Tonight on MeTV , while most of us are walking around with our faces wrapped in a mask, we’ve got a mummified menace who’s wrapped even more than that- who the characters in this film wish they could social distance from! For the second week in a row, we have a horror epic from the Hammer Studios- in which the legends of ancient Egypt affect a greedy showman’s disregard for the traditional warnings attached to the sacred interment of Egyptian nobility- placing London under the “Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb”!
It’s 1900, and one Professor Dubois has brought a team of Egyptologists into the Egyptian desert to help evaluate a recently discovered mummy and its artifacts. John Bray, Sir Giles Dalrymple, and Dubois’ lovely daughter ( and fiancée of Bray) Annette are part of the expedition- and find themselves under the thumb of the overbearing showman who is backing the effort- the boisterous Alexander King. His plans for the find , sadly, run opposite of the wishes of his party and the Egyptian government. A number of Egyptians have already taken action against the professor, feeling he is desecrating something holy by planning to put the mummy and its trappings on display in a touring show, rather than having them placed in a dignified exhibition in the homeland museum. King disregards any the talk of a curse upon anyone who tampers with the treasures or dares to open the mummy’s sarcophagus. He proclaims it all as nonsense- even after deaths occur before they even board their ship bound for England!
During the overseas journey, the party meets a wealthy patron of the arts, Adam Beauchamp, who appears to have great knowledge about ancient Egypt. Meanwhile, a despondent Sir Giles, aware that he will be banned from any further expeditions in Egypt after his failure to keep the treasures out of King’s hands, resorts to drowning his sorrows in alcohol. To add to an already tense situation, a mysterious gang of thieves tries to disrupt the journey!
Once back in London after this perilous trip, undeterred, King sets up his exhibition ( as visions of dollar signs dance in his head)! John and Annette find themselves taking advantage of Beauchamp’s hospitality and agree to stay in his mansion while preparations are made for the public unveiling of the mummy. In spite of the warning that anyone who witnesses the opening of the mummy’s sarcophagus will die, King does a rehearsal of his exhibit –in which he pries open the lid, revealing the wrapped remains of Ra-Antef, son of Rameses. Adam Beauchamp has regaled and entranced Annette with the backstory of Ra- how he was forced into exile by his jealous brother, about his possession of a medallion that supposedly has the power to return the dead to life- and how the evil brother sent assassins to kill his sibling! Annette finds herself quite willingly falling under the spell of the charming Adam- of which her fiancé John certainly takes notice. Adam is also taking notice -of an unusual medallion that Annette’s father had given her. It is decided that Giles and John should work on deciphering the ancient script on the medallion to determine its purpose. ( Can we guess what that might be?)
Some mysterious attacks precede the big premiere night of King’s exhibition- where his dramatic build up to the opening of the mummy’s casket is shockingly ruined. This is only the beginning of his bad luck- as it appears the curse he was warned about is actually being fulfilled!
This 1964 Hammer film is in full color, just like last week’s movie- but it is different in that the two famous horror players- Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing- who starred in the Frankenstein film-are not among the cast. Also, unlike the Universal Mummy films, this mummy is not Im Ho Tep or Kharis, in search of his lost love. No tanna leaves are involved either! This film also is a stand alone with no connection to any of the other Hammer mummy films. Regardless, it is a visually stunning production in the Hammer tradition and- warning- also contains a few grisly moments. We’ll talk about the cast, introduce you to a new weight-loss method, ply you with some Egyptian-based jokes, and, serenade you with a song that’s far from “rap”- more like “wrap”! Plus- a fond memory- we bring back our interview with the wonderful artist who drew the Mad magazine Svengoolie satire! And must we endure Kerwyn doing a solo mail segment again?
“Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb” commences tonight on MeTV at 8 pm eastern/pacific, 7 central. If you need the information on time and channel in your area, please check your local listings or the information at www.metv.com As always, you can join the thousands of Sven fans who live-Tweet during the Saturday night show on Twitter, using the hashtag #svengoolie ! Viewers in the Chicago broadcast area can get “Hammered” again by the “Curse of Frankenstein” at 11 am on the U.
Wrap up the Sven August movie schedule with us tonight- but beware the curse!