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Monday, November 25, 2013

The Mummy's Hand (1940)

Starring Dick Foran, Peggy Moran, Wallace Ford, Eduardo Ciannelli, George Zucco
Directed by Christy Cabanne
(actor & director credits courtesy

An out-of-work archaeologist and his partner try to find a backer for an excavation of an Egyptian tomb, unaware that's it under the protection of an evil high priest and an ancient living mummy.

This is Universal Pictures' follow-up to the classic horror film The Mummy, but it's not a sequel, instead repurposing footage from that film to present a tale of a new mummy, this time a lumbering servant to George Zucco's sinister high priest, who controls the tana leaves that must be brewed to keep the mummy alive.  Tom Tyler, probably best known for playing the title role in the terrific Adventures Of Captain Marvel serial, plays the mummy here, and is not particularly fearsome, except when shot in close-up, with the actor's eyes blacked out in the film's eeriest effect.  Still, I love this film, which amps up the comedy considerably for a horror movie, and features a great villainous turn by Zucco, a fantastic Egyptian sacrificial chamber set, and lots of fun foreboding music re-used from Frank Skinner & Hans J. Salter's score for Son Of Frankenstein.

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