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The Mummy's Hand

USA 1940
produced by
Ben Pivar for Universal
directed by Christy Cabanne
starring Dick Foran, Peggy Moran, Wallace Ford, George Zucco, Cecil Kellaway, Charles Trowbridge, Eduardo Ciannelli, Tom Tyler, Sig Arno, Eddie Foster, Harry Stubbs, Michael Mark, Mara Tartar, Leon Belasco
written by Griffin Jay, Maxwell Shayne, make up by Jack Pierce, music by Hans J. Salter, Frank Skinner

Universal horror cycle, Universal's Mummy series, Kharis the Mummy

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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In an Egyptian bazaar, Steve (Dick Foran) & Babe (Wallace Ford) find an ancient vase, & since Steve happens to be an archeologist, he soon figures it shows the way to an ancient tomb ... when he visits the local institute for Egyptology though, its head scientist Andoheb (George Zucco) claims it to be a fake, even if the head of the Cairo museum Dr. Petrie (Charles Trowbridge) is certain of its authencity.

Steve, Babe & Doctor Petrie then decide to mount an expedition to where their vase points on their own, problem is they got no money. Step in the Great Solvani (Cecil Kellaway), a stage magician whom Steve & babe convince over quite a bit of alcohol that the expedition is a sound investment - much to the dismay of his daughter Marta (Peggy Moran), who believes Steve & Babe to be con-men.

Soon the expedition has reached its destination though, & indeed, once there they find a tomb, if not the tomb of queen Ananka, as they had expected ...

Why though, you may ask, has Andoheb insisted the vase was a fake ?

Easy, because he is in secret the highpriest of Karnak who guards the mummy of Kharis (Tom Tyler), a former highpriest at queen Ananka's court who was secretly in love with Ananka & after her death tried to revive her with fluid from tana leaves ... but before he could do so, he was caught by the palace guards & condemned to be buried alive & kept alive in his immured state for all eternity with the help of the fluid of the tana leaves he wanted to awaken Ananka with ...

Of course, Steve & company open Kharis the mummy's grave, which infuriates Andoheb, who then uses the mummy to kill the participants of the expedition, simply by putting phioles of the tana fluid in their tents one at a time, & the mummy, by now addictecd to the stuff, will kill anyone who blocks his way to the fluid ...

Then, for some/no reason, Andoheb changes his plans, has Solvani's daughter Marta (who has since, need I say it, fallen in love with Steve) abducted by the mummy to ananka's secret temple, & plans to, with the help of the tana leaves, give both her & himself eternal life, so they can ... well, be together (not that she is too crazy about the idea. But by now Steve & company have found the way to the temple themselves, can throw Andoheb down a cliff & burn both the mummy & the tana leaves. Marta, of course is saved from the terrible fate of eternal life, & it's only a question of time before she will mary Steve.

 

Of course, The Mummy's Hand  is a far cry from Universal's classic horrors from the early 1930's, it's rather a run-of-the-mill b-picture profiting from the fame of its more famous predecessors. That's not to say The Mummy's Hand is without its charms though, it has that certain carelessness that makes many 1940's B-horrors so endearing: The desert you would expect in Egypt looks concpiciously like the North American plains, where camels look pretty much ot of place (but are still there), Ananka's secret temple, from the outside, looks (& certainly was) not of Egyptian but of Middle to North American origin (while the inside looks ery Egyptian), & the story doesn't even try to make too much sense. In other words, you might hate the film for these reasons, you might love it, you might love to hate or hate to love it.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
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a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
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screenwriter and film reviewer
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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On the same day
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and your Ex wants
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you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
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starring
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Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD