31 Days of Horror Movies: The Mummy (1932) (Mania.com)
By:Robert T. Trate
Review Date: Sunday, October 20, 2013
Halloween is a special time. It is the one time of year when everyone gives of themselves. What they give can be anything from candy to a scare. We thought this October, we here at Mania would give you 31 Horror Films for the 31 days of October. Now, many of you will know these films. Some of you, may not. Get ready for 31 days of Horror Films that will run gauntlet from scary to campy, from horrific to down right ridiculous. Happy Halloween from Mania!
For those of you that are too young to remember or haven’t discovered this classic,The Mummy (1932) is a tale about an Egyptian Priest that comes back to life to seek out his true love. Boris Karloff plays Im-ho-tep, a man whose secret desires were discovered 3,700 years ago and cursed to hell in both the world of the living and the dead. Revived by a few archeologists, he walks the Earth as the living dead and discovers that his love has been reincarnated. His pursuit of her and his obsession is the heart of this dark tale.
It is impossible to rate Boris Karloff’s The Mummy. The film is a classic, hands down. Not only will horror directors try to emulate it, but make-up artists as well. The Mummy is not only Karl Freund’s directorial debut, but a horrific love story as well.
What is great about discovering The Mummy is the listening to the feature length commentary by Rick Baker, Scott Essman, Steven Haberman, Bob Burns and Brent Armstrong. These men give you an incredible insight in to the film. We also get an overall perspective of Universal’s history of movie monsters, Karloff and where the horror genre has faulted since. Besides pointing out the occasional bad wig and pre-code amount of skin on screen they make an effort to mention director Karl Freund’s moving camera, unheard of at the time, along with an early instance of deep focus, something Orson Welles would later use in Citizen Kane. Historically they put into perspective that the economy of the time was the worst ever in the United States but the cinema would produce films that will stand the test of time. It is a testament to the all those involved that The Mummy still exists today and is a celebrated classic in a genre that at the time was looked down upon.
The Mummy is one that you must screen this Halloween season. Not as flashy asFrankenstein and Dracula, it is a true classic forged when Hollywood looked down on the genre. The Mummy helped shape the horror genre with its camera, style, story and make up. What makes this film a classic is that it will continue to do so for generations to come.
Mania Grade: NA
Starring: Boris Karloff, Zita Johann, David Manners, Edward Van Sloan
Written By: Nina Wilcox Putnam (from a story by), Richard Schayer (from a story by)
Directed By: Karl Freund
Studio: Universal Studios
Run Time: 73 Minutes