Blood From the Mummy's Tomb Blu-ray Review
Written by Joel Harley
Blu-ray released by Studiocanal
Directed by Seth Holt, Michael Carreras (uncredited)
Written by Christopher Wicking
1971, 94 minutes, Rated 15 (UK)
Blu-ray released on 30th October 2017
Andrew Kier as Professor Julian Fuchs
Valerie Leon as Margaret Fuchs/Queen Tera
James Villiers as Corbeck
Hugh Burden as Geoffrey Dandridge
George Coulouris as Professor Berrigan
Mark Edwards as Tod Browning
70s Hammer Horror does the Mummy, but, if you're only familiar with Sir Christopher Lee and his bandages, you might be surprised. A loose adaptation of Bram Stoker's The Jewel of the Seven Stars, Seth Holt's lurid curse movie forgoes the gauze in favour of a beautiful female Mummy, fancy jewellery and almost Lovecraftian madness. And, this being 70s Hammer, copious cleavage and lashings of bright red gore.
What it lacks in clarity and structure, Blood From the Mummy's Tomb makes up for with its sense of style, being a particularly lavish production, even by Hammer standards. If you overlook the overlit, wooden and too-pristine set that makes up the titular tomb, that is. Disturbing the tomb of 'Egyptian' queen Tera, whisking her away to London and stealing her jewellery, an archaeological expedition awakens her wrath when her ring is gifted to a professor's daughter. Valerie Leon pulls double duty as Queen Tera and the tormented Margaret; a more feminine Mummy than Sir Christopher Lee, but no less deadly. And still not Egyptian.
Taking a break from the more traditional lumbering Mummies, this is one of Hammer's more unusual movies, made during a period when their output was at its most exciting and fun – relishing the recently relaxed rules in what they could and couldn't do with blood and, most importantly, where they could smear it. Like the rest of these Studiocanal re-releases, Blood From the Mummy's Tomb is tame by today's standards, but the use of blood – particularly its vivid hue and consistency – still surprises.
And, as with the rest, Blood From the Mummy's Tomb is a treat for fans old and new. It's vintage 70s Hammer, being one of the studio's most vibrant and original movies – and with more up its sleeve than just the extra nudity and bloodshed – but with crisp, clean visuals to make it palatable to a modern audience.
The best of both worlds, this offbeat (occasionally confused) phemale Pharaoh 'em up brings the 70s Mummy movie shambling sultrily into our modern age.
Video and Audio:
The clean, crisp Blu-ray transfer impresses, although the sharp edges and popping colours do tend to make the Mummy's tomb itself feel even more wooden and artificial. It sounds just fine, if somewhat unremarkable.
Just the one extra feature is included on the disc: the documentary The Pharaoh's Curse: Inside Blood From the Mummy's Tomb. While it's a little on the short and paltry side, it brings key insight, analysis and the Mummy herself pops up too, as the documentary's most charming interviewee.
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