Review: The Mummy
Blu-ray: The Mummy (1959)
Just 1 year after Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee battled onscreen as Doctor Van Helsing and Dracula, the actors are reunited in another retelling of a Universal Pictures horror classic that stars Cushing as archaeologist John Banning, while Lee is the titular mummy, hidden behind dirty and torn bandages..though you do get to see him “in the flesh” during the genesis story of the mummy when he was Kharis; high priest in ancient Egypt before being buried alive and then brought back to life in 1895 by the power of ancient gods.
Setting the majority of the movie in the UK gives an eerie and unsettling quality to proceedings as the dishevelled mummy takes its revenge on all who wronged him, with Lee showing his star qualities and onscreen presence despite being restricted to jerky body movements and emoting through only through his eyes for the majority of the movie.
Cushing meanwhile is…well…Peter Cushing. Always riveting whenever he’s onscreen and (quite literally in this case) throwing himself into whatever character he plays, exuding a passion for his craft that is palpable.
Despite Hammer’s limited budgets, their movies (especially the earlier ones) always featured sumptuous sets, all made even more eye catching in glorious colour, and made even more beautiful on this Second Sight Films Blu-ray release where the colours pop while also making the mummy look even more intimidating with its grimy cloth bandages hanging in disarray.
Continuing to build on a style that would see Hammer become such an iconic part of British filmmaking, The Mummy is a good old fashioned romp where you cheer for the good guys and can loudly boo the bad guys whenever they appear onscreen.
The usual slew of great special features and accompanying beautiful packaging that has become Second Sight Films trademark, all add up to another classic movie that you should add to your collection.
- Main feature presented in original UK theatrical aspect ratio 1.66:1 and alternative full frame1.37:1
- New audio commentary by film academic Kelly Robinson
- Archive audio commentary by Marcus Hearn and Jonathan Rigby
- An Appreciation of The Mummy by David Huckvale
- The Music of The Mummy
- Unwrapping The Mummy
- The House of Horror: Memories of Bray
- The Hammer Rep Company
- Original Promo Reel
- Still Gallery
Limited Edition Contents:
- Rigid slipcase with new artwork by Graham Humphreys
- Soft cover book with new essays by Kat Ellinger, Lindsay Hallam and Kevin Lyons plus production stills
- 5 collectors’ art cards
Limited Edition release from Second Sight Films on 29th August 2022.
Review by Dave from a disc kindly supplied by Second Sight Films via Aim Publicity.