Overall | Mummy, The (1932) (Blu-ray) | Mummy's Hand, The (Blu-ray) (1940) | Mummy's Tomb, The (Blu-ray) (1942) | Mummy's Ghost, The (Blu-ray) (1944) | Mummy's Curse, The (Blu-ray) (1944) | Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy (Blu-ray) (1955)

Mummy Complete Legacy Collection, The (Blu-ray)

Mummy Complete Legacy Collection, The (Blu-ray)

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Released 10-May-2017

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Overall Package

     In the 1930s Universal hit the jackpot with their horror films which put monster icons such as Dracula, Frankenstein’s monster, the Invisible Man, the Wolf Man and of course the Mummy into the film mainstream. They have all had a continuing legacy, perhaps none more so than The Mummy (1932), whose legacy includes five Universal spin-offs made between 1940 and 1955, a makeover by Hammer in the late 1950 and 1960, a reboot by Universal themselves in 1999, which itself added two sequels, and another version with Tom Cruise due out shortly.

     The Mummy Complete Legacy Collection includes the 6 Mummy films Universal made between 1932 and 1955, including the original The Mummy. None of the sequels can equal this classic film starring the great Boris Karloff but they are certainly of interest to fans; the films include the three times Lon Chaney Jr, Universal’s go-to monster actor of the 1940s, played the Mummy, plus Abbott and Costello’s take on the mummy franchise. All the films have been restored and look fabulous in HD while The Mummy includes a diverse range of decent extras including two audio commentaries.

     The Mummy Complete Legacy Collection is 4 Blu-ray discs with The Mummy (1932) and Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy (1955) on single Blu-rays while The Mummy’s Hand (1940) and The Mummy’s Tomb (1942) share one Blu-ray and The Mummy’s Ghost (1944) and The Mummy’s Curse (1944) another. This is a great way for fans to catch up with the complete original Universal Mummy collection.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Wednesday, June 07, 2017
Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE
Overall | Mummy, The (1932) (Blu-ray) | Mummy's Hand, The (Blu-ray) (1940) | Mummy's Tomb, The (Blu-ray) (1942) | Mummy's Ghost, The (Blu-ray) (1944) | Mummy's Curse, The (Blu-ray) (1944) | Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy (Blu-ray) (1955)

Mummy, The (1932) (Blu-ray)

Mummy, The (1932) (Blu-ray)

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Released 10-May-2017

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Horror Audio Commentary-Rick Baker (Make-up Effects) and others
Audio Commentary-Paul M. Jensen (Film Historian)
Featurette-Mummy Dearest: A Horror Tradition Unearthed (30:11)
Featurette-He Who Made Monsters: The Life & Art of Jack Pierce (24:56)
Featurette-Unravelling the Legacy of The Mummy (8:07)
Gallery-The Mummy Archives (9:46)
Theatrical Trailer-Trailers of all the Mummy films (6:29)
Featurette-100 Years of Universal: The Carl Laemmle Years (8:41)
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1932
Running Time 73:07
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Karl Freund
Studio
Distributor

Universal Pictures Home Video
Starring Boris Karloff
Zita Johann
David Manners
Arthur Byron
Edward Van Sloan
Bramwell Fletcher
Case ?
RPI ? Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English DTS HD Master Audio 2.0 mono
French dts 2.0 mono
Italian dts 2.0 mono
German dts 2.0 mono
Spanish dts 2.0 mono
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 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
French
Italian
German
Spanish
Danish
Finnish
Norwegian
Swedish
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     In the 1930s Universal hit the jackpot with their monster / horror pictures starting with Dracula and Frankenstein (both 1931). These were not the first horror films of course; there was a silent Frankenstein as early as 1910, the Dracula story had been filmed as Nosferatu in 1922 and Universal themselves had produced The Werewolf in 1913. However it was Universal in the 1930s that put monsters into the mainstream. After the huge success of Dracula and Frankenstein it was no surprise, given the sensational opening of Tutankhamen’s tomb in 1922 that put Egypt into the public imagination, that for their next monster Universal turned to Egypt and The Mummy.

