Trick & Treat for October 23rd:
THE MUMMY (1932; starring Boris Karloff; directed by Karl Freund)
THE MUMMY’S HAND (1940; starring Tom Tyler; directed by Christy Cabanne)
Boris Karloff’s follow-up to FRANKENSTEIN answers the unasked question, “What are you like now that you’ve come out of your shell?” The shell in this case is not the candy-coated one of a certain candy, but a very, very old mummy’s case. Within which is THE MUMMY: an equally, very, very old Mr. Imhotep (Karloff) who’d just like to sleep-in. But he’s disturbed not by the paws of a cat but by a group of British explorers. Would you be in a good mood if you were awakened from a comfy nap? No! Would you subsequently wreak havoc upon the person or persons who disturbed you? Who knows?! But you probably wouldn’t be quite as upset as Imhotep. Karloff, when not engaged in a slow pursuit of slow-moving Britishers, disguises himself as a creepy Egyptologist, with an unforgettable stare. But it’s the Mummy you’ll really remember.
Just as there have been umpteen, needless and pointless sequels (Coconut flavor??) to the original (and still the best) M&Ms, the same is true of the Mummy franchise. One particular spinoff to the Karloff classic (although not the worst) is THE MUMMY’S HAND. The bandaged fellow in this variation is encased in more or less the same shell, but the innards are different, and any hopes of having the intrigue of the original quickly unravels. Tom Tyler is just no match for Boris, the musical score is a rehash from SON OF FRANKENSTEIN and the plot: it melts in THE MUMMY’S HAND.
Who wants to wait until the 31st to wallow in Halloween indulgences and scary movies?! Home Projectionist doesn’t! And so we’ll have pairings of 31 Frights and 31 Bites every one of October’s 31 nights: a scary, snack size movie “trick”, and a delicious “treat” to go along with it.
Melts in your mouth, not in the Mummy’s Hand!