How exciting would a trip to Hammer Studios in the sixties have been? I imagine actors in monster makeup and period costumes wandering around and socializing in front of fake European castles. Hammer films always fill me with a sense of nostalgia for old time showbiz.
The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb has this sense of nostalgia in spades because it attempts to recreate not just one but two historical time periods. I know when first released Hammer films were genuinely received as new horrifying versions of classic Hollywood horror. Watching them now, they feel even older. The ridiculous stock characters and bright cheesy sets make them feel like direct continuations of Universal horror films then the reimaginings that they were. This is not a bad thing. There are great chuckles to be had at obvious cleavage and ridiculous accents on background characters. Yet, something happens while you are chuckling. Suddenly, you become invested in the plot, because at it’s core this film has a well-crafted, thoughtfully-paced narrative. When the climax arrives, which may not be a shocking revelation, you are hooked.
With it’s engaging plot and solid acting, The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb feels like a horror movie out of time, in a good way.
3/5 Head-stompings (This is the most brutal death in the movie and happens off-screen. Still it is very effective.)