     Egypt, 1921; the British Museum expedition led by Sir Joseph Whemple (Arthur Byron) has discovered the mummy of a man who had been buried alive 3,700 years previously. The mummy is identified as that of the High Priest Imhotep and buried with him is a box with a curse inscribed on it promising death to those who open the box. When Sir Joseph is out of the room his assistant (Bramwell Fletcher) cannot resist opening the box; inside is a scroll on which is an incantation to raise the dead. As the assistant reads the scroll, the mummy comes to life, takes the scroll and departs, trailing its bandages. Fast forward to 1932. Sir Joseph has refused to return to Egypt after the events of 1921; instead his son Frank (David Manners) is digging. David has had little success until a wizened Egyptian, Ardath Bey (Boris Karloff), arrives at his camp and indicates an area nearby where the expedition should dig. When they do they discover the undisturbed tomb of the princess Ankh-es-en-Amon. With this triumph Sir Joseph returns to Egypt and the mummy of the princess and her grave goods are moved into the Cairo Museum.

     Ardath Bey, of course, is the resurrected Imhotep; he had been buried alive because of his love for the princess and now he intends to use the scroll to bring his beloved Ankh-es-en-Amon back from the dead. At this time Helen Grosvenor (Zita Johann), who is half Egyptian, is visiting Cairo and staying with her doctor, Doctor Muller (Edward van Sloan), who is an old friend of Sir Joseph. When Ardath Bey sees Helen he realises that she is the reincarnation of Ankh-es-en-Amon and he resolves to make her a living mummy so that they can be together for all eternity. Can Doctor Muller, who has come to realise the evil that is Ardath Bey, and Frank, who has fallen in love with Helen, save her before she becomes the mummy of Ankh-es-en-Amon?

     The Mummy is as much a story of love throughout the ages as a monster film. Karloff, in those iconic bandages as the mummy, only appears briefly and, indeed, is never seen in full mummy garb. For the rest of the picture he is the wizened Ardath Bey. There is no doubt, however, that The Mummy is his picture. Karloff had become a star after his performance as the monster in Frankenstein the previous year and the posters advertising The Mummy merely had the name “Karloff” above the film’s title. He is indeed superb; his movements are deliberate and his voice and piercing eyes project pure menace, aided by the film’s impressive use of light in the black and white photography that obviously draws on earlier German expressionist cinema. The Mummy was directed by European Karl Freund, who was born in what is now Czechoslovakia. This was Freund’s first feature as a director, and he directed only a handful of films afterwards. He was, however, much more prolific as a cinematographer; he had lensed Metropolis (1927) in Germany before coming to the US and had shot Dracula the year before; his credits as a cinematographer later included Key Largo (1948) and The Good Earth (1937), for which he won an Oscar. His grounding in German expressionism helps to explain why The Mummy looks so fabulous and impressionist, but in trying to make his mark as a first time director Freund had running battles with Zita Johann, who was rather temperamental anyway, throughout the shoot.

     The Mummy is a film that has had a profound legacy. To mention only a few, this includes five Universal spin-offs made between 1940 and 1955, a makeover by Hammer in the late 1950 and 1960, a reboot by Universal themselves in 1999, which itself added two sequels, and another version with Tom Cruise due out later this year. While the more recent of these films can be good fun, they are also a triumph of CGI effects, thrills and fast editing rather than horror. Made 85 years ago, this original The Mummy is a different beast. It is slow moving and atmospheric and if you can forgo a need for fast paced thrills it is very much worth seeing, featuring as it does the make-up effects of the maestro Jack Pierce, the impressive direction of Karl Freund and a fine performance by the one and only Boris Karloff.

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Transfer Quality

Video

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

     This is a great print for a film going on 85 years old. There is heavy grain in some sequences but otherwise this is a very clean restored print without obvious marks or artefacts. Blacks, greyscale and shadow detail are excellent, the close-ups of the beautiful Zita Johann are luminous while Karloff’s piercing eyes glint.

     Large white English subtitles for the hearing impaired follow the dialogue closely in the section I sampled. Also available are French, Italian, German, Spanish, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish subtitles for the film and both audio commentaries.

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

Audio

     Audio choices are English DTS-HD MA 2.0 (mono), Italian, French, German and Spanish dubs in DTS 2.0, plus English audio commentaries (Dolby Digital 2.0).

     Dialogue was always easy to understand with Karloff’s distinctive voice nicely rendered. There was little by way of other effects and obviously no surround or subwoofer use. There is no credit for the score given; it featured a bit of Swan Lake by Tchaikovsky and other music by James Dietrich.

