"The Mummy's Curse" is a rather routine but certainly enjoyable entry in the series.
Years after the events of before, Pat Walsh, (Addison Richards) the captain of an excavation crew, plans to drain the swamp. The local workers, a group of Cajuns, are superstitious about the mummy legend surrounding the area. When they find Kharis, (Lon Chaney Jr.) at the bottom of a swamp, Dr. Halsey, (Dennis Moore) of the Scripps Museum has plans to locate the bodies and display them in the museum against the wishes of Walsh. Halsey's assistant Illzor, (Peter Coe) is the High Priest of Arkam and secretly uses Tana leaves to resurrect Kharis. Soon, the revived Princess Ananka, (Virginia Christine) rises from the swamp, albeit not as a mummy but as a beautifully rejuvenated young lady suffering from amnesia. Though Ananka finds him repulsive, Kharis stalks her according to the wishes of Illzor, killing the local townspeople who stand in his way. As crew-members begin to drop off with telltale mold on their necks, Halsey intervenes and tries to get to the bottom of this mess before more people are killed.
The Good News: One of the film's greatest strengths is it's one real stand-out scene when Ananka rises from the mud. Her resurrection from the drained swamp is one of the most impressive, and downright odd, sequences in the entire series. Caked in dried clay, she struggles to break loose from her burial place and then staggers blindly through the woods, her head turned upward to the blazing sun as it glows through her closed eyelids, until finally she descends slowly into the water to cleanse herself. This scene is startlingly effective, and is without a doubt the most memorable thing about it. This is such a strangely beautiful, almost surreal sequence. One thing the movie does get right is that it gets around the problem of having the slow-moving Mummy catch people by having his victims practically stumble into his arms so that he can strangle them without a problem. In one encounter, there's the fact that when one victim first bumps into him where you can see the dust rise from his body, which is a very nice touch, but by having it where the victims come to him it makes it a lot more exciting. The story does have an interesting twist to it, though, that shouldn't lightly be passed over. That is that Princess Ananka really doesn't want to return to the tomb back in her homeland to be Kharis' lover anymore and the fact that she craves the sun puts an interesting spin on things. There's a whole cult of priests exists to make sure her rest is not disturbed, and she's not in the mood to rest. Just as clever is how when she comes to, she seemingly remembers nothing and is still a cognizant human being. She's not some innocent who has been possessed by the spirit of Ananka. For all intents and purposes, she really is Princess Ananka, and for once, not the other way around, which is a real treat. This change is enough to give it a different feel, and is one that really fits in the film. These manage to make the film watchable and quite fun.
The Bad News: This here is a rather decent entry in the series, and has some overall problems with it. The biggest one is that this is a virtual remake of its predecessor. Like that film, this one concerns an Egyptian priest who travels to America, falls in love with a local girl and attempts to use the secrets of eternal life to secure their future. The girl's fiancée fights against the union, as does Kharis, who, aside from killing local townspeople, is actually a good monster at heart. This is virtually the same as the other entries and offers up nothing new to be seen. As such, this film feels like the product of an assembly line, barely indistinguishable from its predecessors. The mummy slinks around as usual, killing several people with the choke of his hand. Nobody is ever able to outrun Kharis, despite the fact that he can barely walk. Most of them don't even try because they are apparently paralyzed with fear. Another big problem centers around the titular creature. It often seems like the Mummy's curse in this movie is to cloud the peripheral vision of other characters. In the scene where Princess Ananka is rescued from the side of the road and driven away, nobody who rescues her can see Kharis who is only a couple of feet away. They don't even spot him in the rear-view mirror of the car. This is simply ludicrous, as there's hardly any way that a shambling mummy is going to be unnoticed by a large amount of witnesses. It just doesn't make any sense, and is handled so poorly that it only seems to aggravate more than anything. Unfortunately, it seems like a waste of time having the mummy both catch Princess Ananka and kill anyone who gets in his way. Every time he stops to kill someone, it gives Ananka a chance to get away. Significantly, the time the mummy finally does catch Ananka, he doesn't bother to kill the accompanying woman. This problems keep the film down in the series.
The Final Verdict: This wasn't as bad as it could've been, but it's still got it's problems and in the end is merely respectable. It's nothing new for the series, so if it sounds like fun, give it a shot, but you won't miss anything by skipping it.
Today's Rating-PG: Violence
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