Kharis, the mummy, is back in The Mummy’s Curse and he’s…he’s still played by Lon Chaney, Jr., and he gets up to his old tricks in the last of Universal’s classic mummy monster movies.
At the end of The Mummy’s Ghost, we last saw Kharis carrying Amina into the swamp as he was being pursued by a vigilante mob. Amina was the reincarnation of Princess Ananka and was rapidly aging as the centuries were catching up to her. The swamp consumed them and that was the movie. One thing I’ve noticed about the old Universal monster movies (and it’s not really them in particular) is that these old films just kind of end– monsters are fighting, the ceiling collapses, roll credits.
Anyway, back to tonight’s feature presentation–
The swamp where the mummy met his final demise is on the schedule to be drained. A lot of people really don’t want that to happen as they think the swamp is haunted as, you know, a mummy walked into it with a young woman who aged into a thousands-of-years-old corpse. I think anybody in their right mind would be suspicious of the place. The engineering company doing the draining tries to convince the people it’s for their own good, but they don’t agree.
Meanwhile, in the swamp–
A worker finds the body of Kharis. Another man, Ragheb, who is sworn to protect Kharis, kills the worker. The murder brings Doctors Halsey and Zandaab from the museum where Ananka’s mummy was stolen. Halsey believes the mummy is involved. Zandaab, who is secretly a High Priest, finds Ragheb who removed Kharis from the swamp and has him stored in a nearby monastery. Yes, a monastery…in Massachusetts. (If this is, or was, a thing, please, somebody, let me know).
Safely installed in their hideout, Zandaab and Ragheb boil the tana leaves. This wakes Kharis, but it also has the unintended effect of raising Ananka from her water grave. Evidently the swamp water has some curative powers because her skin is flawless. After a series of (unfortunate) events, she ends up staying in the camp with Dr. Halsey and his team of researchers who are scouring the swamp for the mummy. Everyone is surprised that Ananka, who has amnesia and doesn’t remember anything, has an encyclopedic knowledge of Egyptology.
Of course, Zandaab, Ragheb and Kharis are wanting Ananka.
I have watched the Mummy series of films about three times now. Most recently three days ago, all in one day. I don’t suggest doing that. If you want to watch them all, as a completist, maybe stretch it out– by the time you get to The Mummy’s Curse your mind may be numbed.
This was my least favorite of the original Mummy movies. Every time I’ve watched it, my brain has kinda wandered. I will admit, as with the last film, there’s something strange about seeing the mummy roam the swamps and the countryside and abandoned mines. Watching The Mummy’s Curse, I thought it’d be nice if Bubba Ho-Tep popped up from the reeds and cattails.