     In some sections without music I noticed occasional slight hiss.

     Lip synchronisation was fine (although in one scene where Arthur Byron answers the telephone and says “hello” his lips clearly do not move!)

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

Extras

100 Years of Universal (2:28)

     This promotion for Universal Pictures, which was founded in 1912, plays on start-up.

Mummy Dearest: A Horror Tradition Unearthed (30:11)

     Made in 1999 and hosted by Rudy Behlmer, this featurette has been on previous releases of The Mummy but remains worth a look. It features still photographs, footage from a range of Universal pictures and comments by various of film historians, Boris Karloff’s daughter, the screenwriter’s son and the make-up artist Rick Baker and covers the finding of the tomb of Tutankhamen and the “curse”, the original ideas for the screenplay, Karloff and the make-up, the strong willed Zita Johann, her interest in the occult and her battles with director Karl Freund, and the subsequent Mummy films made by Universal.

He Who Made Monsters: The Life and Art of Jack Pierce (24:56)

     Made in 2008 this fascinating featurette uses still photographs, film footage and interviews, with lots of stories and anecdotes, to chart the work and legacy of make-up artist Jack Pierce, the man who created the iconic make-up effects for the Universal monsters including Frankenstein, The Mummy, The Bride of Frankenstein and The Wolfman. Interviewees include current make-up effect artists Rick Baker, Nick Dudman, Bill Corso, Kevin Haney, Michelle Burke, authors Scott Essman, Steve Haberman, Stephen Jones, Christopher Frayling, Kim Newman and film historian Bob Burns. For a pioneer of special make-up effects with such a legacy it is sad to learn that Pierce died in 1968, alone and almost destitute.

Unravelling the Legacy of The Mummy (8:07)

     This partly consists of a number of people, including authors Steve Haberman and Christopher Frayling, talking about the impact the original The Mummy and/ or Boris Karloff had on them but the majority of the running time is an extended promotion for The Mummy (1999) and The Mummy Returns (2001) with comments by director Steven Sommers and various cast members.

The Mummy Archives (9:46)

     7 colour film posters and about 105 black and white film stills. They advance automatically, with music.

Feature Audio Commentary

     This commentary features author Steve Haberman (Silent Screams: The Chronicles of Terror), Scott Essman (biographer of Jack Pierce), film historian Bob Burns and Brent Armstrong (who runs a sculpture studio). They sit together and watch the film, with additional comments by Rick Baker (special make-up artist, winner of an incredible seven Oscars including for An American Werewolf in London (1981) and The Wolfman (2010), so he does know a bit about creature make-ups) spliced in. This is a chatty and informative discussion by fans of the film as they talk about Universal monster films, the cast, the director, the lighting and make-up, the atmosphere and the shooting style, the score, film history and the legacy of The Mummy.

Feature Audio Commentary

     Film historian Paul M Jensen talks in a monotone so this commentary is somewhat dry. He tends to describe the plot and what is on the screen a bit but he does provide a lot of information about lighting and camera techniques, the earlier and subsequent careers of various cast members, the development of the script, changes made to the shooting script, deleted and missing scenes and the sets.

Trailer Gallery (6:29)

     Trailers for five of the Universal Mummy films. There is a play all option:

100 Years of Universal: The Carl Laemmle Years (8:41)

     Using still photographs, archive footage and footage from films, this is an interesting look at Carl Laemmle who emigrated from Germany, became a Nickelodeon owner and film producer and in 1912 created Universal Pictures. He groomed his son Carl Laemmle Jr for the business and it was Jr who was responsible for the production of the Universal monster pictures.

R4 vs R1

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

     There have been numerous releases of The Mummy over the years but this Blu-ray release is the same as is currently available in the US and UK. The same The Mummy Complete Legacy Collection (see the summary below) is also available in these other regions. Buy local.

Summary

     Made in1932, The Mummy is a timeless classic that has had a profound legacy that continues to the present day. The Mummy has never been far from popular imagination and here is your chance to check out the original film in glorious HD.

     The film looks marvellous on Blu-ray, the audio is the original mono, and the extras are extensive, interesting and informative, resulting in a fabulous Blu-ray package.

     The Mummy is available as a stand-alone Blu-ray but it is also included in Universals’ 4 disc The Mummy Complete Legacy Collection (also available in other regions) which has also The Mummy’s Hand (1940) and The Mummy’s Tomb (1942) on one Blu-ray, The Mummy’s Ghost (1944) and The Mummy’s Curse (1944) on another and Abbott and Costello Meet The Mummy (1955) by itself on another Blu-ray.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Tuesday, May 23, 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

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
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Overall | Mummy, The (1932) (Blu-ray) | Mummy's Hand, The (Blu-ray) (1940) | Mummy's Tomb, The (Blu-ray) (1942) | Mummy's Ghost, The (Blu-ray) (1944) | Mummy's Curse, The (Blu-ray) (1944) | Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy (Blu-ray) (1955)

Mummy's Hand, The (Blu-ray) (1940)

Mummy's Hand, The (Blu-ray) (1940)

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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 1940
Running Time 66:49
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Programme
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Christy Cabanne
Studio
Distributor

Universal Pictures Home Video
Starring Dick Foran
Peggy Moran
George Zucco
Wallace Ford
Charles Towbridge
Cecil Kellaway
Tom Tyler

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
French
Spanish
Danish
Finnish
Norwegian
Swedish
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     In the space of a couple of years in the early 1930s Universal introduced a number of horror / monster icons to the screen: Dracula and Frankenstein (both 1931), The Mummy (1932) and The Invisible Man (1933). After this flowering new monsters dried up with the exception of The Wolf Man in 1941; instead Universal produced a succession of sequels and spin-off throughout the rest of the 1930s and 1940s. Some were excellent in their own right, such as The Bride of Frankenstein (1936), but many were lesser productions, cashing in on the earlier hits. In the case of The Mummy there were five additional Universal films, the first being The Mummy’s Hand in 1940.

     Steve Banning (Dick Foran) and Babe Jensen (Wallace Ford) are two bumbling American adventurers in Cairo, c. 1940. In the Cairo bazaar Steve buys a broken pot with an inscription on it; Steve believes it identifies the location of the lost tomb of Princess Ananka and takes it to the Cairo Museum where Dr. Petrie (Charles Towbridge) considers it genuine. However, when they show the pot to his superior at the museum, Professor Andoheb (George Zucco), he dismisses it as a fake. We already know, however, that Professor Andoheb is in reality the High Priest at Karnak, the latest in the line of High Priests who have kept the mummy of Prince Kharis alive over 3000 years by a monthly infusion (at the full moon) of a brew made from Tana leaves. Kharis, was buried alive for trying to steal the Tanna leaves to resurrect the Princess Ananka after her death, and he is controlled by the High Priest who can unleashed the mummy of Kharis to murder anybody who comes to excavate the tomb of the Princess.

     Steve and Babe are not put off by Professor Andoheb’s dismissal of their find and seek funds to mount an expedition. They stumble upon an American magician about to leave Cairo, the Great Solvani (Cecil Kellaway), and persuade him to finance them, much to the disapproval of Solvani’s daughter Marta (Peggy Moran). The four, plus Dr. Petrie and some diggers, head into the desert towards the location of the tomb of Princess Ananka where the revived mummy (Tom Tyler) and Professor Andoheb lie in wait.

     Unlike the sequels of the other Universal monster franchises, the spin-offs from The Mummy (1932) bear no relation to the parent film; the stars and director of the original did not return and in fact the mummy is not called Imhotep but Kharis and he is not trying to resurrect his lost love. An even bigger change is the tone of the new film: while the original The Mummy was a love story played straight, and the creature and it’s bandages were never clearly seen, The Mummy’s Hand is much lighter in tone, with a number of scenes, especially those featuring the “sidekick” Babe, played for laughs. The new film is also cheaper looking; it lifts a number of scenes directly from the earlier film, cutting in close-ups of Tyler to replace the Karloff ones, the scroll is replaced by leaves and it is hard to believe that the tomb of Ananka has been undiscovered for 3000 years. It sits prominently on a hill, with stairs leading up to it with a normal opening, with a large carved face on the exterior (which actually looks more Mayan, or even Cambodian, than Egyptian). The Mummy is not even the main villain; it is Professor Andoheb who controls Kharis, sending him out to kill, and it is Andoheb who tries to sacrifice Marta.

