Mummy's Ghost, The (Blu-ray) (1944)

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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 1944
Running Time 60:25
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Reginald Le Borg
Studio
Distributor

Universal Pictures Home Video
Starring Lon Chaney Jr
John Carradine
Ramsay Ames
Robert Lowery
Ramsay Ames
George Zucco
Barton MacLane


Case ?
RPI ? Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English DTS HD Master Audio 2.0 mono
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 1.37:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Descriptive Audio
French
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 Ghost commences soon after the events shown in The Mummy’s Tomb (1942). In Egypt High Priest Andoheb (George Zucco), who despite his apparent death in the two previous Mummy films is still alive, has discovered that Kharis, The Mummy, did not die in the fire at the end of The Mummy’s Tomb. He instructs a new disciple, Yousef Bey (John Carradine), to go to America, find Kharis and bring Kharis and the mummy of Princess Ananka from its current resting place in the Scripps Museum in America back to Egypt. Andoheb tells Yousef Bey that he can attract Kharis to himself by brewing nine of the ancient Tana leaves which keep Kharis alive.

     In Mapletown, where the events of The Mummy’s Tomb occurred, Tom Hervey (Robert Lowery) is a student at the university. His girlfriend Amina (Ramsay Ames) is of Egyptian lineage but becomes strangely dizzy at any mention of Egypt. Egyptologist Professor Norman (Frank Reicher) at the university has come into possession of the box of Tana leaves brought to America in the previous film; when he experiments brewing the leaves, Kharis (Lon Chaney Jr) arrives, breaks into his house and kills him, drinking the brew. At the same time Amina, in a trance, walks to Professor Norman’s house and when she sees Kharis exit the house she faints on the lawn where she is found the next morning.

     Yousef Bey on arrival in Mapleton brews nine Tana leaves and is found by Kharis. Together they travel to the Scripps Museum where Princess Ananka’s mummy is on display. But when the mummy is touched by Kharis the body dissolves into dust. Yousef Bey deduces that her soul has thus entered another human form and it turns out, of course, that Amina is the reincarnation of Ananka. Amina is abducted by Kharis, but when the time comes to perform the ritual to make her a living mummy Yousef Bey becomes entranced by her and wants her for himself instead, breaking his sacred vows. As Tom and the townspeople close in on the mine where Amina is being held, events take an unexpected turn.

     The Mummy’s Ghost, the third sequel / spin-off from The Mummy (1932), is set soon after The Mummy’s Tomb but with an entirely new cast of characters and actors except for Lon Chaney Jr as The Mummy. If anything, this sequel is more in line with the original The Mummy than the other sequels as the main plot driver is again The Mummy intending to resurrect his lost love. However, as in the other sequels, The Mummy is not the main villain although he has more to do in this film; it is the Priest who is keeping Kharis alive and controlling his actions. In this case the Priest is played by John Carradine, who is the best thing in the film, and certainly the best High Priest in the franchise. Carradine, father of Keith and David, has an astounding (and record) 351 credits listed on the IMDb and, with his tall, cadaverous features, he could almost be a mummy himself which, when added to his deep voice, means that he projects a marvellous presence and dominates the film. Lon Chaney Jr is better than in the previous film, although he still struggles to elicit any sympathy from us for his plight through the creature mask make-up. The good guys, including the nominal hero Robert Lowery (who ended up with 183 IMDb credits) and the inspector in charge (Barton MacLane) are all pretty forgettable; indeed the most compelling and lively hero in the film is the (uncredited) dog! However, it is still a surprise when, unlike any other mummy film I can recall (SPOILER ALERT: highlight with mouse to read) The Mummy and his long lost princess, for whom he has waited over 3,000 years, end up together at the climax as Kharis carries a rapidly aging Amina / Ananka into the depths of the swamp.

     The Mummy’s Ghost, like The Mummy’s Tomb is set 30 years after the events of The Mummy’s Hand which would mean it also takes place in the 1970’s. However, no effort has been made to imagine what the 1970s may be like; the cars, costumes and telephones are all 1940s. That said, The Mummy’s Ghost is an improvement over the previous mummy sequel due to some nice exterior sets, including the mine, and a commanding performance by John Carradine, who steals the picture from top credited Lon Chaney Jr. The Mummy was Chaney’s least favourite monster and this may be one reason why.

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Transfer Quality

Video

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

     The Mummy’s Ghost looks great for a 70 year old film that is hardly a high profile title. It has been restored and blacks, greyscale and shadow detail are good, the close-ups clean. There is controlled grain but this is a nice clean print without obvious marks or artefacts.

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

Video Ratings Summary
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Shadow Detail
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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 crowd in the climax sound clean and the score nicely rendered. There is no credit for the score; it was stock music provided by 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 (1:07)

     On start-up you are required to select The Mummy’s Ghost or The Mummy’s Curse 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 Ghost starts with the US FBI antipiracy warning. The same double bill of The Mummy’s Ghost and The Mummy’s Curse appears to have also been released in the US and UK. The Mummy Complete Legacy Collection (see the summary below) is also available in other regions.

Summary

     There is in fact no ghost in The Mummy’s Ghost, the third (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 second (of three) outings as The Mummy and the dominating presence of John Carradine. The Mummy’s Ghost also has the most unexpected ending of any Mummy film, making it an unusual entry into the Mummy franchise.

     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 Curse on the same Blu-ray.

     The Mummy’s Ghost is available as a stand-alone single Blu-ray paired with The Mummy’s Curse (1944) but it is also included in Universals’ 4 disc The Mummy Complete Legacy Collection which also has The Mummy’s Ghost and The Mummy’s Curse on one Blu-ray, The Mummy’s Hand and The Mummy’s Tomb 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)
Thursday, June 01, 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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