The Mummy takes one of horror’s most enduring characters and adds two of the genre’s most iconic stars to deliver a film that still holds up fifty years on. Director Terence Fisher may not be a great stylist, but he knows how to build tension and use production design to its upmost, while The Mummy’s musical score adds a flavour of Egyptian mysticism.
Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee lead the cast in Terence Fisher’s 1959 horror, The Mummy. It’s a classy and luscious looking film that uses Universal’s Mummy movies for inspiration, while giving it that unmistakeable Hammer feel.
The Mummy isn’t scary by today’s standards, but it is atmospheric. In a way, The Mummy is a precursor to James Cameron’s Terminator – he can’t be reasoned with and he can’t be stopped. Lee adds a sense of character to his shuffling creature. He’s helped by flashbacks that give him motivation and the opportunity to show his face. Stepping into Boris Karloff’s bandages is a tough job, but Lee manages to do it. Meanwhile, Cushing is as charming as ever, adding some derring-do to his bookish archaeologist.
The Mummy brings so many great horror elements together to create a wonderful movie. It’s a classy affair (odd considering the genre) that works a piece of authentic cinema. This is Hammer on a high.