting place is disturbed by an irrigation project; however, the reincarnated princess remains unable to recall the details of her past encounters with Kharis.
A superfluous effort, The Mummy’s Curse lacks the originality to justify its continuation of a desperately tired franchise. In addition to its recycled narrative structure, this production makes no attempt to bridge the continuity between itself and The Mummy’s Ghost—also a lackluster rehash of that which came before it.
When Ananka surfaces from her crusty tomb, a hauntingly surreal effect stems from the disoriented, tremulous manner embodied by the princess upon being exposed to sunlight for the first time in twenty-five years.
Discarding the canon established by its direct predecessor, The Mummy’s Curse has Ananka emerging from a Louisiana swamp instead of the watery New England grave where she perished in The Mummy’s Ghost. While a boggy wilderness provides adequate cover for Kharis (a marked improvement over the open surroundings of the previous film), no reason is offered that might account for the above discrepancy in location.
Even more problematic than its blatant disregard for logical consistency, The Mummy’s Curse follows the exact formula of The Mummy’s Ghost and therefore suffers from a predictable and repetitious outcome. Especially striking are the climactic parallels between both films: specifically, The Mummy’s Curse employs the trope of a lustful caretaker seeking to thwart his master’s will only to meet his own demise as a result; likewise, Kharis “gets the girl” once again but dies along with Ananka shortly thereafter.
The Mummy’s Curse is a dreadful note on which to end Universal Studios’ tediously redundant series of Kharis films. For all but the most enthusiastic of Mummy fans, this one should be avoided at all costs.
Overall Quality: 4/10
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