Wednesday, October 8, 2008

October 8 - Blood from the Mummy's Tomb [1971]

Blood from the Mummy's Tomb (1971)
Director: Seth Holt
Starring: Valerie Leon, James Villiers, Andrew Keir

Based on Bram Stoker's novel, The Jewel of the Seven Stars, this was the last mummy movie produced by Britain's legendary Hammer Studios. Well, I use the term "mummy" rather loosely, since there's no Egyptian mummy in this movie. It's actually about a reincarnated Egyptian princess.

By 1971, England's Hammer Studios was in sharp decline. The horror movie scene had changed a lot since the studio's heyday of the 50s and 60s, and its traditional gothic period pieces were no longer in vogue. So gone are the Hammer regulars like Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing, and so are the period costumes and sets.

Blood from the Mummy's Tomb is set in contemporary times (1971), and tells a tale of reincarnation, Egyptian curses and murder. All the murders involve ripped throats, which gets old pretty quick, and there's way too much convoluted dialogue about Egyptian bollocks. It's all a bit wordy really.

Valerie Leon, best known for her work in a string of Carry On movies, is one hot babe, and she gets into various degrees of undress in her duel roles. The rest of the cast do an alright job, although bad guy James Villiers has a highly-annoying "pip pip, jolly good show" British accent.

All in all, this movie isn't terrible, but shows the decline of Hammer Studios in the early 70s, failing to live up to the level of earlier classics like the Quartermass trilogy or its Dracula and Frankenstein movies. 

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