     That said, The Mummy’s Hand in its own right is a lot of fun; for example, we get to see the full mummy costume, including the iconic image of the mummy carrying away the girl in his arms. While the humour of both the Wallace Ford and Cecil Kellaway characters can be a bit forced, Dick Foran is an acceptable hero and he and Peggy Moran look good together. The Mummy’s Hand has some tension, a couple of scares and humour and, at just under 70 minutes in length, prolific director Christy Cabanne (with 166 credits on his resume) keeps the film speeding along.

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Transfer Quality

Video

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

     It this film really over 75 years old? The Mummy’s Hand is hardly a high profile title so I didn’t know what to expect but the film print has been restored and looks great (for comparisons have a look at the trailer). There is controlled grain in some sequences but otherwise this is a very clean print without obvious marks or artefacts. Blacks, greyscale and shadow detail are very good, if a bit light, the close-ups are clear.

     Large white subtitles are available in English, 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 always easy to understand. There was little by way of effects but gun shots are crisp and the music clean. There is obviously no surround or subwoofer use. There is no credit for the score but it was provided by Hans J Salter and Frank Skinner.

     I did not notice any hiss or distortion.

     Lip synchronisation was generally fine.

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

Extras

Trailer (1:35)

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

Summary

     It may seem a strange thing to say but the original The Mummy from 1932, although a classic by any reckoning, was by no means a typical Mummy film as we now, 85 years and many spin-offs and re-imaginings later, think about them; it was a love story and the creature only put in a fleeting appearance. The Mummy’s Hand, the first sequel / spin off, however, set the more remembered image of the Mummy as a bandaged, walking creature with murder in mind, carrying the heroine into the night in his arms. If you don’t expect anything serious, The Mummy’s Hand is a heap of fun.

     The film looks good on Blu-ray, the audio is the original mono. A trailer is the only extra although there are two complete Mummy films on this Blu-ray.

     The Mummy’s Hand is available as stand-alone single Blu-ray paired with The Mummy’s Tomb (1942) on one Blu-ray but it is also included in Universals’ 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)
Thursday, May 25, 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

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE
Overall | Mummy, The (1932) (Blu-ray) | Mummy's Hand, The (Blu-ray) (1940) | Mummy's Tomb, The (Blu-ray) (1942) | Mummy's Ghost, The (Blu-ray) (1944) | Mummy's Curse, The (Blu-ray) (1944) | Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy (Blu-ray) (1955)

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

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

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Released 10-May-2017

Cover Art

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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

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

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

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE
Overall | Mummy, The (1932) (Blu-ray) | Mummy's Hand, The (Blu-ray) (1940) | Mummy's Tomb, The (Blu-ray) (1942) | Mummy's Ghost, The (Blu-ray) (1944) | Mummy's Curse, The (Blu-ray) (1944) | Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy (Blu-ray) (1955)

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

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

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Released 10-May-2017

Cover Art

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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

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

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
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 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

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE
Overall | Mummy, The (1932) (Blu-ray) | Mummy's Hand, The (Blu-ray) (1940) | Mummy's Tomb, The (Blu-ray) (1942) | Mummy's Ghost, The (Blu-ray) (1944) | Mummy's Curse, The (Blu-ray) (1944) | Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy (Blu-ray) (1955)

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

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

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Released 10-May-2017

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Horror Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1944
Running Time 60:16
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Leslie Goodwins
Studio
Distributor

Universal Pictures Home Video
Starring Lon Chaney Jr
Peter Coe
Dennis Moore
Virginia Christine
Kay Harding
Addison Richards
Martin Kosleck


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

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     At the end of The Mummy’s Ghost (1944), Kharis, the Mummy, (Lon Chaney Jr) and his eternal love Princess Ananka evade the pursuing mob and disappear into the swamps of Mapletown, Massachusetts. The Mummy’s Curse, we learn, commences 25 years later, but with the location changed, without explanation, to the swamps of Louisiana. A government programme run by overseer Pat Walsh (Addison Richards) is draining the swamps although the workmen are spooked by legends of the Mummy haunting the area. Jim Halsey (Dennis Moore) and his associate Ilzor Zandab (Peter Coe) arrive from the Scripps Museum with permission to dig for the Mummy and Princess Ananka, but before they can start the outline of a large man revealed in the mud and a workman is murdered.

