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Saturday, March 16, 2013

Pharaoh's Curse (1957)

I need to confess that Mummy pictures are not my favorite.  However, I know a good film when I see it and this isn't it.  Pharaoh's Curse brings nothing new to the table in terms of the Mummy legend nor does its shoestring budget produce anything that's even remotely interesting.

The basic plot centers around a group of archaeologists who desecrate a tomb they've uncovered.  This in turn unleashes the mummy's cruse.  Zzzzzz.  The weird "twist" is that it's one of their crew who is turned into a mummy rather than the old one rising form the grave.  Whatever.  The script is also a bit uneven and devolves into a soap opera in one big scene for no apparent reason.

The sets are, at times, laughable.  This is especially true of the lid to the sarcophagus which is clearly made of styrofoam or some other light material.  The actors seem incapable of pretending it is anything but easy to remove.  Furthermore, I've been fortunate enough to travel through the Nile Valley in Egypt and there was nothing in this film that even remotely resembled it.  The decorative elements, wall textures and outdoor shots in this film are a pure Hollywood invention.

Let's talk about acting for a moment but is a bit uneven.  Mark Dana [ ] play the unstoppable Captain Storm with enough testosterone to make Vin Diesel look like a pansy.  Ziva Rodann plays the Egyptian priestess Simira as if she's in an Ambien haze.  She comes across as heavily medicated rather than mysterious.  I don't think this was her desired effect.  The rest of the cast is pretty forgettable.

So, if you want to see a great mummy pic try Boris Karloff's The Mummy (1932) or Hammer Horror's The Mummy (1959) with Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing.    Leave this one in the dust bins of a Hollywood backlot.


For more info check out the film's entry in IMDB.

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