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Subj: Creature Feature 60: The Mummy's Ghost(1944)
Posted: Thu Feb 09, 2017 at 08:04:09 am EST (Viewed 268 times)
The Mummy's Ghost(1944) is a direct sequel to 1942's The Mummy's Tomb featuring Lon Chaney Jr. again as Kharis The Mummy and John Carradine as the high priest of Arkam in Mapleton, Massachusetts. George Zucco appears briefly as Andoheb, his same role from the previous two movies and Barton MacLean(The Maltese Falcon) plays a local inspector.
In Egypt, High Priest Andoheb(Zucco) once again passes on his duties to another High Priest, Yousef Bey(Carradine), to retrieve Kharis and the body of the princess Ananka and return them to Egypt. In Mapleton, a college professor deciphers some hieroglyphics and brews tana leaves which attracts Kharis. Kharis murders the professor without explanation as to how he survived from the previous movie. Bey arrives and directs Kharis to get the body of Ananka from a museum. When he touches the mummified Ananka, however, the body crumbles to dust and her spirit flees to the body of beautiful Egyptian student Amina. Kharis kidnaps Amina and brings her to Bey, who falls in love with Amina and forsakes his plan to kill her and bring her body to Egypt. He now wants to make her his immortal bride, which enrages Kharis. Kharis kills Bey and takes Amina, who is transforming into the ancient mummified form of Ananka, to the swamp with Amina's boyfriend and the local authorities in pursuit. The good guys arrive too late to stop Kharis from submerging in the swamp with Amina, now reincarnated as the corpse of Ananka.
My memories of the Mummy series kind of ran together over the years, but after watching these movies recently, I think The Mummy's Ghost is my favorite of the sequels. I love the college town setting, the museum, the mill, and the swamp. John Carradine gives a better performance as a high priest than he did as mad doctors in Captive Wild Woman and The Invisible Man's Revenge and Lon Chaney's Kharis is at his most violent. According to the trivia section on IMBd, Chaney choked fellow actor Frank Reicher so realistically that he exclaimed afterward, "He nearly killed me!" I also liked that the local authorities are quick to believe that the Mummy is back, a natural conclusion from the previous movie, and I liked the plan to trap the Mummy in a 10-foot deep pit. I would have liked to have seen this plan work.
The Mummy movies basically recycle the same plot with each entry but there's usually something that stands out in each one, and in this one, it's the ending. It's really surprising and quite different from most horror movies of the era. If you can get past the Mummy shambling out of the woods with no explanation as to how he didn't burn up in The Mummy's Tomb, The Mummy's Ghost is a fine 40's horror movie.
Kharis in the museum. This is a great scene, from Ananka'a spirit leaving the mummy to Kharis's tantrum to the murder of the security guard. According to IMDb, Chaney smashed some real glass that was supposed to be break-away glass and he cut his chin through the Mummy mask. You can see blood on his chin in this scene.
Kharis' anger when Bey changes his plan regarding Amina. Once again, Kharis violently rages and pushes him out of the mill.
The finale in the swamp. What a downer. The police hold Amina's boyfriend back as Kharis descends into the swamp with Amina in his arms, Amina having transformed into a ghastly corpse.
The Mummy's Ghost trailer
The Mummy's Ghost on Cinemassacre
In his Cinemassacre review, James Rolfe cites the book Universal Horrors: The Studio's Classic Films, 1931-1946, stating that, during the filming of this movie, Chaney had a flask of vodka under his bandages and a tubing system that allowed him to drink while in costume. Maybe that explains his violent performance.
Actress Acquanetta(Captive Wild Woman) was supposed to play Amina but, apparently, she fell on a rock that she thought was paper mache during filming and received a concussion. She was replaced with pin-up girl Ramsay Ames.
In the museum scene, the night watchman is listening to a radio adaptation of Universal's 1942 movie The Mad Doctor Of Market Street. He is also reading a detective pulp magazine, but I can't make out the title, other than "Detective".
You can watch The Mummy's Ghost here:
The Mummy's Ghost
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