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THE MUMMY (1932) Boris Karloff is magnificent as the living mummy Im-ho-tep, who angered the gods by reading the scroll of Thoth, which would raise the dead body of his beloved Princess Anckesen-Amon. When Im-ho-tep's tomb is discovered over 3,700 years later and one of the archeologists reads the scroll of Thoth, Im-ho-tep is brought back to life. He later removes his mummy wrappings and assumes the identity of Ardath Bey. Ardath meets and falls in love with a reincarnated version of Princess Anckesen-Amon. In the end, the Princess calls upon the goddess Isis, who zaps Ardath Bey/Im-ho-tep back into a skeleton. This movie has withstood the test of time to become a classic. THE MUMMY'S HAND (1940) In this sequel, continuity is sacrificed at the expense of the contrived plot. The living mummy, played by Tom Tyler, is renamed Kharis. He remains in his mummy wrappings and slowly shuffles along for the duration of the movie. The scroll of Thoth is discarded, as the means for reviving the mummy involve boiling tana leaves and drinking their juice. Finally, the Princess is referred to as Princess Ananka. The archaeologist Steve Banning (Dick Foran), his buddy Babe Jenson (Wallace Ford) and a magician named the Great Solvani (Cecil Kellaway) are played strictly for laughs. At the end, Kharis is supposedly destroyed by being set on fire. THE MUMMY'S TOMB (1942) Lon Chaney, Jr. assumes the role of Kharis in this movie, and is a vast improvement over Tom Tyler. A high priest brings Kharis to America to kill those responsible for desecrating the tomb and digging up Princess Ananka. Kharis is brought to Mapleton, Massachusetts, where Steve Banning lives. Interestingly, he resides in a mansion which looks like a Southern style plantation. Kharis kills Steve Banning (hooray!), Steve's elderly sister (boo!), and Babe Jenson (hip hip hooray!) in quick succession. Kharis is supposedly burned to ashes when the mansion is set on fire. THE MUMMY'S GHOST (1944) Lon Chaney, Jr. returns as Kharis, while John Carradine plays the high priest Yousef Bey. Yousef goes to Mapleton, Mass. to revive Kharis and Princess Ananka with the tana leaves. It works on Kharis but not on the Princess. Fortunately for Kharis, the heroine of the movie is really the reincarnated Princess. Yousef Bey has designs on her, which causes Kharis to kill him. Even though there aren't any swamps to speak of in Massachusetts, Kharis and Princess Ananka are chased into a swamp, where they supposedly drown together. THE MUMMY'S CURSE (1944) Continuity is once again sacrificed, as Kharis (Lon Chaney, Jr.) and the reincarnated Princess Ananka (Virginia Christine) emerge from a drained swamp in the bayous of Louisiana. Although that setting makes perfect sense, give the Southern style mansion and swamp of the previous two movies, no explanation is given for them drowning in Massachusetts and being dug up in Louisiana! In the final film in this series, the reincarnated Princess Ananka is turned into a living mummy by drinking the juice of the tana leaves, while Kharis is killed when part of an old monastery collapses on him and buries him alive. Abbott and Costello would meet a different mummy, named Klaris, in their 1955 movie.

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MC25453 Mummy Legacy Collection DVD (1940-1944/Mummy's Hand/Mummy's Tomb/Mummjy's Ghhost/Mummy's Curse/Karloff) $29.99