Mummy's Tomb, The (Blu-ray) (1942)

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Released 10-May-2017

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Horror Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1942
Running Time 60:34
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Harold Young
Studio
Distributor

Universal Pictures Home Video
Starring Lon Chaney Jr
John Hubbard
Elyse Knox
Turhan Bey
Dick Foran
Wallace Ford
Cliff Clark
Mary Gordon
George Zucco

Case ?
RPI ? Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English DTS HD Master Audio 2.0
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 1.37:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
Flemish
Spanish
Danish
Finnish
Norwegian
Swedish
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

     The Mummy’s Tomb starts in Mapleton, Mass, as Steve Banning (Dick Foran) recounts to his grown up son John (John Hubbard), John’s girlfriend Isobel (Elyse Knox) and Stephen’s older sister Jane (Mary Gordon) the story of how, 30 years previously, he and his companions had found the tomb of Princess Ananka, the resulting death of the High Priest Andoheb and the destruction of the murderous mummy Kharis by fire (i.e., the events shown in The Mummy’s Hand). The scene then changes to Egypt where we learn that the mummy had not been destroyed and Andoheb (George Zucco) not killed. Instead, Andoheb has kept the mummy alive using the usual infusion of Tana leaves but as Andoheb is now dying he passes his knowledge on to a new High Priest, Mehemet Bey (Turhan Bey), and instructs him to travel to America with the Mummy and there kill the members of the Banning family in revenge for the desecration of Princess Ananka’s tomb.

     Mehemet Bey arrives in Mapleton and takes up the position of caretaker at the graveyard. During the full moon he revives Kharis (Lon Chaney Jr) and sends him to kill the Banning’s, starting with Stephen. At the news of Stephen’s murder, his old partner Babe (Wallace Ford - he was called Babe Jensen in the earlier film, here for some reason he is Babe Hanson) comes to Mapleton and begins to suspect that the Mummy is alive and in town. No one believes Babe of course, but when the murders continue the Sheriff (Cliff Clark) has to take the concept of an undead mummy seriously. Mehemet Bey, meanwhile, has become obsessed with Isobel and sent Kharis to abduct her, leading to the film’s fiery climax.

     The Mummy’s Tomb, the second sequel / spin-off from The Mummy (1932), takes the franchise even further away from the parent film than its predecessor The Mummy’s Hand (1940), relocating the events from Egypt to small town America. A number of the cast members of The Mummy’s Hand return although The Mummy’s Tomb is a sequel to that film set 30 years on, which would mean it takes place in 1970. However, the film was made cheaply and no effort has been made to imagine what the 1970s may be like; the cars, costumes, telephones and horse and buggies are all 1940s and indeed one character talks of “the Russian front”, a clear 1942 World War 2 reference. The Mummy’s Tomb also lifts about 10 minutes from The Mummy’s Hand, including that film’s climax, and also omits the humour of The Mummy’s Hand, becoming more a straight creature film with Lon Chaney Jr now in the role of The Mummy.

     Lon Chaney Jr emerged from out of his famous silent screen star father’s shadow, becoming a star in his own right with his performance in The Wolf Man in 1941. Thereafter he became Universal’s go-to monster actor of the 1940s, appearing frequently as The Mummy, Frankenstein’s monster and Dracula as well as the Wolf Man. However, in The Mummy’s Tomb he is pretty much wasted; the real villain is Mehemet Bay who becomes obsessed by the heroine and who controls Kharis, sending him on his killing spree. As such Chaney is an automated monster, and only in one scene, where he is ordered by Mehemet Bey to abduct Isobel, does any hint of humanity or uncertainly fleetingly appear through the monster make-up, showing a hint of what might have been a more sympathetic portrayal.

     That said, The Mummy’s Tomb is pretty much a by the numbers creature film with the monster on a killing spree and abducting the heroine, carrying her off into the night! It is not without interest however with Turhan Bey an acceptable, oily villain and the climax in a burning house is a far larger and more spectacular climax than either of the two earlier mummy films.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     The Mummy’s Tomb is presented in the 1.33:1 aspect ratio, in 1080p using the MPEG-4 AVC code.

     The Mummy’s Tomb looks great for a 70 year old film that is hardly a high profile title. It has clearly been restored and blacks, greyscale and shadow detail are good, the close-ups clear. There is controlled grain but this is a nice clean print without obvious marks or artefacts, except in one sequence where the print struggles a bit with the close-up fire effects.

     Large white subtitles are available in English for the hearing impaired, French, Spanish, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     The only audio is English DTS-HD MA 2.0 (mono).

     Dialogue was easy to understand. There was little by way of effects but shots and the flames in the climax sound decent and the music clean. There is no credit for the score; it was stock music which was provided by, among others, Hans J Salter and Frank Skinner. There is obviously no surround or subwoofer use.

     I did not notice any hiss or distortion.

     Lip synchronisation was reasonably good.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Trailer (1:06)

     On start-up you are required to select The Mummy’s Hand or The Mummy’s Tomb to watch. The selected film commences without a further menu, but you can use the pop-up menu via the remote to select chapters, subtitles and the film’s unrestored trailer.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     This Blu-ray release of The Mummy’s Tomb starts with the US FBI antipiracy warning. The same double bill of The Mummy’s Hand and The Mummy’s Tomb appears also to have been released in the US and UK. The Mummy Complete Legacy Collection (see the summary below) is also available in other regions.

Summary

     The Mummy’s Tomb is the second (of five) sequel / spinoffs from 1932’s classic The Mummy. This film has no connection to the parent film and the main interest is seeing Universal’s go-to monster man Lon Chaney Jr in his first (of three) outings as The Mummy. Otherwise The Mummy’s Tomb, while having its moments and a spectacular climax, is a by the numbers monster film.

     The film looks good on Blu-ray, the audio is the original mono. A trailer is the only extra, although you get The Mummy’s Hand on the same Blu-ray.

     The Mummy’s Tomb is available as a stand-alone single Blu-ray paired with The Mummy’s Hand but it is also included in Universal’s 4 disc The Mummy Complete Legacy Collection which also has The Mummy’s Hand and The Mummy’s Tomb on one Blu-ray, The Mummy’s Ghost (1944) and The Mummy’s Curse (1944) on another and The Mummy (1932) and Abbott and Costello Meet The Mummy (1955) on single Blu-rays.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Tuesday, May 30, 2017
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S580, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

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