Of all the horror monsters Mummies are one of the most under used.
Perhaps it’s their name or the bandages – both of which hardly inspire fear. Or maybe it’s the fact that plot-wise, Mummy films are very often the same, revolving around an ancient Egyptian tome and the curse placed on it, against anyone disturbing the resting remains.
Hammer’s 1967 mummy movie, The Mummy’s Shroud as you can probably guess revolves around a group of intrepid archeologists in search of the lost tomb. This time it belongs to the boy Pharaoh Kah-To-Be. It’s a sacred place which they are warned must not be disturbed or else it will bring about grave consequences.
The go getting gang led by scientist Sir Basil Walden (The Plague of the Zombies Andre Morell) fail to heed the horrifying warning however, and take both the mummified remains AND the sacred shroud covering them to a Cairo museum. Shortly afterwards, the shroud mysteriously goes missing.
From that point on the pack of explorers finds themselves targeted by the monstrous mummy, resurrected to wreak revenge on the people who desecrated his master’s tomb. Can they stop the unstoppable undead before he kills them all?
The third of Hammer’s four mummy films The Mummy’s Shroud may not be overly original. However it is entertaining fun, helped along with a great performance by John Phillips as the arrogant and evil businessman Stanley Preston, whose son is involved in Sir Basil’s expedition. Revelling in his bad guy role, his scenes are excellent, especially with his brow beaten employee Longbarrow, played by Michael Ripper from The Reptile.
The rest of the cast are reasonably good. More importantly the mummy itself is quite well done, inspiring as much fear and terror as is probably possible when you’re covered in dirty hospital dressing. The death he deals out is much more satisfying than one would expect to see, as people are crushed and thrown to their deaths with bright red blood oozing out of them.
If anything the main fault of The Mummy’s Shroud is that there isn’t enough of the mummy in it. And the epic ancient Egyptian set opening and the over-long exposition make the movie take too long to build up to the horror.
All that said The Mummy’s Shroud is worth a watch for Hammer completest and mummy addicts alike. The Blu-Ray reissue means the movie looks and sounds as good as it was the day it was first released.