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Blu-ray Review

DVD cover

Blood from the Mummy's Tomb (1971)
(2017 Restored Blu-Ray & DVD Doubleplay)


Starring: Valerie Leon, Andrew Keir, Mark Edwards, James Villiers, Hugh Burden and Aubrey Morris
Distributor: StudioCanal
RRP: £TBC (Blu-Ray & DVD Dual Format)
Certificate: 15
Release Date: 30 October 2017

To coincide with the 60th anniversary of Hammer’s first proper horror film (The Curse of Frankenstein) Studio Canal is releasing DVD/Blu-ray Doubleplay versions of Blood From the Mummy’s Tomb, Demons of the Mind, Fear in the Night, Scars of Dracula, Dr Jekyll and Sister Hyde, To the Devil a Daughter, Straight on Till Morning, and The Horror of Frankenstein...

In Blood From the Mummy’s Tomb, a British expedition discovers the tomb of the evil Queen Tera. At that precise moment Julian Fuchs’s wife gives birth to a daughter the exact image of the mummy. While Tera’s incredibly lifelike preservation remains an enigma for years in the basement of a house in London, Margaret struggles to hold on to her identity. Corbeck, a member of the expedition, uses her for nefarious ambitions of power and, with a ring from the tomb, begins to recover the artefacts which protect the rest of the expedition.

This film from 1971 is the last example of the mummy scenario from Hammer. It is different in that there is no revenge-seeking creature wrapped in bandages. In fact Tera isn’t a mummy at all; her beautiful bejewelled body is very human, and is intact aside from missing a hand. The first shot is a close-up of Valerie Leon’s heaving breasts as she dreams a flashback to ancient Egypt… and what is the connecting shot? The evil queen Tera’s breasts. Who can blame Hammer for utilising her assets as she wanders around in a negligee. Actually, Leon is pretty good in the twin role. Rather, it’s the script that suffers. It’s based on Bram (Dracula) Stoker’s story The Jewel of the Seven Stars, but here the suspense isn’t sustained. After a strong start the middle section of the movie drags with dull and over-long scenes wherein the artefacts are recovered at the expense of their keepers.

Like Carter’s real life expedition, this movie was said to be plagued by a curse. Hammer legend Peter Cushing was cast as Fuchs and had started filming when he pulled out due to his wife’s serious illness. Sadly, she died. Cushing was replaced by Andrew Keir – best known perhaps for his other Hammer roles in Quatermass and the Pit, and Dracula: Prince of Darkness. Other examples of ill fortune included the death of two crew members, including the director Seth Holt himself. Michael Carreras completed the movie, which is undoubtedly why some scenes appear incomplete or simply lack finesse.

It’s great to spot Hugh Burden who plays Geoffrey Dandridge detached from reality and not too dissimilar to his role as Channing in Doctor Who’s Spearhead From Space. There’s a nice in-joke too, when we see an estate agent sign outside a house. It carries the names of Production Designer Scott MacGregor and Production Supervisor Roy Skeggs.

I last reviewed this film in 2004. As opinions often change, I watched and reviewed this new release before checking-up on what I had written before. Although I’ve written a very different review my outlook remains unchanged. It’s not one of their best, but as time goes on it’s increasingly important to revere the august horror output of Hammer.


Ty Power

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