     We soon learn that Ilzor is, in fact, the latest in the line of High Priests who have kept Kharis alive for 3000 years and he is in America to bring Kharis and Princess Ananka back to their original resting place in Egypt. Ragheb (Martin Kosleck), one of the workman, is secretly working for Ilzor; he has found Kharis and hidden him in a nearby abandoned monastery. The Princess has not been found, but as the swamp drains Ananka (Virginia Christine) emerges from the mud, with no memory of her previous existences. She is found by Cajun Joe (Kurt Katch) and taken to the café of Tante Berthes (an uncredited Ann Codee) but Kharis is quickly sent by Ilzor to get her. Tante Berthes is murdered by Kharis, but Ananka flees to the camp by the swamp of Jim Halsey, Dr Cooper (Holmes Herbert) and Betty Walsh (Kay Harding). But Kharis is again following and more murders occur until the climax in the abandoned monastery.

     The Mummy’s Curse was the fourth, and last before Abbott and Costello Meet The Mummy (1955), sequel / spin-off from The Mummy (1932). By this time the mummy as a monster was feeling old hat; the slow shuffling walk was not menacing, his murders, all by strangling, lacked variety and his abduction and walk with the girl in his arms into the woods had been seen before. As well, Lon Chaney Jr was not particularly enamoured of a role that contained no dialogue and no sympathy for the creature. The Mummy’s Curse also suffered some other drawbacks. The plotting throughout was repetitive and there is no mystery; the Mummy is revealed after 10 minutes or so and afterwards the plot has Kharis finding Ananka and killing who was there, Ananka running away from him, Kharis finding her new location, killing who was there, Ananka running away, etc., etc. The other characters, such as the hero and the High Priest, are very similar to others in the earlier sequels, the film lifts scenes from both The Mummy (1932) and The Mummy’s Hand (1940) and, although the film is supposed to be in the late 1990s, again no effort has been made to imagine what the future may be like as the cars and costumes are all 1940s.

     There are some things however that redeem The Mummy’s Curse. Director Leslie Goodwin and cinematographer Virgil Miller, who was nominated for an Oscar for Navajo (1952), by adroit use of shadows, such as when Kharis strangles a victim, are able to bring an atmosphere and tension to some scenes that was missing in the earlier sequels and they also deliver one of the best sequences in any of the mummy films as Princess Ananka emerges gradually from the mud. Indeed, Virginia Christine, who went on to have a long career with 167 credits listed on the IMDb, is the best thing in the film although, having spent 25 years in the mud and having been aged and with white hair at the end of The Mummy’s Ghost, it is amazing how a quick wash in the swamp will not only remove the mud but give her perfectly groomed dark hair and make-up. But I guess this is a film after all, and this is no less imponderable that having a person walk into a swamp in Massachusetts and emerge 25 years later in Louisiana.

     The Mummy’s Curse requires a complete suspension of belief. By this fourth sequel the impetus in the franchise was running out and this would be the last Universal Mummy film until Abbott and Costello provided their own brand of mummy mayhem eleven years later. And yet the shadows, atmosphere and that scene of Virginia Christine emerging from the help mud make The Mummy’s Curse well worth a look by fans.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

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

     The Mummy’s Curse 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
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. The effects in this film sound better than most of the other Mummy titles; the shuffling gait of Kharis, the shots, the music and the destruction at the climax are nicely rendered. There is no credit for the score although it apparently was provided by William Lava and Paul Sawtell. There is obviously no surround or subwoofer use.

     I did not notice any hiss or distortion.

     Lip synchronisation was pretty good with only occasional lapses.

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

Extras

Trailer (1:06)

     On start-up you are asked 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 Curse 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

     By this time they made The Mummy’s Curse Universal’s mummy franchise was running out of steam and yet that wonderful sequence of Virginia Christine emerging from the mud, plus some nice atmosphere, makes The Mummy’s Curse worth watching.

     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 Ghost on the same Blu-ray.

