Blood from the Mummy’s Tomb (1971)

Does anyone out there still rent Netflix discs? Is it just the old people? Do I count as an old person because 1) I’m 35 and 2) I rent discs from Netflix? Should I stop asking rhetorical questions? Sometimes I wonder why I continue to rent the discs, since I go through cycles of watching them and then not watching them for months on end, letting them sit there on the table by the front door. But it’s just so hard to let go! I’ve been a disc customer for so long, bloodfromthemummystomb_2and I feel a real emotional attachment to my disc queue, which is why it pains me so damn hard to watch the discs drop from the queue to the ‘saved’ section like flies. But even still, it’s my security blanket: if I’m not sure I want to buy a movie I’ve never seen and it’s not streaming, it’s the best and cheapest way to rent a flick, since Netflix pretty much destroyed any chance of walking out the door and finding a decent place to rent movies. Sorry, but Redbox does not fucking cut it. And I am not one of those people who will just watch whatever is available. In fact, I think that’s the worst thing about Netflix streaming – I tell someone to watch a movie and the first question I get is: “is it on Netflix?” What the fuck! A movie’s only worth seeking out if you can sit on your ass and click a few buttons to get there? Pshaw!

Well anyway, that’s a long way ’round to introducing Blood from the Mummy’s Tomb, a disc I’d had sitting around for nearly half a year. It was kind of one of those unintentional rentals; I’d added it to my queue so long ago and didn’t do proper maintenance after returning the disc beforehand and it just came in the mail. And sat. And sat. And sat. I guess I was under the impression it would be some old, muddy print of a boring movie I never meant to watch and only threw on the queue because it had the word “mummy” in it. Luckily it was much better than I expected.

As with most Hammer horror, and most mummy movies for that matter, the plot is pretty simple. An archaeologist named Fuchs brings back the severed hand of a pristinely-preserved Egyptian priestess. Frankly I’m not sure why she’s referred to as a mummy, because she is not mummified! She’s just a regular woman in a sarcophagus who happened to avoid decomposing for thousands of years. She even manages to maintain perky, tasteful underboob.

A disembodied hand is rarely a good thing.

A disembodied hand is rarely a good thing.

NBD. Fuchs suspects the mummy, otherwise known as Queen Tera, has some weird, deep connection with his daughter Margaret. Which kinda makes sense when you notice they’re played by the same actress (Valerie Leon).

So, the night before Margaret’s birthday, she is waiting patiently for her boyfriend Tod Browning (yeah, that’s his name folks) to come pick her up. Before Tod shows up, Fuchs gives her this gaudy old ring for ‘protection.’ From what? Or whom? And why is Tod’s mentor so afraid of it? And why is everyone in London suddenly an archaeologist? I guess these old fogies know some shit’s about to go down on Margaret’s birthday, and everyone involved in the original Queen Tera expedition is greedily guarding the relics they kept for themselves, hoping it will protect them from whatever evil the Queen has in mind for the world at large. But with Margaret suddenly (psychically?) connected to Tera, can they stop the worst from happening?

Not bad for a thousands-year-old broad.

Not bad for a thousands-year-old broad.

Okay, a lot of the movie doesn’t make much sense. But, it’s rare that I watch a Hammer film expecting a riveting, thoughtful plot, so I don’t care. This movie still has a lot going for it. First of all, everyone is so god damn fashionable, especially Margaret and Tod, who must have a different jacket for every day of the week. I guess Tod comes from money, because he drives some hot-ass cars that would be just impossible to afford on an archaeological apprentice’s wages! While it’s all pretty cheap and unimaginative, the Egyptian tchotchkes and costumes are vibrant and fun. But, perhaps, not as vibrant or fun as the electric-red blood spattered on everyone’s throats once Queen Tera is done with them!

I’m not saying you should rush out and get a copy of Blood from the Mummy’s Tomb. But if you happen to find yourself in the vicinity of one, or find a copy for a relatively affordable price, pick it up. It’s good, harmless fun. If you’re already bought in to Hammer horror, there’s no reason why you wouldn’t enjoy this one, too.


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