31 Weeks to Halloween: The Mummy's Ghost (1944)
No chains can hold it! No tomb can seal it!
The year 1944 was a pretty huge one for Universal Pictures and the Monsters; four new monster movies hit theaters in just a seven month period from June to December, and two of those were Mummy movies! The first of which was THE MUMMY'S GHOST, which is the first of two sequels to The Mummy's Tomb which we just recently checked out a couple Saturday's ago. The Mummy's Tomb was an extraordinary sequel to one of the major films, and I honestly had no idea there were follow-up films to it! The legendary Lon Chaney, Jr. reprised his role as Kharis - The Mummy - and along with it, the iconic and horrifying look, movement, and misunderstood terror that he invokes on the townsfolk. Director Reginald Le Borg brought this hour-long horrorfest to life that actually has a very creative continuation to the Mummy's Tomb storyline. While the film may not be the most iconic in the franchise, it's absolutely one of the more creative stories for a sequel to come out of the studio, and pairing that with Chaney returning to life as Kharis is just a recipe for a great little thriller. If you enjoyed the Tomb film, then this film is absolutely a must-see to see the trouble Kharis ends up in this time - and you'll undoubtedly enjoy all of the great on-screen time The Mummy gets, of course!
The story can be a little winding-feeling, but essentially, a member of the Egyptian cult the Temple of Arkam named Yousef Bey is sent by a High Priest to America - more specifically Mapleton, Massachusetts - to awaken Kharis who will, together with Bey, find, retrieve and return the body of the Princess Ananka to Egypt. Her body has been on display and the Temple want both Mummies returned to their rightful home, so Bey sets out for America where he is to burn nine tana leaves - as we've seen in previous films - to lure Kharis to wherever he is, and together they will find and retrieve Ananka's body. Little did they expect, however, that the curse of Ananka says that she will be reincarnated in another woman's body, and that's just what happens: the absolutely stunning Amina Mansori (Ramsay Ames) keeps entering these trance-like states because she is the carrier of Ananka's soul, and Kharis can sense it. Of course, it becomes a battle between the villagers vs. Kharis as both sides try to get Amina to their homes safe; the villagers chase The Mummy as he tries to escape with his Princess in his arms. Will he be able to finally find eternal peace with the Princess, or will the villagers put an end to Kharis' terror and bring their local college girl back home safely? Find out in... THE MUMMY'S GHOST!
Yet again, The Mummy looks fucking phenomenal in this film; a million times better than in the classic 1932 film. And having Lon Chaney, Jr portray him was one of the best decisions Universal could have made - he perfected the walk, the movement, the overall creep factor that we love about the character! Like I mentioned, Kharis gets plenty of on screen time in the movie, so you'll get plenty of opportunities to see the totally killer performance Chaney gives which is a huge part of the reason this movie is great! And just like I mentioned in my review of The Mummy's Tomb, all of these movies all share one common element: mob justice! If you appreciate some good ol' fashioned mob justice in your classic horror, The Mummy's Ghost will please you! I think the creatives behind this film really did a great job at taking The Mummy out of Egypt and into America, and really giving the film a good reason to exist in the first place. It was a great logical step in the continuation of the storyline without feeling like a studio-forced release. If you've been following the Mummy series, this film is an essential viewing! Check it out!!!