     The Mummy’s Curse is available as a stand-alone single Blu-ray paired with The Mummy’s Ghost (1940) 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 on single Blu-rays.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Monday, June 05, 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

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE
Overall | Mummy, The (1932) (Blu-ray) | Mummy's Hand, The (Blu-ray) (1940) | Mummy's Tomb, The (Blu-ray) (1942) | Mummy's Ghost, The (Blu-ray) (1944) | Mummy's Curse, The (Blu-ray) (1944) | Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy (Blu-ray) (1955)

Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy (Blu-ray) (1955)

Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy (Blu-ray) (1955)

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Released 10-May-2017

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy / Horror Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1955
Running Time 79:26
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Charles Lamont
Studio
Distributor

Universal Pictures Home Video
Starring Bud Abbott
Lou Costello
Marie Windsor
Richard Deacon
Dan Seymour
Michael Ansara
Kurt Katch


Case ?
RPI ? Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English DTS HD Master Audio 2.0 mono
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
French
Spanish
Danish
Finnish
Norwegian
Swedish
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     It was the fate of many of the famous Universal monsters, including Frankenstein, Dracula, the Invisible Man and the Wolf Man, to go from objects of fear to objects of fun when they come into contact with Universal’s ace comedy duo Bud Abbott and Lou Costello, who together made 25 pictures for Universal. Their last for Universal was Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy.

     Bud and Lou (they are named Pete Patterson and Freddie Franklin in the closing credits but throughout the film they call each other Bud, Abbott or Lou) are down on their luck drifters in Egypt. They overhear that Professor Zoomer (Kurt Katch) has just found the mummy of Klaris (the mummy character was called Kharis in the earlier sequels to The Mummy (1932), in which the mummy was called Imhotep, if any that makes any sense) and is looking for a couple of men to accompany it to America. Bud and Lou go to Zoomer’s house to volunteer their services but the Professor has been killed by two henchmen sent by Semu (Richard Deacon), head of a mysterious cult dedicated to protecting Klaris and the tomb of Princess Ara and its treasure, which Klaris guards. The location of the tomb of the princess is disclosed on a medallion which Lou accidentally swallows. So now Semu’s men are after Lou and Bud, as is the deadly Madame Rontru (Marie Windsor), who wants the treasure. Can our boys evade Semu, Madam Rontru and the revived Klaris with their skins, and their sense of humour, intact?

     Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy is not really a monster film, or even a mummy film; instead it is a vehicle for the comedy duo to display their usual style of slapstick humour with its sight gags, pratfalls, twisted dialogue, such as a sequence about a pick being a shovel which is pure Abbott and Costello, disappearing bodies, hidden passageways, trapdoors and pure confusion, ending with three mummies on screen! Some things in the film feel dated, such as the four musical interludes which bring the plot to a dead halt, but there is a lot of fun to be had seeing the boys in good form.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

     Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy is presented in the original 1.85:1 aspect ratio, in 1080p using the MPEG-4 AVC code.

     The film looks pretty good. Backgrounds can be soft but faces and close-ups are firm. There is controlled grain but otherwise this is a clean print without obvious marks or artefacts. Blacks, greyscale and shadow detail are good.

     Large white subtitles are available in English, 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 always easy to understand. The effects, including crowd noises, slaps, falling walls and the music are nice and crisp and the music clean. There is obviously no surround or subwoofer use. The music supervisor is Joseph Gershenson but there is no credit for the score as such.

     I did not notice any hiss or distortion.

     Lip synchronisation was occasionally out but nothing serious.

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

Extras

Trailer (2:09)

     The film commences without a 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 Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy starts with the US FBI antipiracy warning. There has been a release of the film in the US and UK that apparently includes biographies, but I cannot find a release of the film in Australia except as part of The Mummy Complete Legacy Collection (see the summary below).

Summary

     Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy is the comedy duo’s last film for Universal, and their second last film together. By now they have honed their routines to a fine edge and Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy is a good example of their craft; you get a femme fatale, three mummies, a host of heavies and a whole heap of fun. Fans of the pair will not be disappointed.

     The film looks good on Blu-ray, the audio is the original mono. A trailer is the only extra.

     Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy is available in Universals’ 4 disc The Mummy Complete Legacy Collection. The Mummy (1932) and Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy are on single Blu-rays while The Mummy’s Hand (1940) and The Mummy’s Tomb (1942) are on one Blu-ray and The Mummy’s Ghost (1944) and The Mummy’s Curse (1944) on another. This is a great way to catch up with the complete older Universal Mummy collection.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Tuesday, June 06, 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

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE