Blood from the Mummy's Tomb Reviews
An adaptation of Bram Stoker's The Jewel of Seven Stars, Blood from the Mummy's Tomb is quite typical of the Mummy film formula, except in this case the mummy is a woman. As is to be expected with this twist on the form, rather than the shambolic corpse Karloff rip-offs that usually litter the genre, the female mummy is perfectly preserved - and a looker to boot. The attractive and voluptuous English actress Valerie Leon plays a dual role as both the mummy and as a modern-day woman born in her image, and she largely carries the film in what would sadly prove her only lead role. It is to the credit of the filmmakers that while the film's wardrobe flatters Valerie Leon's impressively shapely figure, it never dips into the type of nudie exploitation one might expect from a 70s horror film.
Speaking of filmmakers, Blood from the Mummy's Tomb is notorious for its supposed real-life curse that saw the film's director Seth Holt die during the second last week of filming, and also saw original star Peter Cushing replaced by Andrew Keir after his wife became seriously ill. In spite of a few laughably cheap scenes (a scene of an automobile accident in particular), Blood from the Mummy's Tomb is a respectable last work for Holt, and while its resurgence has largely been due to a cult following, its a film that surpasses its limitations admirably.
Not the strongest Hammer has to offer but entertaining all the same.
Proved that Hammer was still capable of making original and exciting horror films.
Blood From The Mummy's Tomb had a troubled production and after the director died half-way through, talk of a curse circulated around the Hammer studio. Whilst one doubts that the film was under the influence of mystical powers, it is obvious that the various problems which arose had a direct impact on the final product. The disjointed script makes little sense and it feels like you are putting together a puzzle without the picture and more than one piece missing. The lack of the big Hammer hitters like Cushing or Lee did not always hurt their films but one could not help feel that their charismatic presence would have helped bolster the rather lightweight cast. Efforts at building suspense and atmosphere mostly fall flat but there are moments where the Hammer flair shines from, unfortunately it does not happen enough.
On the positive side the sets are well designed and it looks like a lot of time and effort went into the tomb's décor. Another bright spot is the positively stunning Valerie Leon who makes up for her lack of acting skills (even when she plays the dead Queen you can clearly see her breathing/twitching) by spending most of her time exposing her ample cleavage in a sleek black nightdress (a sexist comment I know but that is why Hammer chose such attractive women for their films). Despite the muddled script it is actually an interesting take on the mummy genre and had the potential to be a much better film in more competent hands.
If you are a fan of Hammer then you will no doubt want to see this effort, even if it is a weak one by their standards, but for casual viewers or those looking to explore the Hammer catalogue I suggest you start elsewhere (the Cushing/Lee titles for example). Worth a rent at least